The "undecided" voters


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ARperson
October 1, 2004, 04:12 PM
I've been following the news, etc. since the debates last night. One recurring theme from that debate has been that the audience last night that really mattered were the undecided voters who hadn't yet determined which candidated would get their vote.

What I want to know is how ANYBODY can be undecided at this point. How can there not be just ONE issue where one candidate blows the other out of the water for these people? Are these people so ignorant and complacent in their lives that they have no clue what is going on in the country and around the world? Can they not pick ONE issue that's important to them and make a decision based on that?

I remember a time when I was politically apathetic and ignorant, but I also remember that I could always make a decision on SOMETHING well before the elections.

Undecided=uncommitted=uninformed=unbelievable!

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Harry Tuttle
October 1, 2004, 04:17 PM
A mom at the school bus stop this morning made the comment that she did not see the debate and she needs to find out what the issues are for this election.

:rolleyes:

Henry Bowman
October 1, 2004, 04:49 PM
There are some -- let's call them "moderates" -- who would ordinarily vote Republican (not necessarily conservative) who dislike something(s) Bush has done, but are not sure thay dislike him (or the country) so much that they can bring themselves to vote for Kerry. Most of them have never heard of any third-party candidates or there will be none on their ballot. (Nader doesn't count.) Many of them, ulimately, will not vote at all ("It was the only day I could get an appointment to get highlighs in my hair. I was looking so skunky!").

There are others who hate Bush, know that Kerry is a wimp, and are looking for a reason to vote for Kerry and not just against Bush. Most of them will ultimately vote for Kerry.

Bush's poll numbers are not likely to rise much more. The best he can do is keep Kerry's down.

TallPine
October 1, 2004, 04:57 PM
What I want to know is how ANYBODY can be undecided at this point.
Well, I am still undecided as to whether to hold my nose and vote for Bush, or vote for Badnarik as a protest.

Kerry is not even a remote option.

sumpnz
October 1, 2004, 05:21 PM
Well, I'm not that different from the person Mr Bowman describes except the extent that I know I can't vote for Kerry, and I do know about some 3rd party candidates. Oh yeah, and I've never had highlights, and I will vote one way or another.

My big concern is whether to vote for a 3rd party candidate like Badnarik (who I don't really like that much) or for Bush (who I also don't like that much). Living in AZ, chances are my vote won't matter that much as Bush is likely to win this state anyway. Kerry has basically conceded this state already. So, do I vote for Bush even though I don't like a lot of the things he's done and the people he surrounds himself with (especially Ashcroft), or do I vote for Badnarik even though I don't like his stand on a number of issues (esp drugs, the WoT, and abortion) as a protest to the policies I don't like about Bush (Patriot Act, McCain-Feingold, gun-control).

Henry Bowman
October 1, 2004, 05:45 PM
sumpnz - You are not the person I described. You are in another group (much like myself) who are either to the right of Bush or at least more libertarian. You will probably end up voting for Bush, unless he has the state sowed up and it won't matter anyway. If it were tight you already be decided. Here in Ohio (a critical swing state) we must vote for Bush even if we don't agree with everything he's done or he's too weak and liberal sometimes or whatever. Kerry is scarry to me. I have to vote Bush.

Disclaimer: Every statement above should be preceded by the word "probably."

Mr. James
October 1, 2004, 05:50 PM
Ann Coulter once wrote that a synonym for "undecided voter" was "moron." That certainly does not refer to those who have definitively ruled out one major party candidate and are now torn between holding the nose or voting third party.

sumpnz,

You might consider Michael A. Peroutka of the Constitution Party (http://www.constitutionparty.org)

sumpnz
October 1, 2004, 06:14 PM
Mr James - I've looked into the Constitution Party, but I am a firm believer in the seperation of church and state, and the CP seems, in my view (and maybe I'm wrong), to want to reduce if not eliminate that barrier. From a faith standpoint, I probably agree with a lot of what their leadership believes (i.e. Christian fundamentals) but I also think that the best things for Christianity in this country is to keep the govt mostly out of the church and vice versa. I want good, strong Christian leaders who will use their faith to guide their decisions. I don't want people who will try to impose their religious beliefs on others, even if I personally share those beliefs.

sendec
October 1, 2004, 06:50 PM
I am undecided, and I dont think I am a moron. What I am not is a single-issue voter. I also have zero confidence in either major candidate, and lack the knowledge of the minors to make an educated decision.

If there was a "None of the above" I'd pick that. Why can't we have no-confidence votes like other countries do?

cloudkiller
October 1, 2004, 08:58 PM
I think that we run into undecided voters for a variety of reasons.

A person might agree with the platform but find the personalities indefensible. Both parties could suffer from this.

A person who was more of a "classic" liberal, or more "libertarian leaning" would also have a hard time. If you support smaller government and less regulation that might take you to a republican ticket. However, if you support more separation of church and state, and more civil liberties that might take you to a democratic ticket. Either way, you might have a hard time deciding.

A person who takes the "character" approach to voting this election is also screwed. You have a traditional politician named Kerry, who was swayed by radicalism in his younger days in almost unforgivable fashion (according to many), and who spinelessly appears to flow with the political winds today. Would you vote for him? OR you have a president whose foreign, domestic and environmental policies have benefitted a very narrow segment of industry in very disturbing and public ways that scream out conflict of interest and improper influence -- not to mention the rewards and kickbacks that have been poured on current and former members of his staff. Not a clear choice for voting unless you go 3rd party. Then you run into the "throw away your vote" syndrome.

I could certainly see where an undecided voter came from. I support the 2A, largely as a result of what I have read on this board. However, I have a hard time voting for some liberties, even RKBA, at the expense of others. That is why I could never vote Constitution party. They seem exactly the opposite of a party for "freedom" to me. Much more akin to religious facism based on a historical myth they have constructed.

Lone_Gunman
October 1, 2004, 09:09 PM
Ann Coulter once wrote that a synonym for "undecided voter" was "moron."


Ms Coulter is a moron herself for making that statement. I certainly don't think statements like that do much to sway undecided voters to her side.

I guess I am an undecided voter. I used to be a Republican up until George W. Bush took office. Actually, I guess I was still a Republican for a year or two after that, but then I realized what a disappointment Bush was. He signed Campaign Finance Reform and Medicare Reform. I then realized he was just a Democrat in the wrong party.

Anyway, I can't vote for Bush for those two reasons. In fact, if you vote for Bush after he signed Campaign Finance Reform, then I question whether or not you are a true friend of liberty, as this piece of legislation squelches political speech.

I can't vote for Kerry, he is just horrible in every way.

Badnarik is, well, kind of a freak, plus the whole libertarian thing about legalizing drugs is holding them back big time.

I guess I will just sit this one out.

JerryM
October 2, 2004, 12:26 AM
Although I can concede that there may be those who cannot decide between a 3rd party and one of the primary candidates, I consider that anyone who has not decided beteween Kerry and President Bush does not know what he stands for.

The two are clearly poles apart, and it should be obvious by now.

Jerry

c_yeager
October 2, 2004, 03:48 AM
We have a lot of VERY ignorant people in this country who simply have no idea who they should be voting for or why. Sadly they will be casting their ballots in November based on such things as "who is better looking" or "who has the better campaign posters" or (my favorite) "who are my friends voting for".

joe sixpack
October 2, 2004, 04:53 AM
I've never been registered as a Dem or Rep. I've always voted the issues
or candidates, and this year neither of the big two will get my vote, that
much I have decided.

cheers, js

MP5
October 2, 2004, 08:34 AM
It's easy to be undecided in this election and not be a moron. The more I research and learn about both major candidates, the more I see just how absolutely awful they both are. You have anti-gun, tax-and-spend, paternalistic-government Kerry on the one hand, and anti-liberty, paternalistic-government, made-a-huge-mess-of-Iraq-and-diplomacy Bush on the other hand. Sheesh.

Some people say they're one-issue RKBA voters and will of course vote for Bush. He's obviously better than Kerry there (anyone would be), yet he isn't interested in crusading for gun rights--that issue seems to be totally off his radar--and is very clearly opposed to personal liberties and Constitutional protections. He's shown that he'll happily erode your freedoms in the name of his so-called "war on terror."

Where is a real conservative candidate when you need one?

Fastlane
October 2, 2004, 08:40 AM
I agree with Lone Gunman.... but I can't set this one out. I will hold my nose and vote for Bush. Kerry for president would be a disaster for the 2A and I think he would try and turn the US into an European type nation. :(

Art Eatman
October 2, 2004, 11:01 AM
Many of the "undecided" don't make any connection between government and their daily lives. They don't pay much attention to what Congress does, or their legislature does, and probably only vaguely are aware of actions by county commissioners or city councils. They just flatout don't pay attention.

Other "undecided" folks don't see any difference for their lives regardless of who gets elected. "I'm screwed, no matter who gets in." is the view, and many of these have dropped out of the voting process.

It has become simple for me: I just compare which weasel is less hostile to my interests. I'll vote for a hostile passivist over a hostile activist, for the presidency. I get more active in campaigns at the lower levels of government, where I can be at least slightly more influential.

In this election, Kerry is the anti-gun activist, and his views of government are anathema to me. Bush is a passivist on the gun issue, and for all that there is abuse of government, he doesn't seek the structural changes inherent in Kerry's views. I can deal with abuse of the existing system better than I can deal with sea changes in format that would institutionalize and codify abuse of me and mine.

FWIW, Art

ARperson
October 2, 2004, 11:08 AM
There's a big difference between not being able to decide between Kerry and Bush and not being able to decide between Bush and some 3rd party candidate. At least the 2nd option means you're thinking and trying to determine whether the protest vote is worth splitting the Kerry-opposition vote. But the former situation really does describe a moron.

Trying to decide between Kerry and Bush is like trying to decide between life and death. The two are polar opposites. I'm not trying to imply with the life and death simile that Bush is better than Kerry or vice versa. But if you have any opinions on this country, this world, your freedoms, your security, whatever, you can't tell me that there isn't one candidate (Bush or Kerry) that leans more towards your view than the other. You can't believe strongly about something and not have one candidate be a clear favorite.

So, yeah, a voter who's undecided between Kerry and Bush is a moron.

Monkeyleg
October 2, 2004, 06:20 PM
cloudkiller: "OR you have a president whose foreign, domestic and environmental policies have benefitted a very narrow segment of industry in very disturbing and public ways that scream out conflict of interest and improper influence -- not to mention the rewards and kickbacks that have been poured on current and former members of his staff."

Examples and sources, please?

cloudkiller
October 3, 2004, 12:26 PM
"OR you have a president whose foreign, domestic and environmental policies have benefitted a very narrow segment of industry in very disturbing and public ways that scream out conflict of interest and improper influence -- not to mention the rewards and kickbacks that have been poured on current and former members of his staff."

Monkeyleg,

The Bush family has long had ties to the Saud family in Saudi Arabia. That is not a crime, nor even a problem. However, the oil industry has reaped enormous profits since the Bush Administration came to office, and have benefitted from numerouns environmental rollbacks and foreign policy decisions including the invasion of Iraq. Despite all assurances to the contrary one of the major contributing factors to the slow economy right now involves rising oil prices. I have friends in big industry and oil costs are killing them. However, profit margins for the oil industry are also rising. We know, without argument from anyone, that the Iraq war had been planned and decided upon before 9/11. With the Saudi regime in jeopardy, and forced to play both sides (placating terrorists while placating the US) Iraq is a natural base of operations for US oil interests should Saud fall. Of course, American political tradition does not allow the country to admit to going to war out of economic interests, even when we know that France and Germany didn't want to go to war out of economic interests.

In addition to policy decisions, many members of Bush's staff, both current and past are benefitting from the current political environment. His former campaign director, for example, now heads a company that does consulting on obtaining government contracts in Iraq. I don't have the full list anymore. I am not saying that unethical behavior has definitely taken place. However, a key criticism of Clinton was about the "appearance of impropriety" that led to ultimately fruitless investigations. This administration has done a very poor job of keeping out that appearance also. -- Even trying to pass the war on Iraq as part of the "war on terror" is morally reprehensible. Justified or not, misleading Americans into believing that that war was related to 9/11 is wrong.

Insofar as domestic policy decisions, the Bush Administration's own EPA department replaced the entire in-depth report the Republican EPA wrote on the impact of ANWAR drilling with a memo that was largely taken word-for-word from oil industry marketing material. Enegry policy was decided in a meeting whose attendees remain a secret. -- I agree with executive priviledge, but again the appearance of impropriety is terrible. We have a former Oil Industry VP inviting people to an energy policy meeting that we know, by elimination (who wasn't invited) , only included a very narrow group of interests.

I don't have the time to dig up more specifics right now

Monkeyleg
October 3, 2004, 07:32 PM
"I don't have the time to dig up more specifics right now."

Frankly, I didn't see where you did at all.

The Bush family has ties to the Saudi royal family. Let me see... Both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were in the oil business. Saudi Arabia is one of the largest oil producers in the world, and the country is ruled by the Saudi royal family. The chances of either Bush knowing members of the Saudi family are pretty darn good. I've been an advertising photographer for 26 years, and know a lot of people in the ad business. Coincidence?

Rising oil prices and oil company profits. Hmmm. We had Middle Eastern terrorists hit the US in September, 2001. Not long prior to that, we had record low oil prices. With things heating up in the Middle East, do ya think that oil prices might go up? They did in 1991 during the Gulf War and, given that there's more going on in the Middle East right now, it kinda makes sense that oil prices would be higher. Profits are a percentage of price.

"Despite all assurances to the contrary one of the major contributing factors to the slow economy right now involves rising oil prices." We certainly do have record oil prices. But we also have one of the best recoveries from a recession in history. Imagine how much faster the recovery will be once we see some stabilization in the Middle East and oil prices begin to fall.

"We know, without argument from anyone, that the Iraq war had been planned and decided upon before 9/11." Really? You have proof? Call the networks, because you've got a story nobody else has run, because the 9/11 commission determined that the subject of invading Iraq came up after 9/11.

"...Iraq is a natural base of operations for US..." That little snippet, admittedly taken out of your context, is what this is all about: giving the US a base (now that the Saudis are no longer hosting our bases), and establishing a pro-US government whose presence can pressure other Middle Eastern governments to stop harboring terrorists.

His former campaign director is benefitting from consulting on oil contracts? Are we talking Karen Hughes or someone else? Last I heard, Karen went back to Texas to be with her family. Again, please cite specifics.

Saddam harbored terrorists, he paid money to terrorists, and he had the capability to create weapons the terrorists would very much like to have. Were Saddam and bin Laden close buddies? No. But the terrorist network is much larger than bin Laden. And Bush never, ever said that Iraq was behind 9/11. He made the point that Iraq posed a threat to the US and US interests. He made his case on multiple points. The only point that's now remembered are the sixteen words in his speech in 2003 that Iraq had stockpiles of WMD's. He's been cleared on that by the 9/11 commission, by Blair, by Putin, by the CIA, and by a whole host of other countries who had the same intel.

I've not read anywhere that the Bush administration replaced a report on ANWAR. I'd very much appreciate a link to a story to back that up, if you have the time to provide it.

As for Cheney, he headed up Halliburton. Any interests he has in the company since he was elected are out of his control. But why would the administration hire the most qualified company in the world to handle the oil problems in Iraq post-war? Even the liberal press has admitted that no other company has the expertise to do what Halliburton can under extreme conditions. Should the administration have squandered time by getting quotes from Halliburton right on down to Billy's Fire-Fightin' Company & Spot-Free Car Wash?

And, as for Cheney holding a meeting with "undisclosed" participants, I'd like to know who was there as well. I suspect that the reason the administration won't release the names is that their opponents will use the names against them. After all, they were talking about "energy," not tree-hugging. If the NRA has a meeting to discuss hunting issues, do you think they'd invite PETA to attend?

Politics is a fascinating subject because we can take what we know and try to extrapolate that knowledge to say what we do not know. Joe Kennedy was a bootlegger and gangster. That surely explains the Kennedy assasination. Bill Clinton's father was a drunk who left his family. Must explain something about something, but I don't know what just yet.

RealGun
October 3, 2004, 08:28 PM
Are these people so ignorant and complacent in their lives that they have no clue what is going on in the country and around the world?

I believe that's pretty close. Of course, there are those who vote straight ticket and don't feel the need to pay attention.

I am fully prepared for another four years of George Bush and will vote for him. Debates are not going to tell me anything I don't already know. There is absolutely no way I would help, directly or indirectly, elect John Kerry.

I am more concerned about Congressional races and do what I can for my candidates.

FW
October 3, 2004, 09:06 PM
Here's an idea: If you are "undecided" at election time, instead of guessing, just don't vote. That doesn't mean you can't vote at all, just those running you're "undecided" about. This sounds a little negative, but it's not.

I'm still amazed at how many people don't know who their senators, reps, the vice pres, etc. are. Yet there will be many of them voting for these people at election time. Equally disturbing is how many people (if they participate at all) only vote every four years. It's as if there is only one person who is elected in the country. Ironicly it is this one person who IS NOT elected by the popular vote.

I will not say that all "undecided" voters are morons. However, a majority of those I meet are.

stevelyn
October 4, 2004, 11:20 AM
If I lived in a swing state or if Alaska's one electorial vote really mattered, I would probably vote for Bush. Kerry's vision for the America I live in runs contrary to most Americans' core values.
Since Bush is going to carry Alaska anyway, I believe my one vote is far more valuable to Micheal Badnarik and the Libertarian Party than it would be for Bush. So Badnarik gets my vote.
However, I believe our current congressional delegation has done a very good job of representing Alaskans' interests and the interests of the nation, so I'll do my part to send them back to the Cesspool on the Potomac to continue the fight. I just hope when they report for the next Congress, they will arrive to find more allies showed up and some enemies having disappeared.

TheEgg
October 4, 2004, 12:20 PM
Are these people so ignorant and complacent in their lives that they have no clue what is going on in the country and around the world?

BINGO! Give that man a cigar. IME this describes most (but obviously not all) "undecided" voters.

Even if someone doesn't fit into the above category, I would hope that anyone that is undecided at this point would not vote at all.

AimHigh
October 4, 2004, 01:57 PM
This is really a no-brainer. This is a gun board. If you think, solely in terms of guns, one is totally anti-gun (sKerry) and the other is basically, based on history, pro-gun (Bush). Ashcroft, for the 1st time in Americanhistory, stated the 2nd amendment refers to individuals. If you want to see your gun rights expanded, vote Bush. If you want your gun rights taken away, vote sKerry. One of them WILL determine the next Supreme Court and judicial activism. As I stated, this really is a no-brainer.

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