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ETpro's avatar

Will the three percent who are still undecided ever decide?

Asked by ETpro (34428points) October 18th, 2012

With three weeks to go, a tiny three percent of the US population say they are still not sure who they plan to vote for. Will they ever decide?

How do you stay undecided so long? Are these people that just find it incredibly difficult to make up their minds? Is it that they haven’t any idea what they stand for and so they can’t select the candidate that most closely matches their positions? Are they just so unconcerned about the race that they don’t actually know who is running or what they stand for, and therefore will never decide and will never vote?

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25 Answers

Coloma's avatar

It’s easy to stay divided when your apolitical. haha
I wonder what percentage the apolitical group holds? I know I can’t be alone.

filmfann's avatar

I think those who say they are undecided are just fucking with us.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

This is just a wild guess, but maybe these are people polled who take no interest and politics and thus do not plan to vote. Unless an option on the poll is, “Not planning to vote”, what other category would the person taking the poll put them in?

syz's avatar

I don’t understand how anyone can possibly be undecided. It’s not like these choices are variations on a theme – they are pretty much diametrically opposed. (Of course, I also can’t comprehend why anyone not white, wealthy and male would possibly vote Republican, but apparently there’s a lot of them.)

PhiNotPi's avatar

Those three percent probably don’t want to vote for either candidate. If they wanted to vote for a particular candidate, they would have chosen by now. They might still have opinions in politics, but they don’t support any of the candidates.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ My take exactly. The lesser of two evils, what’s the point? It’s like choosing your death bewteen a shark attack or being mauled by a lion. Uh….

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe they have made up their mind, but they don’t want to commit. It could be that they really don’t like either candidate, but might flip a coin, or not vote at all.

tom_g's avatar

I’m with @filmfann. This has to be the poll equivalent of trolling. “I know….if they ask me, I’ll just say that I am undecided. I know that it’s impossible for this to be the case, but that’s what makes it funny! Get it? That’ll leave people scratching their heads or boiling with rage at the thought of a lobotomized electorate.”

DrBill's avatar

I think some people just don’t want to say. No matter who you are for, someone will argue “their” candidate is a better choice, so they say they’re undecided to prevent the argument.

WestRiverrat's avatar

They already have, they are just attention whores that don’t want to lose the limelight. Just because they tell the media they are undecided doesn’t mean they haven’t.

Coloma's avatar

I’m a’tellin’ ya all…it’s time for an entirely new SPECIES in office, Please consider Marwyn the most honest goose alive as your next president. Free swimming pools and plentiful bread for all.
Vote Marwyn, a fowlishly fair guy!

Let Marwyn feather your nest, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and ganders don’t slander, nor do they pander!
A candidate like this only comes along once in a blue beak!

BhacSsylan's avatar

From The Digital Cuttlefish

There was a voter, undecided, Though I cannot fathom why; Perhaps a faulty compass guided Him, as days and weeks flew by. Friends would prod, and neighbors chided “Such an indecisive guy!” With rapt attention undivided All would roll their eyes and sigh. The networks parked where he resided (Never was he camera-shy) The interviews that he provided Kept the ratings climbing high.

Today, as news-mobiles collided In his yard, I caught his eye: “If I decide”, the man confided, “All these cameras say good-bye!”

glacial's avatar

I’ve seen a few interviews with groups of “undecided voters”, and they largely seem to be uninformed. They don’t seem to be able to answer follow-up questions about their own opinions of events during the campaign or of the platforms. Frankly, and I’ll probably get shouted at for this, but they don’t seem all that bright. I’m not sure anyone should care whether they make their minds up or not. Why are they getting so much attention? They probably won’t even vote.

Jeruba's avatar


Why are they getting so much attention?

Here’s my guess: because they can. Maybe nobody ever cared what they thought before. They still aren’t thinking anything, but for once that makes them interesting to somebody.

glacial's avatar

@Jeruba That explains why the undecideds are “working it”, but not why we’re turning the cameras on them. I just feel that by now, the media looks pretty silly for trying to delve deeply into their thought processes. Will there be a tipping point, when they decide that this story is hurting their credibility, and that it’s not worth telling? Wishful thinking, I suppose.

rojo's avatar

Can’t speak for the rest of the 3% but for me it is a matter of voting AGAINST Romney or voting FOR Gary Johnson.
If I want to vote my heart I go the Johnson route.
If I go with my brain I go the Obama route as a way of keeping Romney out.
What will decide me is whether Obama can pull far enough ahead of Romney that I do not feel that he needs my vote to win.
I do not think I am alone in this, I think there are many people out there who would vote for a third party candidate if they did not detest one of the two major party candidates.

BhacSsylan's avatar

Hrm, didn’t notice formatting was shot. Here’s the proper version of that poem:

There was a voter, undecided,
Though I cannot fathom why;
Perhaps a faulty compass guided
Him, as days and weeks flew by.
Friends would prod, and neighbors chided
“Such an indecisive guy!”
With rapt attention undivided
All would roll their eyes and sigh.
The networks parked where he resided
(Never was he camera-shy)
The interviews that he provided
Kept the ratings climbing high.

Today, as news-mobiles collided
In his yard, I caught his eye:
“If I decide”, the man confided,
“All these cameras say good-bye!”

JLeslie's avatar

I think a lot of undecided people are reluctant to vote for the guy they are leaning towards, so they are hoping for something to happen that makes them feel good and sure about the lever they are going to pull. Some undecided people in the end will not vote is my assumption. Not because they usually don’t vote, but because they feel so unsure, don’t want the responsibility this time around. I had a friend last Presidential election who is a Republican, but not a right winger, and she has always been interested in politics, has always voted in Presidential elections, but last election she stayed home.

I have been Obama leaning undecided, and the thing that will make me vote for Obama most of all is the Republican party bothers me so much, much more than Romney bothers me. My father convinced me I cannot give more power to the Republicans right now. If Romney had made a very bold move pushing back on his party hard and going more moderate as he had been in the past he might have swayed me, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

ucme's avatar

If any of this percentile vote for Romney, after all has been revealed about the loon, then pity them.

Jeruba's avatar

@ucme, what loon? Is there a story about a loon? I hope you’re not referring to Romney as a loon because that would be very unjust to loons, which are excellent birds with beautiful plumage and a distinctive call.

I read an interesting article yesterday that said if you are a moderate Republican who would like to see your party return more toward the center, there’s no better thing you can do for your party than vote for Obama, because that’s a message that the fanatics will understand. In fact, said the author, defeat is the only language they understand. If Romney and Ryan are elected, he said, your potential moderate Republican candidates (assuming there are some somewhere in the party) are going to be stranded out there in the wilderness for a long time to come.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba My dad was Republican the majority of his adult life, mostly for fiscal reasons, and now has become a heels dug in democrat, won’t vote for a republican, because he is so disgusted by the religious extremism and stupidity within the republican party. I would guess it is true other republicans can’t stand the right wing religious extremists in the party.

I had kind of wondered out loud on fluther in a question I wrote if the republican party would see a win for Obama this time as a sign that they must become more moderate, and a few people pointed out that the republican base easily could interpret a Romney loss as Romney formeroy beng prochoice and some other moderate-liberal stances he has had, and decide he did not motivate the base enough and that is why he lost. I thought that was interesting.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I wouldn’t hold your breath. I think 3% would adequately cover the apolitical, the apathetic, those abroad who could care less what happens here anymore, the unaware, the people who withhold their vote out of protest of what they see as a one party system or so sick of attack ads invading their living room that they refuse to participate anymore in order to not encourage this infantile behaviour, people who see nobody who represents their specific ideology, the people who are just discouraged, or the truly undecided. Depending on how the poll was worded, “Undecided” could be the best option for all the situations above. It’s also a common poll error ratio. I’m surprised and glad to hear that it’s only 3%.

ucme's avatar

@Jeruba Yes, it’s difficult to find the right word to accurately describe his particular brand of idiocy… about elbowhead?

Jeruba's avatar

@ucme, I am so relieved to know that there is not some sordid story of loon abuse that is in the process of being revealed. Goodness knows the Republicans have enough to answer for already.

ETpro's avatar

Thanks everyone. With the percentage of undecideds decided, I’ve decided that those still undecided must have minds incapable of developing an informed decision.

Romney ought to be perfect for the undecided, because he has been for, undecided about, and against every political question out there. Just select your top three issues, then pick the time slot when Romney was for/undecided/against the issue. Choose the Romney release that fits your ideal candidate today.

@ucme I’ve always been partial to bullet-head. Fire, aim, ready.

@BhacSsylan “Binders full of WRONG”. What a great concept. Thanks for the link.

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