There have been several letters to this Forum critical of straight-ticket voting. Actually, straight-ticket voting makes a lot of sense. We elect representatives to vote and hope that they will vote in accordance with our beliefs.
It turns out that the most reliable indicator of how a representative will vote is how his or her party votes. Voting records show that the overwhelming majority of all legislators vote with their party almost all the time (like 90 percent plus). Party position is a much more reliable indicator of how a representative will vote than even explicit campaign promises. Most representatives will only vote against their party if there is special interest money involved or if an issue generates overwhelming local opposition to the party position.