Scrolling Headlines:

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Radiohead returns to the top with gorgeous, illuminating ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ -

May 16, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse advances to quarterfinal of NCAA tournament -

May 16, 2016

UMass baseball outlasts Rhode Island in series finale behind strong pitching of Brandon Walsh -

May 15, 2016

Eileen McDonald’s overtime goal advances UMass women’s lacrosse in NCAA tournament -

May 14, 2016

12 UMass students face possible arrests in connection to an alleged bad LSD trip -

May 14, 2016

UMass baseball falls in first-ever Division I matchup with UMass Lowell 7-3 -

May 11, 2016

UMass baseball gets shut out in nonconference matchup with UConn -

May 10, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Richmond, wins eighth straight Atlantic 10 championship -

May 9, 2016

UMass baseball salvages last game of weekend series with Richmond behind strong eighth inning -

May 9, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse beats St. Joe’s, advance to Atlantic 10 championship game -

May 7, 2016

The undecided are unmasked

MCT

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 ttasker@student.umass.edu

Comments
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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