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The Undecideds:

It's pretty amazing to consider that there is (according to the polls, at least) some small but non-zero percentage of voters who are, after a couple of years or so of campaigning, still undecided about whom they will vote for in the presidential election. I suspect that there aren't a huge number of undecideds among VC readers, who are a pretty opinionated and politically-active bunch. But I'd be curious to hear from anyone who is in that category today. Did any of you actually head to the polls this morning not knowing for whom you'd vote for president? What did you ultimately decide? And why?

Pon Raul (mail):
84% of people would not lie to a pollster. As for the other 16%, like my wife, they probably aren't undecided as much as they just don't want to tell anyone. As for me, I decided to vote for someone else in the Senate race at the last minute.
11.4.2008 11:55am
big guy (mail):
I was undecided until I actually got into the booth. I filled out the entire ballot before coming back to the top of the ticket. I ultimately decided to vote for Palin because Barr's campaign was so incredibly negative and emphasized so many wrong issues that it ultimately turned me off.
11.4.2008 11:57am
Gulf Coast Bandit (mail):
My roommate was undecided as of 10:45 this morning. He hasn't really been paying attention, but since we're in Virginia, it's somewhat important. I think he's going to vote for McCain, but I have no idea.
11.4.2008 12:00pm
Ben P:
I was undecided about at least one of the local candidates until I met one of them on the way to the poll. But the only information I had about any of these particular voters was posters I had seen. The guy I met seemed reasonable enough in his mini-stump coversation. So I voted for him.
11.4.2008 12:01pm
A Law Dawg:
As for the other 16%, like my wife, they probably aren't undecided as much as they just don't want to tell anyone.


I think we will find that a large portion of undecideds are actually self-recognized but undeclared McCain voters. I also suspect this group holds a lot of closet racists.

I do not, however, mean to imply that Mrs. Raul is a closet racist; I just know that this is my anecdotal experience.
11.4.2008 12:01pm
v (mail):
I was undecided until I woke up this morning and voted with my heart, for Cynthia McKinney of the Green party. I want Obama to win, but he lost my vote on war, on the bailout, on FISA, and on changing his position on net neutrality.
11.4.2008 12:04pm
Kevin R (mail):
I was undecided between McCain and Barr until I got into the booth. I voted for Browne in 2000 and Badnarik in 2004, so this was not a completely idle "oh maybe I'll vote for a third party" thought, I was willing to follow up on it. In the end I went with McCain though. If he wins Virgina by 1 vote, then that was me.
11.4.2008 12:04pm
trad and anon:
I suspect that most of the remaining undecideds at this point are those who are wavering between one of the majors and a third party. The vast majority of those will decide they don't want to "throw away their vote" in a close election and vote for the major party candidate.
11.4.2008 12:05pm
Kevin R (mail):
If he wins Virgina by 1 vote, then that was me.


"Virginia" too. I can spell the name of my state, really.
11.4.2008 12:05pm
Bold:
It was either McCain or Barr for me. As ridiculous as it may sound, I wanted to actually see the names on the ballot, hoping I would have some kind of epiphany. Sometimes, the urgency of the moment can clarify things. I decided to go for McCain, mostly because of who he would likely nominate if a Supreme Court slot opened up. I just have a hard time taking Barr seriously given his past, and so I weighed the Supreme Court issue more heavily than my strong distaste for our 2-party system.
11.4.2008 12:05pm
DNL (mail):
I am.

I prefer Obama to McCain, but that's mostly because:
a) Bush failed, miserably;
b) McCain lacks the temperament to be President;
c) I'd like to see a return to Goldwater/Reagan in the GOP.

However, I don't like Obama's platform and certainly do not like the idea of Obama in the Oval Office plus a Democratic Congress. Those two things are inevitable, and many expect Obama to win, running away with the thing.

So, I'm considering voting McCain (and will choose finally in about 90 minutes) because I think the world is expecting an Obama landslide, and a "mere victory" may limit his mandate.

But that seems like a silly reason to vote for the person you'd prefer not win.
11.4.2008 12:06pm
Casper the Friendly Guest (mail):
I always tell pollsters and door-knockers that I'm undecided. I hardly ever am. I do, however, reserve the right to change my mind up once I'm in the voting booth, and I have done so several times (mostly primaries but also one Senate race). Not this year.
11.4.2008 12:07pm
FWB (mail):
Until yesterday I leaned toward the CP but the remarks of a state leader showed me the error of my ways. I marked my entire ballot leaving the Pres for last. I cannot support even a closet socialist. I truly believe none of us know a damn thing about any of these people and that we need to return to a proper electoral college wherein the members of the college select a true leader. Our system rewards demagogues which is exactly why the Framers tried to eliminate the People from the picture. People are lazy, greedy, and shallow.

I stared at the McCain/Palin bubble and promptly marked in the one for Barr.

It is time for real alternatives to the two major parties. G Washington warned us about the parties and he was correct.

Dominus providebit!
11.4.2008 12:08pm
timd:
I was undecided until this weekend, when I filled out my absentee ballot. I was *not* undecided about the candidates...I've known how I feel about each of them for months.

But it wasn't clear to me whether I should:
(a) Vote for McCain to avoid putting two branches of the government in the hands of the Democrats.
(b) Vote for Obama, because - on the off-chance that he governs like Clinton - he has the potential to be a great President, or
(c) Vote for Barr because his views are closest to mine.

In the end, I voted for Obama. And, yes, I realize that I may very quickly come to regret this.
11.4.2008 12:09pm
Trassin (mail) (www):
I knew who I was going to vote for in the presidential race, Bob Barr, for a while now. I made up my mind for my congressional district on the way to the polls this morning though, finally deciding on what I think is the less of the three evils available to me (Illinois 18th).
11.4.2008 12:11pm
IULaw Ben (mail):
I took the same strategy into the booth that Kevin R [above] did. I was unsure how I would vote - it was between McCain and Barr, both candidates on the ballot here in Indiana. But in the end I decided I could not stand to see my state turn blue, and voted for the lesser of two evils. If McCain wins Indiana by one vote, it was me.
11.4.2008 12:12pm
Reinhold (mail):
I'm undecided and haven't voted yet (but will this afternoon). I'm undecided because, on the one hand, I see the benefits of divided government. Also, based on the candidates' records, I think McCain would probably be a better president because, though Obama is allegedly open minded, he has essentially always concluded that the conventional democratic position is right. I typically disagree with that position: opposition to CAFTA; renegotiation of NAFTA; support for agricultural subsidies and ethanol subsidies; support for unions; support for judges who show "empathy," and the like. Whereas McCain has shown that he's willing to work across the aisle on many issues (some of which I disagree with him about). And I'm not sure that a candidate's posturing to persuade a largely irrational voting population necessarily suggests what type of president he or she will be.

But on the other hand, I think the Republicans deserve a proverbial kick to the teeth with both feet. I think some time in the wilderness will be good for the party. I'm disappointed in their attacks on the "elite." I think Obama may be a moderate who has a chance to be a great president. Our standing in the world will be immediately (at least somewhat) restored, even if only for a short time. And I'm a little twitchy about voting for any chance that Sarah Palin could ever become president. Although I think in many cases she has been unfairly maligned, it would be a disaster if she became president. No one would trust her. Finally, to the extent that campaigning is a "shadow presidency," Obama has mopped the floor with McCain. His choice in some advisers, like Austan Goolsbee, suggest that he will govern as a moderate. So I'm leaning Obama. But I have a few hours before I get to the polls.
11.4.2008 12:12pm
guy in the veal calf office (mail) (www):
I was undecided this morning, but its not a big deal because California will go for Obama and it was a question of where to throw a protest vote.

McCain has demonstrated acts of political courage (telling Iowans that ethanol subsidies were stupid, telling auto workers the truth, etc), but is just too much of a knee jerk statist who fetishizes compromise, which undercuts a "blocking" role. Even by standards of the Libertarian party, Bob Barr is too nutty.

So, as we stood on the sidewalk waiting to vote, we decided to write in the president that we wish we had: James Madison. The lady in front of us overheard most of the conversation, but was too polite to tell us how dumb that was.
11.4.2008 12:13pm
FantasiaWHT:
Honestly, if someone couldn't make up their mind by now (or by weeks, if not months ago, really), I probably don't want them voting.
11.4.2008 12:14pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
To those who say "undecided" to pollsters when they just don't want to tell: Just say, "I'm not telling you." Seriously. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize that "No Response" is more honest than "Undecided". If you don't like sharing your thoughts then just shut up instead of lying.
11.4.2008 12:16pm
hattio1:
I was not undecided on the Presidential race for a long time. I have often been undecided on local races (including statewide). I agree with the previous poster who said most of the undecideds are probably undecided between a major party candidate and a third party that leans their way. I imagine very few (though some have already posted) are undecided between McCain and Obama.
11.4.2008 12:16pm
A.C.:
There are lots of legitimate reasons to be on the fence and to consider a lot of things while making a hard decision. And there are lots of reasons other than racism not to reveal a preference even when you know what it is.

But I'm not sure about real last-minute decisions. When I can't come up with any halfway persuasive (to me) reason to vote one way or another in a contest, I tend to leave that one blank. This is more likely to happen in races lower on the ticket, but I have been known to leave the presidential one blank and vote for the others. Not this year, though.
11.4.2008 12:16pm
Tomm:
I decided a few months ago I dislike them all and am not voting. Nothing the candidates have said since then changed my mind.
11.4.2008 12:18pm
EH (mail):
they probably aren't undecided as much as they just don't want to tell anyone

This is absolutely me. Call it not the Bradley effect, but the Pollster Effect with undecideds being thereby overrepresented in polls.

Can you imagine what the campaigns would be like without parasitic pollsters involved? I can't, and I think that's a bad thing.
11.4.2008 12:24pm
Pon Raul (mail):
Tom, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
11.4.2008 12:33pm
Talkosaurus:
I work academically in a political field and I'm still undecided. I'll be 'undecided' until I pull the level today, and in heart 'undecided' long after that. It's a contest between two wildly underwhelming candidates; frankly, outside of the die-hards and status-seeking chattering classes I don't know who can feel strongly 'decided' this election.

In McCain I've got a candidate I've never liked, and I'm sure would perform underwhelmingly in the Presidential role at this point in time. In Obama I've got a candidate whose an empty sieve. Even though I lean conservative, by the fact Obama doesn't have much record at all one could say he may perform better than McCain. On the downside, he could play the role of 60's/70's 'conventional Government liberal' to a T, playing empty, divisive 'Ward politics' on a national scale, making him much worse than McCain. So I've got a choice between a guy I know will perform badly vs. a guy who may be a bit better, but conversely may do worse with his 'downside' being much more grim than McCain's.

Huzzah for this election.
11.4.2008 12:33pm
Gregory Conen (mail):
Though I eventually decided to go for Obama, I was undecided until about a month ago.

It's largely a matter of having to way the pros and cons of each candidate. Neither one is perfect, and neither one would be horrible. And, since I voted in Ohio, a protest vote seemed inappropriate.
11.4.2008 12:34pm
Tom952 (mail):
I'm not sure.
11.4.2008 12:36pm
PC:
The top of the ticket was an easy choice, but I wasn't sure about the Senate and House races. I don't like any of the major party candidates so I voted for Libertarian for Senate and a third party, unaffiliated for House. At least the Libertarian seems somewhat sane.
11.4.2008 12:38pm
The Non-Partisan Case Against Barack Obama (mail) (www):
I'm still undecided, but I'm in CA so it's OK. Should I vote for Obama in order to make CA look even more like the ground zero of idiocracy? No, I don't think I'll do that. So, I'll decide between writing in Hillary or Tancredo at the booth.
11.4.2008 12:38pm
ShelbyC:

If you don't like sharing your thoughts then just shut up instead of lying.




Who asked ya'?
11.4.2008 12:39pm
Mike S..:
I was undecided until this morning. I don't like either of them, but decided to vote for mccain given the polls so as to narrow the margin. As a confirmed moderate, I do not want either party to feel like they have a mandate to satisfy the ideologues on either side.
11.4.2008 12:40pm
mf24 (mail):
I dislike both candidates and had decided to vote only on tha ballot questions.

However, I'm now tempted to vote McCain so A Law Dawg and other Obama fans will put me on their 'possible racists' lists.
11.4.2008 12:42pm
KeithK (mail):
Considering the possibility of high turnout and long lines I hope there are very few people who actually wait until they are in the booth to decide. Pondering in the booth slows things down for everyone. If you need that time to come a final reasoned decision then take it. But try to figure it out on the way there if you can.
11.4.2008 12:49pm
David Warner:
trad,

"I suspect that most of the remaining undecideds at this point are those who are wavering between one of the majors and a third party. The vast majority of those will decide they don't want to "throw away their vote" in a close election and vote for the major party candidate."

I was undecided (between McCain and Obama) until the day I voted. But thanks to early voting, that day was October 4.
11.4.2008 12:49pm
Metoo:

I think the Republicans deserve a proverbial kick to the teeth with both feet.

The problem with your plan is that it will give all of America a kick in the teeth.

Obama = Evil of two lessers.
11.4.2008 12:51pm
Neal Peart:
Pon Raul:
Tom, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.


That's what Freewill is all about, Pon.

Love me some Rush references.
11.4.2008 12:53pm
Neil Peart:
Neal Peart:
Pon Raul:
Tom, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

That's what Freewill is all about, Pon.

Love me some Rush references.


And apparently I love spelling my name correctly as well.
11.4.2008 12:54pm
Dave N (mail):
I'll decide between writing in Hillary or Tancredo at the booth.
Clinton-Tancredo--now there is schizophrenic ticket for you.
11.4.2008 12:56pm
JamesInSeattle (mail):
I wonder how many of the undecideds are just not interested in expressing coherent political thoughts to random people calling them on the phone, but still want to talk.

Is the bulk of the "undecided" number really just measuring chattiness, boredom, or loneliness? If you answer undecided, the conversation goes on longer.
11.4.2008 12:58pm
Redrosespeedway:
I am still undecided. I think Obama might be the right choice for these times, but I can't give my vote to a candidate whose ideas are so far from mine. I think the Republicans deserve to lose this election, and John "we need to stabilize home prices" McCain does not inspire me at all. I will probably throw out my vote and go with Barr. Sad.
11.4.2008 12:58pm
gasman (mail):
Surprised that there are undecided?
Even Vizzin's dizzying intellect cannot help:
MAN IN BLACK: Let the game of wits begin.
VIZZINI : Now, a clever party would put the socialist candidate onto his own ticket, because he would know that only a great fool would vote for what he was given. I'm not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the candidate in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the candidate in front of me.
MAN IN BLACK: You've made your decision then?
VIZZINI: Not remotely. Because liberalism comes from the Dems, as everyone knows. And the Dems are entirely peopled with former 70's radicals. And radicals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the candidate in front of you.
MAN IN BLACK: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
VIZZINI: Wait till I get going! Where was I?
MAN IN BLACK: The liberal Dems.
VIZZINI: Yes -- the liberals; and you must have suspected I would have known the radical origin, so I can clearly not choose the candidate in front of me.
MAN IN BLACK: You're just stalling now.
VIZZINI:(cackling)You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten the Woman, which means you're exceptionally strong. So, you could have put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you. So I can clearly not choose the candidate in front of you. But, you've also bested the Trial Lawyer which means you must have studied. And in studying, you must have learned that man is mortal so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
11.4.2008 12:59pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

To those who say "undecided" to pollsters when they just don't want to tell: Just say, "I'm not telling you." Seriously. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize that "No Response" is more honest than "Undecided". If you don't like sharing your thoughts then just shut up instead of lying.

Except that "No response" does not get counted by pollsters, but "undecided" does get counted. They affect the percentages differently.
11.4.2008 1:00pm
Gino:
I'm also in a battleground state and am undecided between McCain and Barr. I'm a large-"L" Libertarian and like to vote with the party, but I'm not sure I want four (or two) years of Democratic control either. It's a tactical decision -- how best to apply my vote -- not a lack of information about the candidates or issues. I find it interesting that so many people in my situation are breaking the same way; this may be the thing that makes the difference for McCain.
11.4.2008 1:01pm
Malvolio:
I was undecided until I was actually in the booth. I like Obama, but he is wrong, wrong, wrong on every policy issue that matters. McCain I admire to some extent (and more since I visited Hoa Lo Prison, now a museum, this spring and realized I was scared at the gift shop) but he shouldn't be president and, owing to McCain-Feingold, probably shouldn't be senator.

Finally, I pulled the lever (actually, blacked in a little arrow) for Barr. I know nothing about the man except that he isn't McCain or Obama.
I think we will find that a large portion of undecideds are actually self-recognized but undeclared McCain voters. I also suspect this group holds a lot of closet racists.
I'm going to (I assume) violate the norms of this group but uphold its spirit by saying, "Fuck you." (Sorry, Dr. Post.)

11.4.2008 1:08pm
Casper the Friendly Guest (mail):

To those who say "undecided" to pollsters when they just don't want to tell: Just say, "I'm not telling you." Seriously. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize that "No Response" is more honest than "Undecided". If you don't like sharing your thoughts then just shut up instead of lying.


Why should I? As another poster mentioned, my undecided response gets counted, while my No Reply does not. I want my state to be a battleground state. I want the candidates to come here, get to know our issues and concerns, make us promises, and get cozy with our state officials. I want them to have lots of rallies in our state, if it boosts the local economy. In sum, it benefits my community to say that I am undecided. It does not benefit my community to give a response that puts my state out of play early on.

As for honesty, why would I feel a duty of honesty to strangers who are calling my home or knocking on my door? At any rate, I don't feel that saying "undecided" is lying because I reserve the right to change my mind based on campaign developments, and I have done so in the past.
11.4.2008 1:15pm
Ralphe (mail) (www):
I was decided about who I would vote for when I went into the polling place but undecided when I left.

You see the optical reader was broken and unable to scan the ballots. The poll worker said that after the machine was fixed the workers would go ahead and scan the ballots in.

With luck, if it comes out 100 percent one way or the other, by tomorrow I will know who I voted for.
11.4.2008 1:23pm
Mike S..:
The one time I was polled, I decided my answers by flipping a coin. Political polling undermines democracy by encouraging politicians to say what the audience wants to hear rather than what they think. I feel it my civic duty to do what I can to ruin polls. And if I were ever asked to be part of a focus group for a campaign, I'd make up random answers. Commercial surveys i will answer honestly for a fee.
11.4.2008 1:26pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

I leaned toward the CP


I am very surprised to find someone here who was leaning toward the Communist Party. :)

Or is the meaning of "CP" a generational thing?
11.4.2008 1:42pm
alonzo portfolio (mail):
I'm hoping that when I get into the booth, I'll develop some sort of clear-headed idea of what a "racist" actually is. I mean, I don't know anyone who's ever given any indication of unease with skin color per se, anyone who's ever been rude or dismissive toward anyone black, anyone who believes blacks are inherently less intelligent, don't know anyone who makes black jokes or uses epithets, and yet I and many people I know revel in any opportunities to suspect someone else is a racist. The funny thing is, I don't spend any more time with black people than the people I'm suspecting. Is there something wrong with me?
11.4.2008 1:44pm
John M. Perkins (mail):
I was somewhat undecided in the Presidential till Georgia became a battleground state. McKinney was too detestable. I didn't decide on the U.S. Senate race till I was at the booth. Buckley almost got my vote.
11.4.2008 1:51pm
A Law Dawg:
However, I'm now tempted to vote McCain so A Law Dawg and other Obama fans will put me on their 'possible racists' lists.



I think we will find that a large portion of undecideds are actually self-recognized but undeclared McCain voters. I also suspect this group holds a lot of closet racists.


I'm going to (I assume) violate the norms of this group but uphold its spirit by saying, "Fuck you." (Sorry, Dr. Post.)


Fair enough. But keep in mind I'm not saying that all (or even most) undecideds are racists. I just suspect, based on my experiences here in Georgia, that many *of those who are* racists are hiding in the "undecided" response.
11.4.2008 1:55pm
U.Va. Grad:
I went in this morning not knowing who I would vote for in the Minnesota senate race. This wasn't due to lack of information; I had listened to one debate and watched another, in addition to checking out the candidates' websites. I really just had no idea.

I put that choice off until the end, and eventually decided to vote for Dean Barkley because his politics match up reasonably well with mine, and he didn't seem nearly as bitter as Franken or sleazy as Coleman.
11.4.2008 2:14pm
Seamus (mail):

As for the other 16%, like my wife, they probably aren't undecided as much as they just don't want to tell anyone.



When a pollster called my wife (who foolishly didn't use Caller ID to screen the call) and asked, "If the election were held today, which of the two candidates, Barack Obama or John McCain, would you vote for?", she answered "I wouldn't vote for either if you put a gun to my head." To which the pollster said, "If the election were held today, which of the two candidates, Barack Obama or John McCain, would you be more likely to vote for?" She replied with the same answer she gave to the first sentence. The pollster was silent for several seconds and then said, "Thank you for your time," and hung up. Our daughter, on being told of the exchange, said, "You know, don't you, that they put you down as undecided?" So that's another possible explanation of the surprisingly high number of undecided voters.
11.4.2008 2:17pm
dave h:
I consider myself pretty well informed about the races, but I am at this moment still undecided, because I think the information needed to decide (what will actually happen as a result of a given president) is not known (or knowable). I have absolutely no confidence in being able to predict which candidate will, in the long run, produce the results that I would prefer. I have no desire to guess randomly, and don't particularly like either candidate, so my inclination when I vote in an hour or so is to write in "no", which is an option I wish we had.
11.4.2008 2:17pm
Seamus (mail):
gasman:

So which candidate is more likely to get us into a land war in Asia? (Let alone go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line?)
11.4.2008 2:20pm
A.C.:
Aren't we technically in two land wars in Asia? That train has left the station.
11.4.2008 2:38pm
Robert_of_Connecticut (mail):
I was undecided. Honestly, if you'd told me five years ago that I was going to vote democrat today I would have laughed at you. I could not foresee the financial ruin we'd be in (with more on the way?). I voted Obama, begrudgingly. I voted mostly republican on local matters. And I voted against the Connecticut Constitution Convention. Anyways, plus to McCain - basically just guns. I like guns, I like hunting, I'm not a gun nut, but I support people who are. I'm also pro choice, so Obama has that. On the economy, I don't know, I think both candidates plans are bad.
11.4.2008 2:39pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Seamus the question is which candidate is more likely to get us OUT of a land war in Asia.
11.4.2008 2:44pm
A Law Dawg:
Seamus the question is which candidate is more likely to get us OUT of a land war in Asia.


Is it considered passe to ask which one would win those wars?
11.4.2008 2:49pm
Slocum (mail):
I didn't decide for sure until very recently. It's been clear for some time that Obama was a lock in Michigan, so no worries about my vote being decisive in the outcome. Given the inevitability of an Obama victory, I would prefer a smaller rather than larger victory--if Obama feels the need to govern as a centrist, he might be OK, even good. But if he (and congressional Democrats) feel they have a mandate to govern as far left as they like, it could be a disaster.

So then it came down to McCain or Barr. I don't have much use for the Libertarian Party itself, but it was a way to register my dissent against an Obama landslide with a vote that signaled my preferences (Republicans or Democrats -- if you want my vote next time, you know what I want).

As I read over the local newspaper voters guide, though, it was really depressing. I am SO DAMN SICK of my choices being between:

1. Democrats whose economic policies and nannying I hate, and
2. Republicans whose anti-gay, anti-science, religiosity I hate, and
3. Libertarians who have no chance in hell (and are often nutty to boot).
11.4.2008 2:52pm
PC:
Is it considered passe to ask which one would win those wars?

Hell, it's considered passe to ask someone to define "win."
11.4.2008 3:04pm
A.C.:
Slocum sums up the choices rather nicely, I think. My solution would be to ditch all the symbolic, which-team-am-I-on issues. So no religious appeals unless attached to a real policy issue. If you want to argue bioethics about stem cells or some other issue, come out and argue bioethics like a grown-up instead of trying to find a way to rig the game. Similarly, no politics of personal behavior or efforts to tidy up the nation's psychological health from the left.

Most of the crap goes away if we force politicians to stick to economic policy, law enforcement, and public works. We'll still have to argue about regulatory policy (all the more so if the government shoves its way deeper into health care), but I don't mind those arguments if people approach them head-on rather than trying to do them symbolically and indirectly. I'd actually enjoy politics if it spent more time on what and how and less time on why the other side is evil.
11.4.2008 3:11pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I know at least two people who were undecided until they had the pencil in their hands to mark the ballot. The problem was just how much of a crap sandwich they were willing to eat. They had to do a body check right up to the last minute.
11.4.2008 4:08pm
wekt:
I went to the polls still undecided about whether to vote McCain or vote Libertarian. (Voting for Obama was out of the question due to his stance on the Second Amendment, the nearly filibuster-proof Democratic majority expected to be in Congress, and other issues.) I ended up voting Libertarian; I couldn't stomach voting for McCain. For the state positions, I knew well in advance who I would vote for; they all happened to be Republicans.
11.4.2008 4:35pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
Not so much undecided but conflicted - I spent at least ten minutes in the shower mindlessly applying conditioner and debating with myself. Half of it was over the statewide payday lender bill (changed my mind at the last minute on that one) and the other half was on actually picking That Guy I Can't Stand for President. Other options included The Other Guy and The Poser With That One Goofy Party That Takes Itself So Very Very Seriously.

Honestly, it helped a whole lot that the Other Guy's followers had put up signs outside my polling place, and that one of them wore a CafePress shirt with his logo on it into the polling place, which are both against the law -- and both issues were ignored by precinct workers. If the Other Guy wins, I can say I didn't vote for him despite enormous pressure; if That Guy I Can't Stand wins, I can take solace in the fact that all the choices were totally lame.

Also, I didn't make any decisions about local or statewide races until last night, but that was on purpose. Some of the people running for posts like County Coroner and State Board of Education didn't even set up websites until this month; there was no reason to make a decision earlier. Same goes with the hall-of-gaining-money-through-luck issue on the statewide ballot; I decided only two weeks ago on that one (seeing the farms by the Renaissance Festival that would get replaced wasn't enough - it took a blonde woman on TV who got laid off saying that the hall-of-gaining-money-through-luck was, and I quote, her "last chance.")

Incidentally - I talked with a relative of the guy behind the hall-of-gaining-money-through-luck issue (I've known her for a while, didn't know she was related) and everything I heard her say made me feel pretty good about the way I voted. Here's hoping I can say the same thing in a few months about my other choices... 2004 and especially 2000 didn't work out so well for me in that respect.

(oh, and your forbidden word filter is almost as lame as the choices in this election, guys.)
11.4.2008 6:13pm