You lost me in para 2.You're presuming the average Joe has the same critical thinking as you.
I recall a local black man justifying his vote for a BNP candidate because he once helped him fill a form, or a group of Asians saying they're going to vote for Brexit because their street was full of foreigners.
People vote for various reasons. I even heard a neighbour say that she voted for an MP because he looked like her son. The charade thing obviously has voter appeal or else politicians would not bother. They will pull some other stunt in its place to get votes. I am sure you know that kissing babies is another.