This sheds new light on the efforts of fact checkers and journalists – fighting an impossible battle with deeply irrational, sentiment driven voting. It confirms that, in order to attract voters, we have to come up with big ideas and have a narrative which speaks to voters’ daily lives and concerns, not just dry, boring, detailed discussions of budgets and rules. The difference is that populists will not hesitate to lie and promise the moon, while liberal candidates need to maintain a rational approach, but without removing the emotional factor. It’s getting harder to win hearts and minds, when minds are removed from the equation altogether.
Research increasingly shows that even when voters know the facts, they buy a compelling narrative.