Football and Sharks Decide Elections: In states like Ohio and Florida the voters' decisions aren't based on politics, but rather football and sharks, reports MSNBC via Reuters.
Reuters' correspondent Andy Sullivan wrote an article exploring how voters really choose a candidate. Looking at all the data, it would seem the most important thing to voters is not if they are better off now than they were four years ago, but rather how they've been feeling in the previous few months.
For example, if you're a voter who's a big Ohio State fan you're more likely to vote for President Obama in this election if Ohio State is on a winning streak. Conversely, if you live in Florida and the election happens to occur just after a rash of shark attacks, you'll be more likely to vote for Mitt Romney.
This research indicates that many voters don't look at candidates to make an informed decision for the future of the nation, but instead look at how they feel at the moment and then determine whether the incumbent deserves another go. This holds true even if the selection goes against the voter's interests.
Quoting a University of California Berkley study, Sullivan said voters, "pick a candidate and line up their own views to that candidate." via MSNBC