There may only be a few of them, but they’re still out there: undecided voters.
Tonight’s third and final presidential debate could prove to be the deciding factor for a small, but existent, group of Americans who have yet to make up their minds about whether President Obama or Republican Mitt Romney will get their vote Nov. 6.
Undecided voters, who often get a bad rap of being “low-information,” can be crucial in the battleground states. According to a Reuters/ Ipsos poll conducted last week, 7.6 percent of voters nationwide are still undecided. In left-leaning New York, where 8.9 percent of voters still are undecided, the importance of their vote tends to diminish.
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, said the narrow margin of undecided voters is testament to the vast difference between the candidates.
“Usually there are more earlier, now is the time it starts to boil down,” Miringoff told Metro. “This election is very polarized. There isn’t a lot of switching back and forth.”
While the rest of the nation racks its brain about what could be taking undecided voters so long to choose, some who spoke to Metro said they are waiting to hear the candidates speak more on issues important to them. Others said they wanted to see all three debates before making a choice.
Still, some voters said it’s not that they’re undecided — it’s that they’ve decided to not vote at all.
According to the same poll, 6.7 percent of people nationwide don’t plan to cast a ballot.
“I don’t believe anything either are saying, so I’m going to abstain from voting,” Shawn Sethi, 27, told Metro. “I want someone who will execute on what they say, which is not one of these two candidates.”
And there may not be much hope for getting him to change his mind. At this stage of the game, the candidates are likely done trying to woo people who still won’t pick, Miringoff said.
“The race really is about turning out your supporters, not about converting the undecided,” Miringoff said.
What are they wating for?
Quality control chemist
“I’m an undecided voter not because I’m low-information but because I’m high-information, and the issues I think need addressing are outside the scope of what has presently been discussed at either debate. I have to choose between Green, Libertarian, and Democrat and the wilful exclusion of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein by the “15 percent” rule to be included in the debate prevents me from hearing info that I think would be very pertinent to my decision.”
28, Upper West Side
“I live in a blue state so really my vote doesn’t mean much, because New York is going to go for Obama. So unless you live in a battleground state, you are just exercising your constitutional right, but a lot of times, it doesn’t mean much. I have cynicism with the Electoral College and great disdain for two-party system. We are divided so strongly along party lines.”