With only 13 percent of eligible Amish voters casting their votes in 2004, they are not the most coveted vote. But with large populations in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, they are not to be ignored.
Actually, they are kind of being ignored this year — unless you count Obama’s sad attempt to court the electricity-shunning group with the Amish For Obama blog — but in 2004 Bush went all out to woo them with his Southern charm. Without the influence of the Internet or TV, they are some of the most issued-focused voters out there.
How will they vote this year? Will they? To find out,
Since the Amish are largely a self-sufficient group, most think today’s outcome won't affect them. Those who do vote tend to be firm Republicans with ultratraditional values and an antigovernment stance. So what do they think about this election?
- McCain lacks the religiosity and traditional values Bush championed, but Sarah Palin is bringing the ticket in the right direction.
- Though women are regarded as men’s subordinates in Amish culture, many are OK with Sarah Palin running for VP. After all, some said, it’s not like she’s on the top of the ticket.
- "The country isn’t ready for a black president." Well, that’s certainly one way of putting it! All-out racial attacks were common and often "he’s too inexperienced" segued into them.
- Immigration, national security, and too many government handouts top their lists of concerns.
- They don't think national healthcare would work, despite having their own health-care system, when the same values aren’t shared among everyone in the system.
Sounds like Amish Country will put McCain first!