<<<I don't doubt that you do evaluate candidates using non-partisan fact sheets, but almost no-one else votes for any politician based on their actual positions.>>>
I don't know the percentages, but if my circle of friends, political discussion is always about positions and ideology. There is also disagreement.
<<<Trump had no actual policy ideas - just vague slogans. He is crass, and a bad businessman with a string of bankruptcies, but he none-the-less stood for something that was appealing to some voters that has little to do with actual policy or substance.>>>
In some ways, having no discernible ideology is a strength because it is less a target than the stated ideology of his opponents. Harris has stated that it is her objective to bring down the 2nd Amendment, independently if Congress doesn't move fast enough. That prevents me from voting for her. Trump talks the talk but with Red Flag he is on the record of saying, "take the guns first and do due process later" (just as bad) and he was behind the useless bump-stock ban. I can bump-fire a standard unmodified semi-automatic but don't because it is a stupid waste of ammunition. The thing is, sometimes the talk is something that must be considered. In her case she should be taken seriously based upon her record as a dirty cop.
<<<If one can easily find evidence of racial or sexual bias, why does it not count for anything with you?>>>
Why would you say that? I've never said anything to indicate that it means nothing to me. I just see it as less all encompassing than you do. It is a factor, but not one that trumps all other factors. Many from the far left defund the cops and the BLM hates cops crowds will vote for her even though her history and ideology is not to their liking because she is a black woman. That is just as racist as the people who won't vote for her for that reason. Will they cancel each other out? I don't pretend to know the unknowable.
<<<It's not an "excuse" when it is indeed the facts of the matter. Fifty years ago racial and gender hierarchies were considered only right and natural. What makes you think that they have magically disappeared in one generation or that if they do still exist, they exert no real meaningful influence? Unless you can provide me with some substantive analysis of why this should be so on the level that I have provided to counter it, imagining that it's not truly impactful is just that - imagining (or perhaps wishing).>>>
I see it as an issue, you see it as a root cause of all that is wrong in the world. Correlation is not causation. Statistical variation in such matters is complex and what may seem obvious if it conforms to your world view ain’t necessarily so.
I contributed a number of times to Tulsi Gabbard when she was running. Far from my perfect candidate (a bit too far left for my liking) but she had positions that separated her from the rest in areas that matter to me. She also has integrity and stood up to her own party when she saw them doing wrong even though it cost her politically. Harris said she believes the women who accused Biden of sexual impropriety but is willing to set it aside for political advancement. I didn't care much for the other women on the debate stage for the same reasons I didn't like the men on the stage; ideology. You are doing a bit of mind reading when you say things are the way they are because of the dominance hierarchy. I don't know that that is why people seem more comfortable with the ideas presented by some than others. There will certainly be plenty of women on my state and local ballot that I vote for who are running against men. I really don't think I'm all that unique. None of that is any kind of proof that I subscribe to a white male dominance hierarchy by any means.
<<<The Democrats assume that more people will vote for Harris because of her race and gender but that's mostly just wishful thinking and is not born out by any serious analysis or data. I am doubtful that adding her to the ticket appeals to swing voters and confident based on what I've said here that it may turn some of them off.>>>
You may well be quite right about that. As I argue, there are people who vote position and ideology on both the left and right rather than sexism/racism.
<<<You seem to think that Sanders is what Americans really want, but why then is he not the nominee?>>>
I don't know why you say that, I don't think I said that. His stated "socialist" position uses a word that ties him to Marxism and the DNC back room is conscious of the fact that that matters to many who do vote. The media steers opinion and it is open that they do that. “The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.” ~Elbridge Gerry. He was obviously right about that. I don’t know what America wants and don’t think that the media is giving an honest answer.
<<<Most Americans, particularly in times of stress, want what is "traditional." This is well established.>>>
One of the things we agree upon. There's a saying for that. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't. American politics is a race to the bottom where campaigns are based upon, "My candidate isn't as bad as yours."