October 30th, 2008
10:07 PM ET

Can undecideds swing the vote?

Bill Schneider
Senior Political Analyst

Undecided voters are almost all whites. Very few African-American voters are undecided. White voters favor McCain. So it would not be surprising to see more undecided voters going for McCain than for Obama as they make up their minds. That will tighten the race up a bit. But are there enough undecided voters left for McCain to overtake Obama? Don’t think so.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Leon

    They are white middle class voters that don't like McCains views,
    put can't get past the fact Obama's black.
    some thing they have been afraid of sence birth.
    lets hope for the first time in this countrys history, for the sake of ower
    future they can get past this. look at the white side of this true american leader. and give him a chance. vote Obama

    McCain is that you should realy be afraid of.

    October 31, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  2. Emmerentia

    I have another take on it. I think the majority of undecided are whites in conservative areas who do not want their neighbours or family to know that they are going to vote for Barack Obama, for fear of being harassed and cajoled about it.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Cody

    Most Republicans are undecided. If they pick McCain they are saying we think Republicans have done a great job for the past eight years. They want to vote for McCain and thank Republicans for a great eight years.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Alma

    Hello again ;

    Ange for your information I am not racist in disguise or in denial, speak for your self and not for others. I am Latina and my skin is brown
    now on days uneducated people like your self use that kind of talk. Do not write back to me cause i don't want to fall on your level of IQ.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  5. Alma

    To whom it may concern:
    I am an Undecided voter, and i feel the only reason Obama is ahead is, cause they force Hillary, and Bill Clinton to rally and talk for Obama And Biden. Obama and Biden or afraid of what they will say when they talk in rally's. I was a supporter for Hillary and I don't forget what they did to her, they gave her 1/2 vote ................so I will be voting for McCain and Palin.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  6. Liz from Ga

    I am a Obama advocate, volunteering on his campaign. Mr. Schneider, your post is VERY MISLEADING.

    White women FAVOR Obama, although white men do not. You are not specific in your claim of "undecided whites" (men vs. women).

    The generalizations asserted by the previous poster were derisive. Those sorts of comments are not going to bring voters to Obama's side and they are not going to UNIFY the country. Some people won't vote for him b/c he's black, but many WILL vote for him b/c he's better.

    This has been a roller-coaster of an election. You're prediction may be right, Mr. Schneider, but who thought a bunch of white, mid-western dust belt Iowans would elect a young, upstart African-American Senator from Ill. over Hilary Clinton last January?

    The race talk only adds fuel to the fire. Let's rise up with one voice and say: Obama/Biden, '08

    October 31, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  7. Keith S

    I don't think we have to fear Barack Obama as a terrorist leader. He lacks one critical attribute in most terrorist leaders in that he has never been a combat soldier in any Armed Services. John McCain would be more likely to fit this profile of leader. Most terrorist group only follows leaders with combat backgrounds.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  8. eclipsesg

    i agree

    October 31, 2008 at 12:33 pm |
  9. jim

    Mc Cain can swing undecided voters in droves. All he has to do is bring up the Jimmy Carter Administration. Carter also ran on change. Right change was 21% mortgage rates (I believe mortgage rates under Bush average 6%)14% unemployment and 18% inflation plus allowing a terrorist nation to hold Americans hostage for over 400 days. He should ask voters if they are better off now thant in the Carter Administration. That is what Obama has planned for this country,. Then the race would be over.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:24 pm |
  10. Brian Marder

    I am not convinced that the “polls” are correct. If in fact the primary tool used by these pollsters is the land line telephone, then the authentication of the polls should be questioned. If you consider a three-generational make up of the country – seniors, boomers, and young adults – I would suggest the following. Boomers with land line phones check their Caller ID before answering a call. If they don’t know who it is they tend not to answer the phone at all. Seniors don’t know what Caller ID is and answer every call, then have time to talk with a pollster. Young adults don’t have land line phones and rely greatly on cell phones. These people are not represented correctly in the polls because of this. Young adults seem to be leaning heavily to Barack Obama. If this is true I will not be surprised if there is a strong margin of victory for Barack Obama. This is why the polls do not reflect the theory of why there is not a greater margin to the Democrats with all that is going on. I have not heard any discussion along these lines and would very much appreciate your exploring this issue.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  11. Ken

    It's not they are undecided they just stick with republican. We are getting our hours cut at work and they still won't change from voting republican even though they like Obama's ideas. Open your eyes people republicans are won't change what we have right now.

    October 31, 2008 at 12:12 pm |
  12. Rachel Farris

    I think most of the Undecided intent to vote for someone else on the ballot like Chuck Baldwin, Romney, etc. They think they are making a statement not voting for the regular candidates. A lot of us were undecided at the start. I knew it wouldn't be McCain for me. I had had enough and when he brought Palin on board that ripped it. I kept studying Obama and I do think he is the one. I have ignored all the slurres that the McCain camp have put out. If they would have been true the FBI would have Obama locked up. Alot of the undecided are racists but a a lot of people that I thought would not go with Obama are so...that is a good sign for our country. I feel Obama can truely bring our country together in his gentle, quiet way. I just wish others would wake up before it's too late. I'm afraid of the Two Mavericks. I call them the 3 Stooges minus one.

    October 31, 2008 at 11:49 am |
  13. Kentucky Rose

    Who can be undecided at this point?

    October 31, 2008 at 11:42 am |
  14. KAREN

    Im white and im voteing for OBAMA,I CANT STAND McCAIN,this war needs end they dont want us there ,we are not peace keepers acording to McCain ,he makes no sence at all to me hes not going to win!

    October 31, 2008 at 11:29 am |
  15. Simone

    Comments like the one from Ange infuriate me. I'm not undecided. I'm voting for McCain, but it has nothing to do with his being white. I voted for him because I don't believe Obama's plan makes any sense. He's promising everything to everybody, but he can't pay the bill for it.

    If you do the math, there is no way for him to pay for all his promises. He's paying for his health plan and his economic stimulus plan with the same money. He says the money we save by getting out of Iraq will pay for things. The problem with that is that we're not currently paying for Iraq – it's all just adding to the national debt. So if Obama is planning on paying for something with the money from Iraq – he's just continuing to add to the national debt. He says his healthcare plan with be largely paid for with savings after we have computerized health records. Everyone who has evaluated this plan says that he won't get as much as he says from that, plus what he does get will take 15-20 years to show up. How is he going to pay the bill next year? He can't. I'm not voting for Obama because of his inability to do simple math, not because he's black.

    And quite honestly, I think there are a lot of people who are voting for Obama because he is black – not because his policies make sense.

    I don't discuss my preference for McCain at work or with some of my friends because so many Obama supporters are so over-the-top radical about their opinions. They get angry if you don't agree with them. I also think a lot of people who say they are undecided, really do like McCain, but they don't talk about it because they don't want to be accused of being racist (as in the first comment here).

    October 31, 2008 at 11:24 am |
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