Years ago, I had a passion for politics. I wanted to a campaign manager for a brief period in my college years and later toyed with the idea of being a Press Secretary (without ever watching CJ Cregg). I watched primary debates with excitement as I waited for my least favorite candidates to make that one misstep that could jeopardize their campaign and for my favorite candidates to shine. I debated heatedly with classmates about who would be the best person for the presidency.
It’s not a mystery to me how the electoral congress works or the different campaign strategies available. I know that statistically voters in presidential elections tend to vote more moderate than radically left or right. The majority of voters do not vote a party line ticket (voting completely for one party), but vote an issue ticket (voting based upon one or more issues which are important to them). I studied campaigns from the 1800s to present today and I analyzed presidential debates.
Having a political science degree makes the election season hard. Being able to predict with some accuracy who will win the presidential nomination takes the fun out of politics. Logically looking at the primaries, I can predict who will be electable in the presidential election based on the principles that I learned in college. But, predicting is not the same as having a passion for your prediction. Just because I can predict that X will be nominated or elected does not mean that I support X or his/her beliefs. Often, the candidate that you are passionate for is NOT the one who will predictably take the nomination or the presidency.
Therefore, you have the Political Science Major’s Dilemma. It’s hard to be passionate about a candidate is predictably unelectable, yet it’s hard to be passionate about a candidate simply because based upon political science theory and principle, they are electable.