‘ELEC­TION-RE­LATED STRESS’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Elec­tion fa­tigue and even elec­tion sickness now ap­pears to be grip­ping the na­tion. Blame it on shrill news cov­er­age, chaotic de­tails, emo­tional pres­sures and per­sis­tent par­ti­san dis­cord, per­haps. Weary Amer­i­cans are un­easy about elec­tion day, now 42 days off and clos­ing in fast. Things have got­ten so chal­leng­ing that the med­i­cal com­mu­nity has no­ticed.

“Is the elec­tion mak­ing you sick?” asks Dr. Robert Glat­ter, a New York City emer­gency room physi­cian and con­trib­u­tor to Forbes mag­a­zine. He calls the com­bi­na­tion of elec­tion and non-stop me­dia at­ten­tion a “life stres­sor” with se­ri­ous phys­i­cal ef­fects. Dr. Glat­ter coun­sels vot­ers to be alert for in­creased blood pres­sure, flut­ter­ing heart­beats, headaches, nau­sea and other tell­tale symp­toms of “elec­tion-re­lated stress” — and seek re­lief through less ex­po­sure to news cov­er­age and so­cial me­dia. Yoga, med­i­ta­tion and even psy­chother­apy could help as well, he says.

The good doc­tor has a point. A Pew Re­search Cen­ter poll re­vealed that six-out-of-10 Amer­i­cans said they were “ex­hausted” by the con­stant bar­rage of cam­paign cov­er­age — and that was in July. Though vot­ers re­main in­ter­ested in the elec­tion, they are tired of news about the nom­i­nees’ per­sonal lives, back-and-forth com­ments and ever-chang­ing horser­ace num­bers. The sur­vey also found that 55 per­cent think the press pays too lit­tle at­ten­tion to sub­stan­tial pol­icy is­sues.

Elec­tion stress can take a toll, mean­while. A new Gallup poll has a dis­qui­et­ing head­line: “Amer­i­cans less sure they’ll vote for pres­i­dent”. The sur­vey found that 69 per­cent of the na­tion are sure they will vote on Novem­ber 8, — but this is down from 76 per­cent in 2012 and 80 per­cent in 2008. The Grand Old Party may be re­lieved to know that Repub­li­cans are more likely to vote this year, Gallup found.

“By 76 per­cent to 65 per­cent, Repub­li­cans re­main more likely than Democrats to say they will def­i­nitely vote, a gap that is sim­i­lar to 2012, but higher than in pre­vi­ous elec­tions,” notes an­a­lyst Ly­dia Saad. is us­ing the peo­ple’s sovereign power in ways that need to be redi­rected, as if peo­ple mat­tered first,” Mr. Nader ob­serves, adding that he him­self still has “a re­lent­less thirst for jus­tice for the peo­ple and the en­vi­ron­ments of the world.”

Mr. Nader was third party pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2000, run­ning as a Green Party can­di­date and ul­ti­mately car­ry­ing home al­most three per­cent of the pop­u­lar vote. He also ran in 2004 and 2008 as an in­de­pen­dent.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Only 69 per­cent of the na­tion are sure they will vote Nov. 8, a poll found.

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