Here it is, the weekend before the election, and, doggone it, they still can’t make up their mind.
“One day I think I’m going to vote for this one, and the next day I think I’ll vote for that one,” says Arlene Wormell of Petoskey, Mich. “I’ll go into the voting booth and then I’ll decide.”
Says another undecided voter: “I’ll make up my mind this weekend. I have to.”
All told, voters who still haven’t made a choice in the presidential election may number between 10 million and 12 million, maybe more, pollsters say.
The undecided voters tend to be women, middle-aged, living on a tight budget. They lead busy lives and don’t have much time to focus on politics. Their political views are moderate. If they do vote, they are most likely not to vote for Bill Clinton.
In disproportionate numbers, the undecided are “Clinton Republicans” - voters who left the GOP in 1992 to support Clinton but aren’t all that pleased with what they got.
A lot of them simply won’t vote at all, the experts say, and a larger percentage than in the public at large may be willing to give Ross Perot a tumble.
“Between 70 and 100 percent of them are going to end up voting for the challenger,” said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman. In this case, the challenger is either Bob Dole or Perot.
He explains: Usually when people say they really can’t chose, “they’re pretty sure they don’t want to vote for the incumbent but they’re not sure they want to vote for the challenger.”
“In the end, though, that’s what they usually do.”
If people are undecided this close to the election, Mellman said, little things can tip them toward one candidate or another.