Undecided voters: What will make you decide?

About 40% of the electorate will vote for Kerry no matter what, and about 40% will vote for Bush no matter what (not sure if those percentages are exactly right).

That leaves about 20% of voters who are undecided.

My question to any undecided voters on these boards: What will make you decide whom to vote for?

Are the swift boat veterans’ accusations against Kerry making you think about going for Bush? Are the AWOL accusations against Bush making you think about going for Kerry? Do these issues matter to you? Or would some other news persuade you?

My basic question is: this late in the game, where we know as much as we do about the two candidates and where they stand ideologically, what kind of information would make you go one way vs the other? What kind of information are you waiting for?

No. No. Not much. Mudslinging isn’t going to make up my mind. Generally when I come across it, it’s just a small tally mark in favor of the candidate having mud slung at them. Weird huh? :wink:

Sometime before November, I’ll have to find out more about Kerry’s policies. What did he support in Congress? Foreign policy will play a big part with the current global climate. I would like to see the conflict in Iraq wind down and end. I would like to see the search for bin Laden continue.

Honestly, I think a lot of swing voters could be influenced by something big happening. If bin Laden is captured or killed in the next few months, Bush wins. If something big and ugly happens in Iraq, Kerry is in. It’s too bad really. Your vote should be cast for the person that is most going to guide the country the way you think is best. How do we even know when all you hear in the media is the mud slinging?

Wait and see, wait and see.

Bush has done little to earn my confidence, and all things considered, I wouldn’t want to give him my vote. He has gotten the country into a bit of a jam in Iraq, that is a heavy black mark * against * him. I don’t believe he would led this country towards a better future in the next four years.

Kerry has said little to earn my confidence, all things considered, and I wouldn’t want to give him my vote. I saw part of his speech to the NAACP on the idiot box while walking through Costco and thought he sounded like a runofthemill numskull Democrat, that is a moderate mark * against * him. Ditto on his health care reforms. I do favor Kerry’s stance on revoking the stem cell research ban, that is a check mark for him. But on the whole I don’t believe he would led this country towards a better future in the next four years.

I suppose Kerry is more likely than Bush to get my vote, but I’m not ecstatic about it. I’d really like to see one or the other to convince me he do a good job, but I’m not holding my breath.

Maybe “wait and see” isn’t the most logical to pick a President to vote for, neither one is likely to pull a deus ex machina rabbit out of his ass before November, but I’ll be damned if there is a rational way to wade the the dreck of these two yahoos.

Not so weird.

It was actually Russ Feingold’s strategy in Wisconsin when his opponent Mark Neumann (as generic a Republican you’ll ever find) started with his attack ads.

Feingold’s response to them was to just make fun of the ads. It was actually a rather entertaining election - especially since you could see Neumann’s ads getting more and more desperate as the election grew nearer.


No, neither of these means anything to me. Its the various stances of the two candidates that would sway me, not what they did (or didn’t do) in Vietnam.

I’ll probably wait until the last min. and decide at the polls. Currently I’m toying with voting for Michael Badnarik, but I could still be swayed to Kerry or Bush I suppose if something happens between now and November. I seriously doubt it, but its possible.

What would it take to get me to vote for one or the other? Well, for Bush it would take a lot…I’d have to be convinced that he has a plan on what to do with this stupid war he’s dragged us into. At this point I’m less concerned with WHY we are there (i.e. WMD, Saddam, the tooth fairy, etc) than what the hell are we going to do NOW. In addition I’d need to be convinced he’s going to act a bit more like a fiscal conservative in his next term and try and do something about the deficit, and it would help if he dropped his quasi-religious stances on things like stem cell research. I’d need to be convinced he has a clue on where the economy is going, and some sort of plan on getting it ramped back up and rolling. I’d like to see some kind of longer term initiative from him on things like alternate fuels, and some kind of plan for America’s energy needs in the future. In short, its probably not going to happen.

For Kerry I’d need a bit more details on exactly what he IS going to do. He’s been dancing and juking and generally not coming out with solid positions on various things that are important to me. He’d need to convince me HE has a viable plan for Iraq that doesn’t involve the US tucking tail at this late date and bolting the scene a la Vietnam. So far what I’ve read seems to say he’d be Bush but effective, i.e. his stances look a lot like Bush’s on this, but he claims he’d just do it better. I’d need to be convinced he isn’t really serious about his trade policies of ‘trying to keep jobs in America’ by penalizing companies that use offshore labor (which I think is pandering to the mob). I’d need to be convinced that all his proposed social programs (health care, etc) would be revenew neutral or wouldn’t significantly increase the deficit, and that he has a better plan for generating said revenew than “we’ll just repeal the Bush tax cuts and watch the money roll in”. I’d need to be convinced he has a clue as to what to do with the economy. In short, its probably not going to happen.


My decision will be based in part on things like foreign policy, taxes, and economic issues, but I’ll also be paying attention to each candidate’s stand on gun control, abortion, and stem cell research.

I don’t yet know who I’m voting for, nor if it’ll be a decision between Bush and Kerry.

For the first time in my life I am a one-issue voter. I have little to no confidence that Kerry will pursue an activist foreign policy to thwart the rise of Radical Islam, so he’s out for me.

Bush needs to show me that he is able to learn from mistakes. The fact that the WOT has not been flawlessly executed does not bother me; the fact that Bush seems to be claiming it has does. I also want to hear more plain talk about the planned road ahead, and a clearer idea on where he thinks we stand now.

As of now, I may well opt for some variation on “none of the above.”

Why do you think this? What has Kerry actually said or done that makes you believe that this is the case?

I’m reminded of my boss, a total tighty-rightie (one of those who takes Coulter seriously and wouldn’t miss listening to Limbaugh for dialysis). He’s convinced that voting for Kerry is the same thing as buying a first class plane ticket to the USA for every USA-hating terrorist on the planet.

What has Kerry said to lead you to this conclusion?

Sigh. I am giving my opinions because you asked for them; if you want to argue with them start another thread. I probably won’t show up, but Sam Stone or someone probably will.

  1. He has a long record of voting against nearly every defense or intelligence bill he saw. Granted some of those bills probably did suck; but I’ve never heard of *any *situation where he was “hawkish.” Leading the charge to cut the intelligence budget in the 90s was very, very stupid, and I would have said so at the time. (I tend not to hold people less accountable for errors only visible in hindsight.) Those things seem a lot more relevant to me than what he did or didn’t do in 'nam. I believe US policy at this time must be proactive, even aggressive (with the latter term not necessarily meaning violent); I’ve seen nothing that tells me those are traits he has. When he tries to sound tough, he’s a diplomat trying to sound like a warrior and failing. Diplomats have their place: by 2008 I think we’ll be looking for someone to play “good cop.” But right now, IMO, we need warriors. Not that I’m impressed that W is one, but I think he’s trying.

  2. He has fluttered back and forth between being anti-war and being, now, essentially a “me-too only better” to Bush’s plan. I can respect people who were opposed to the Iraq war; however I have not heard a concrete, realistic alternative proposal (and I’ve been looking: please feel free to resurrect this thread) to Bush’s overall strategy. I also have not heard, concretely, what Kerry would have or will do better. (He’d have tried harder to get France/Germany/Russia to come on board, but I don’t think he’d have succeeded.) What few things he has proposed – such as a firm pullout date for US troops, or 40,000 more troops but promising they won’t go to Iraq – sound to me like bald efforts at political compromise with his anti-war base.

  3. Which is the third problem. Politically, even as president, he’s going to have to do things to placate the far left. People from the Howard Dean wing of the party will be given appointments, and will hold seats in congress, and of course some Pubs will no doubt oppose his foreign policy no matter what it is. To me that will all add up to a directionless foreign policy by committee that will be the worst of all possible worlds.

As I said, I have plenty of problems with Bush. I thought he was too inexperienced to be pres in 2000, and I think that’s been born out. IMO he’s the lesser of two evils, but in the past I’ve usually only put in a name I actually feel good about, and will likely do the same this year.

I want to respect your desire not to have an argument, so I will keep this short. If these issues really are important to you, I’d be happy to discuss them further.

This is not at all true. Again, if you’d like to talk about it, I will, but I would at least ask that you look into the matter for yourself before laying this charge again.

I disagree, although I would have preferred that he actually was “anti-war” at some point. He has actually been very clear that he voted (and would vote again) to give the authority to the President so as to force inspections. I was somewhat surprised myself when I looked back at the text of the resolution, because it does frequently and prominently refer to working with the UN on the matter, which did not happen.

Ditto xtisme’s post pretty much for me. Probably going to be Badnarik barring some unforseen developments.

And now we see why negative ads work.

Well, I’m undecided betwen Kerry and Nader.
A lot of who I vote for depends on whether or not Nader makes the ballot in my state, which I won’t know for a few weeks. As it is, I’m leaning towards Kerry, but if Nader doesn’t make the ballot, then it’s pretty much a shoe-in for Kerry.

But if Nader does make the ballot, I’ll really have to do some deep thinking.

Just now getting back online due to Charley…

I’d be very interested in a thread where people discuss Kerry’s senatorial record. Can’t say I’d participate much, as I’m quite busy this week with school starting up on Monday, but I’d certainly be more interested in reading that than the endless thrashing about who did what where in 1972.

The sentence you quoted was clearly a bit over the top; what I should have said was that as far as I’ve read, Kery has a very weak voting record on defense issues. I’m open to being corrected.

As to Kerry’s “fluttering,” I again exagerrated (I was in a pissy mood last week): he was indeed never “anti-war.” But I think it’s quite safe to say, as the NYT did this week, that he’s tailored his position on it to suit his ambitions, tacking hawkish or dovish as expediency dictated. That’s standard politician behavior, of course, but I don’t think it’s acceptable on something of this magnitude; and the very fact that he feels he can do so suggests to me he doesn’t take the threat as seriously as I do.

Does it bother anyone that Kerry has missed 76% of the public hearings for the Senate Intelligence committee on which he sits? And not just during the current election period - that’s his record for his entire stay on the intelligence committee - an eight year period!

In the year immediately after the first WTC attack, when intelligence was a crticial issue, Kerry missed EVERY intelligence committee hearing. And then he proposed a 6 billion dollar cut in the intelligence budget. This is AFTER the first WTC attack.


His answer: It’s the private hearings that are really important. Unfortunately, the attendance records for those are unavailable.

At which point several Republicans who also sit on the committee said, “That’s okay - we’ll allow you to unseal just your attendance records for the private meetings so everyone can see how well you’ve done.”

Kerry declined.

Kerry has been a lousy Senator. His examination of the POW issue is still controversial. He has no major legislative accomplishments. His attendance record has been poor. He has shown to be a consistent opponent of the intelligence system and the military. Basically, he’s an empty suit. And he knows it, which is why he spent most of his convention speech talking about Vietnam and said almost nothing about his 20 years in the Senate.

It baffles me why anyone thinks he would be a good president.

Honestly it doesn’t really influence my decision one way or the other with him. Its about the issues as I said before in this thread. If my decision to vote for Kerry comes down to a knife edge (something I doubt), then this might influence me slightly.

Do you know if his missing xx% of the vote is radically different than when other Senators/Congressmen have run for President? I’d think that it was pretty normal, just based on the schedule they have to do just to run for President, but I don’t know.

This is a bit more disturbing, and I’d like to see Kerry’s explaination for this (i.e. the missing of every intelligence committe hearing). Is this normal? What were the reasons? Why did he vote the way he voted? Those are things I’d like to see explained. (the explaination given doesn’t cut it btw, i.e. It’s the private hearings that are really important. Unfortunately, the attendance records for those are unavailable. If the other meetings are ‘unimportant’, why do they have them??).

For many (most?) ‘Kerry supporters’ its enough that he’s ‘not Bush’…most other things don’t really factor in. All I can say is, when/if he becomes President he’ll have to show up then. :slight_smile:


Oh, did this week’s GOP Talking Points cheat sheet come out already?

Guess it’s time for some new slime already, since the Swift Bullshitters for Bush are rapidly sinking in credibility.

I’m sorry - since when did discussing a candidate’s actual performance in government constitute ‘slime’? Is EVERY criticism of Kerry ‘slime’? Because this seems more than relevant - it seems critical. Security and war are two of the key issues of this campaign. Kerry’s own site quotes his credentials as being a member of the intelligence committee. In fact, they called him the ‘vice chairman’, but oops, that’s another Kerrey. I’ll give them the ‘honest mistake’ in inflating his resume. But let’s at least discuss his actual intelligence credentials.

But I think this is a topic for a new thread.

Is intelligence underfunded or just moronically organized? Given that Republicans sometimes claim the Democratic solution to every problem is to throw money at it, I don’t know if a budget cut is a strike in and of itself.

Given the kind of issues you’ve flagged as “critical” in the past, you’ll forgive some of us for (heh) liberally applying salt to the matter.