Skip to comments.The Psychology of the Undecided Voter
Posted on 10/30/2008 5:19:03 AM PDT by WalterSkinner
As the November elections approach, Barack Obama and John McCain are both spending much of their time wooing voters who say they haven't made up their minds about which candidate to support.
Now a new study examining the psychology of the undecided voter suggests the candidates and their campaigns may be wasting their time and money.
(Excerpt) Read more at webmd.com ...
‘Undecided’? Is that like being a little pregnant?
Yes I would hate to be trying to decide if Capitalism or Communism is a better plan. Obama is right around 50% in polls. That should translste to a loss if polls are correct. Africans are not undecided at all. The election will come down to how many whites are willing to “give the communists a chance”
To the average voter, Bush and Kerry weren't that different. So, I'm not surprised that a significant percentage had a hard time making up their mind. But this time, the candidates are much different. Historically, that results in a landslide in favor of one or the other. But, it's not happening this time.
Much has been said about the "Bradley effect", which posits that some people are unwilling to admit to a pollster that they won't vote for Obama due to racial prejudice. That may account for some of it.
I'm wondering if some of the undecided voters are not willing to admit their choice to a pollster because of someone else in the room. There was a really popular thread yesterday about friendships and family relationships that are breaking up over this election. Maybe "undecided" is a face-saving position.
For that matter, maybe the choice of McCain or Obama is a face-saving position: tell the pollster one thing while someone else is within earshot, but cast a different vote in the polling booth. However, I don't know how you could quantify this effect.
I’m not sure that I put too much stock into their millisecond hesitation conclusions. The undecideds may well be less than the pollsters and media want us to believe.
But if the researchers only based their conclusion on one study....and not even a study involving Americans....they may have overstated their research.
I do think that most people have made up their minds, but will not state publicly...
I read an article once about how some people actually go vote still undecided. Many of these actually pick the first name on the ballot. Some ballots are random, but a suprising number are listed in alphabetical order of the last name of the candidates. In a close election, these extra votes could make a difference. Hence we have had: Carter, Clinton, and two Bushes, all high alpha names that have actually won very close elections. McCain comes before Obama.
I remember reading in the “Left Behind” series about people who throughout the Tribulation remain undecided. It’s because they want more and more ‘proof’ or for some reason think that both sides should be catering more to them.
Naturally of course now is the time to start making difficult decisions and taking a stand. Sooner or later these undecideds will end up in a worse place.
“I’m wondering if some of the undecided voters are not willing to admit their choice to a pollster because of someone else in the room.” This is a fresh and maybe very workable explanation. Good job!
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