As any political analyst will tell you, party members do not win Presidential races. Although party members are essential, they are only a base, and a candidate must appeal to the independent and undecided voters if they hope to reach the magic number of 270 electoral votes. Time is running out for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to sway undecided voters and, with the ballots already beginning to roll in, every voter counts. Any undecided voter, especially this close to the election, is a tricky demographic to identify. Because of this, The DailyER Nebraskan has taken to the streets to find out what the average undecided voter is looking for as they head into the ballot box.
Lincoln citizen Gary Burton watched every debate, but admits he is still undecided.
“At first I was supporting Obama because I saw he had a lil’ flag pin on his chest,” Burton said. “But then I saw Romney had a slightly less lil’ flag pin on his chest. Almost twice as big in fact! And they were both so shiny. So then I was a Romney supporter. But then Obama said something about horses, and I like horses, so now I’m back to being undecided.”
At first glance, it seemed like Gary had answered the question of how the candidates could appeal to undecided voters, but it is not always as easy as saying “horses” and wearing metallic objects. Some undecided voters care about the issues and require more detailed appeals.
UNL student Stacey Potter is just one of these voters. She lists her most important voting issue as the purported “war on women,” but is still unsure of which candidate is actually the instigator of the war. For months, opposing campaign ads appealing to female voters have bombarded Stacey. However, as a functioning illiterate, she is mainly swayed by the volume of ads and how many bright colors are used. A switch from Royal Blue to Pastel Blue in Romney’s ads had Stacey ready to mail in her absentee ballot, but she was subsequently distracted by a passing cat.
Our final undecided voter, Clark Evans, admitted that while he intended to vote, he honestly had no idea what the candidates’ stances were. Even with 18 months of political ads and speculation, Clark confessed that he was unsure of whom to vote for and that he sometimes forgot how the concept of words worked. Clark ended the interview by inviting the DailyER over for dinner under the literal rock that he sleeps under. Unfortunately, the DailyER has a policy of refusing meals from heavy-handed metaphors.