Undecided voters aren’t as rational as you think. Members of the political class may disparage undecided voters, but we at least tend to impute to them a basic rationality. We’re giving them too much credit. I met voters who told me they were voting for Bush, but who named their most important issue as the environment. One man told me he voted for Bush in 2000 because he thought that with Cheney, an oilman, on the ticket, the administration would finally be able to make us independent from foreign oil. A colleague spoke to a voter who had been a big Howard Dean fan, but had switched to supporting Bush after Dean lost the nomination. After half an hour in the man’s house, she still couldn’t make sense of his decision. Then there was the woman who called our office a few weeks before the election to tell us that though she had signed up to volunteer for Kerry she had now decided to back Bush. Why? Because the president supported stem cell research. The office became quiet as we all stopped what we were doing to listen to one of our fellow organizers try, nobly, to disabuse her of this notion. Despite having the facts on her side, the organizer didn’t have much luck.
* Headlines I wish I’d never read: “Your pillow is a lot like a toilet seat, microbially speaking.”
* Obama +5 in Ohio. I know Romney technically has other paths to victory, but I still think that’s the ballgame.
* Sadly prudent: Many undocumented immigrants eligible for a reprieve from deportation under the Obama administration’s DREAM Act-inspired policy shift are choosing not to apply because of fears of their applications being used against them if Mitt Romney wins the presidency.