Another explanation, proposed by Salon's Walter Shapiro ("The Voters are Angry -- And Don't Know Why"), is that the folks on Main Street don't understand the issue. Shapiro notes that both presidential campaigns have avoided discussing the credit crisis in their ads and writes,
Both campaigns are basing their TV ads on non sequiturs, presumably because they believe that most voters cannot handle a serious discussion of the liquidity crisis on Wall Street.
Sadly, this cynicism may be justified. A Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday found that 43 percent of all voters admitted that they feel "confused" by the proposed plan to stabilize the financial markets. At the same time, voters grasp that something important is happening -- 54 percent say, in response to another question, that they are paying "a lot" of attention to the bailout debate in Washington. Pollster Andy Kohut, the director of the Pew Research Center, said that it was virtually "unparalleled" to have this simultaneous level of interest and confusion in a policy debate. "It's a tough one to get into the nitty-gritty of," said Kohut. "It is not like gay marriage that is easy to grasp no matter what your point of view is."