We have had a number of exchanges here about how anyone could be undecided. We have speculated that most of them were decided but unwilling to tell a pollster their choice. I hope that what follows will shed some light on some undecided voters.
Last night I got my hair cut. The woman in my life gets her hair colored and styled every six weeks or so and while her color is setting her stylist cuts my hair. The undecided voter is the stylist. She is in her 50s. She had her own salon for a couple of decades, got tired of the grind, sold the salon and now rents a chair in another salon. For the last couple of years every six or so weeks we have talked about the state of the nation. She has been directly exposed to the impact of the Obama economy. She has felt the down turn as people have stretched their appointments. She has listened to their complaints about their own fiscal situations. She has said that she regrets voting for Obama. She is willing to admit that he has proved not to be the person for whom she thought she voted. She forcefully states that she does not want for more years like the last four years. So I ASSumed that she was going to vote for someone else. Over the last few months I have jokingly told her that her penance was to get 4 of her friends to vote for Romney. She’s watched all the debates.
Last night she asked if I watched the debate and what I thought about it. So I shared with her my analysis about Romney’s hitting Obama on key issues and Obama making points on issues that are less relevant to undecided voters. I explained why Romney’s reference to fast and furious sets up the coming foreign policy debate and why Libya matters more than pundits think.
Imagine my surprise when she looked at me with deep angst and said that she was undecided and “I don’t love your guy like you do”. I explained that I don’t love Romney but think that he’ll do a much better job than Obama and that if Obama is reelected the next four year will be far worse than the last four.
So here is why Romney is not leading by 10+ across the board. There is a group of low information voters who despite the fact that they see the failures and hate what is going on and don’t like Obama anymore, are unable to take the step of voting for the “other guy”. The conversation made me very very sad. She’s not mindless, but she is unable to get to a decision point. Unable to see that her own values and views should shape her choice. She just “doesn’t like Romney”. Rationality vs emotion.
Politics bends people’s thinking. This woman successfully ran a business in a very competitive situation for 20 or so years. She made hard decisions. She dealt with reality. But when it come to voting that reality fades away and it comes down to emotion. She is deeply dissatisfied with Obama and does not want to vote for him again, but she doesn’t like Romney. Or perhaps she still yearns for the chimera of 2008 and simply won’t admit it. She is going to walk into the voting booth on November 6th and vote and she has NO idea who that vote will be for. Total crap shoot.
I can only hope that most of the remaining undecideds are not like this woman.