Politicians — you can listen to them, you can vote for them, but you can't believe them.
That's the opinion of U.S. voters in a new Rasmussen poll
, which found that only 4 percent of likely voters think politicians keep their campaign promises, while 83 percent do not and 13 percent are undecided.
The findings cut right across party boundaries, but Democrats are more forgiving. About 59 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of independents say politicians "deliberately make false promises to win," while 56 percent of Democrats "blame unforeseen events after they take office" as the reason politicians don't, or can't, keep their campaign promises. On average, 46 percent say candidates intentionally make false promises to win office.
As a result, Rasmussen found, most voters don't look at what candidates say in order to decide how to vote. Instead, 36 percent say they make their decision based on how incumbents actually performed in office, 52 percent say they vote for a candidate's policies, 7 percent feel political party is most important and, discounting celebrity endorsements, only 1 percent say "prominent people who support the candidate" are an important factor in their voting decisions.
Political skepticism is the highest today that it has been in five years. In a 2012 Rasmussen poll
, 77 percent said politicians don't keep their promises and 8 percent said they do, but in 2009, just 4 percent expressed the belief that candidates tell the truth.
The press came under fire in the new Rasmussen poll as well, with 82 percent of those polled saying they "believe that the media are more interested in creating controversies about candidates than in reporting where they stand on the issues."
Only 33 percent of those polled said they "trust the political news they are getting," while 45 percent disagree and 23 percent were undecided.
In another Rasmussen poll, a wide majority of voters said politicians will use race as an issue to win. About 78 percent of voters said politicians will "play the race card"
to get votes, including 68 percent of black voters, 79 percent of white voters and 81 percent of other minority voters.
Jim Taylor, of the University of San Francisco, told the Huffington post
, "Ultimately, politicians lie because the cost/benefit ratio for lying is in their favor. Politicians run this calculation when they create or shift a damaging narrative, attack an opponent, or respond to indefensible claims against them. So, politicians lie when they believe that dishonesty is the best policy for getting elected."
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