Many studies have been made and books and articles written about what ultimately determines the way a person votes. Presidential elections, of course, have gotten the most attention.
On the day of one recent presidential election, weather in many parts of the country was atrocious. As many as 2 million people are believed to have blamed the incumbent, and voted for the challenger. This indicates, I think, that among the thoughtful undecideds, there are many mentally marginal people who cast their vote on the whim or feeling of the moment. Feelings should never indicate action, but fleeting sensations are nothing but dust in the wind.
Some people gain knowledge through feeling, others through perception, and still others through thought. I have never seen a breakdown of what percentage of people falls within each category.
Americans seem most easily to deceive through perception. The eyes don't lie. But they do. Would the eyes see the greatness of a crippled old man in a wheelchair? Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't think so. Why were so many pairs of eyes unable to perceive the venality in Richard Nixon, or the common, poor quality of George W. Bush's temperament, intelligence and foresight?
A leader must do two things to remain a leader: Maintain his convincingness and bring the people into the future. Those who look backward cannot ascend or descend a simple staircase.