Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey to face off against No. 3 Quinnipiac this weekend -

November 27, 2015

UMass men’s basketball drops first game of season to Creighton in MGM Grand Main Event finals -

November 26, 2015

UMass football prepares for final regular season game against Buffalo Friday -

November 25, 2015

UMass men’s basketball continues hot shooting in rout of Clemson Monday night -

November 24, 2015

SGA votes down letter opposing Baker’s statements on refugees -

November 24, 2015

IPO reaches out to local families to host international students for Thanksgiving -

November 24, 2015

Amherst Police Log: Nov. 20-22 -

November 24, 2015

Local Pioneer Valley food banks aim to fight hunger -

November 24, 2015

UMass club sports present petition alleging lack of resources, communication from athletic department -

November 24, 2015

UMass women’s basketball looks to get back on track in Omni Hotels Classic -

November 24, 2015

An inside look at the UMass club baseball team -

November 24, 2015

UMass men’s swimming proves victorious in Terrier Invitational, Minutewomen finish fourth -

November 24, 2015

The benefits of meditation -

November 24, 2015

In wake of Paris attacks, US should not ditch compassion -

November 24, 2015

Letter to the editor: Students for Justice in Palestine respond to a previous op-ed -

November 24, 2015

Student makes UMass history as first to perform mainstage production in wheelchair -

November 24, 2015

Graduate Employee Organization and UMass administrators meet to talk about late pay issues -

November 23, 2015

UMass Dining encourages different programs to prevent hunger in Amherst -

November 23, 2015

FBI agents explain cyber security at UMass talk -

November 23, 2015

Students present demands and tap administrators for answers, additional information at ‘answering session’ -

November 23, 2015

The undecided are unmasked


It is hard to believe that at this stage in the presidential election, that any voter is still undecided. But apparently, 15 percent of the electorate is still unsure of who to vote for.

Who are these indecisive citizens and how are the candidates eyeing for their attention? Three percent of undecided voters will not decide until the moment they cast their ballot, while the remaining 12 percent are persuadable to either candidate, according to Politico.

In an effort to understand the “undecided” voter, CNN has categorized them into six groups.

The millennial, the 20-25 year old college graduates with multiple part time jobs who are likely to live with their parents. Independent party affiliation who likely voted for Obama in 2008. They consider themselves optimist about American’s future but are turned off by traditional political rhetoric.

The catholic, who tend to be older, with a graduate or advanced degree and middle class social economic status. They have an active voter history with a tendency to lean right.  These votes would agree with Mitt Romney’s conservative social stance, but are more confident in President Obama’s economic plan. In four of the past five presidential elections, the future President carried the Catholic vote.

With the nation’s unemployment rate hovering around eight percent, the unemployed voter, is the key to election success. They have the most to gain in 2012. These voters were likely offended by Romney’s “47 percent” comment, but do not dislike the idea of a businessman in the White House.  They probably voted for Obama in 2008, but have not seen the change and economic improvement they were expecting.

In 2008, Latino’s overwhelmingly voted for Obama, with strong victories in southwest battleground states like Nevada.  This year the Latino vote could go either way.  The Republican family values appeal to the Latino base, but most voters still have a history of voting Democrat. The economy and immigration will be the deciding factors.

The single women demographic will count for almost a fourth of the voting population in 2012. They tend to lean Democratic and have yet to come out of the economic recession better than they were four years ago. In 2010, 55 percent of unmarried women relied on some form of federal assistance, compared to just 18 percent of married women.  Women’s issues from abortion, to birth control will also strongly affect the undecided voter. Romney has been inconsistent on his stance on abortion, while his running mate Paul Ryan’s pro-life stance is crystal clear. Obama’s birth control policy has ruffled feathers among the pious.

While it may seem like Evangelicals and Republicans are one in the same, this election these voters face a conundrum.  They have a hard time picturing a Mormon as president.  The Evangelical voter has a strong effect in important battleground states like Ohio because of their high voter turnout.  While it would be a stretch to suggest they are itching to vote the Democratic ticket, the option of staying at home on Election Day could hinder a Republican win.  This attitude might be short lived given the July Pew Research survey that showed 17 percent of Americans believe Obama is Muslim.

In the sprint to Election Day, both campaigns are focusing their resources on the undecided voters in unprecedented proportions. The latest estimation by the Center for Responsive Politics, revealed that 2012 campaign spending will reach $6 billon. Pollsters predict it will be a tight race and that the undecided voters could close the margins to within just a few percentage points.

Terranova Tasker is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at

One Response to “The undecided are unmasked”
  1. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    If unemployment was calculated the way it was in the 1930s, it would be higher now than then. If it was calculated the way it was in the 1970s, they would be using the U-6 figure which has been about 18%.
    The quoted unemployment rate is the U-1 rate, which is a classic case of re-defining terms so as to make things look better than they actually are.

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