The Spite Vote: Uncovering Why Trump Haters Vote Against Their Own Best Interests

Published June 13, 2024

Thinking is hard, and people are complicated. We do not always know the reasons why we behave as we do. Or, even if we know those reasons, we might sometimes struggle to articulate them with clarity and consistency.

In the classic dystopian novel “1984,” George Orwell imagined a futuristic totalitarian regime that could manipulate and capitalize on the complexities that so often bedevil the human mind. Specifically, Orwell’s tyrants relied on what they called “doublethink,” which the author described as “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

To illustrate, imagine someone who subscribes to the following views: “If elected, former President Donald Trump will make things better. I must vote against him.”

This is not a hypothetical scenario but a key takeaway from a CBS News/YouGov poll released on Sunday.

In short, the poll suggested that President Joe Biden will benefit from an anti-Trump spite vote notwithstanding what even the spite-motivated voters themselves recognized as their actual interests.

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SOURCE: www.westernjournal.com

RELATED: The ‘double haters’ misnomer: Biden’s secret weapon

A two-thirds majority of this cohort of voters thinks a felon has no place running for president.

A ship “transports” an inflatable Donald Trump around San Francisco Bay, while the former president is in San Francisco on Thursday. (John Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) (John G Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
Published June 11, 2024

You hear a lot about “double haters” from pundits. The term is actually a misnomer. The language the news media are using to discuss these voters — “loathe,” “hate” — does not reflect what they tell pollsters.

All these voters are telling us is that they do not have a “favorable” view of either President Biden or Donald Trump. “Hate” exaggerates the effect, and “double” falsely assumes they are unfavorable toward the candidates in equal measure. Perpetuating the misunderstanding of who these voters are, and what they think, meshes with cynical and hyperventilating punditry that would have us believe both sides are rotten, and voters hate both sides equally.

But when, for example, ABC-Ipsos reported this month that “65% of Americans who view both Trump and Biden unfavorably think the verdict this week was correct, with 67% believing Trump should end his presidential campaign,” can we really call these voters “double haters”?

(Kudos to the pollsters who correctly stated the category does not measure hate but the sentiment of being “unfavorably” disposed toward both candidates.) After all, a two-thirds majority of this cohort of voters thinks a convict has no place running for president.

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SOURCE: www.washingtonpost.com

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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
Contact Cherry at: cherrymtimbol@newscats.org or timbolcherrymay@gmail.com
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