Decision 2012

Oct 16, 2012 8:34 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Presidential campaigns vie for undecided voters

TUCSON - Tonight's presidential debate comes just three weeks out from election day -- and with the race tightening -- the campaigns are working to sway those undecided voters.

Gallup's Daily Tracking Poll shows between six and eight percent of voters remain undecided. Whereas at this point four years ago, about 11 percent of voters still had not decided on who they were going to vote for.

At this point in the election, experts acknowledge, most voters have aleady made up their minds.

"I think it's just best if Romney was voted. I thin khe'd do the best job in my opinion," said Grant Lochotzki, who said he decided on Romney after the first debate.

Tucsonan Paul Jehle, however, says his deep Democratic roots helped him decide.

"I'm voting for Obama mainly because he's more of an environmental president," Jehle told News 4 Tucson.

However, it's those prized undecided voters who the campaigns are fighting for-- and tonight's debate might just be the opportunity to win some over.

"What [the candidates are] going to have to do is explain to that portion in the center how their position is really going to be a best benefit to that group," said local political expert, Kate Kenski.

A mixed reaction to the first presidential debate could mean a hit or miss with the undecided. Kenski said undecided voters are especially unpredictable.

"Where undecided voters are most likely to be influenced by debates are not the debates themselves but the spin that comes out of the media coverage from the debates," Kenski told News 4 Tucson.

That makes tonight's debate-- and the aftermath possibly even more-- an important opportunity as we draw close to election day.

"In some cases, it doesn't matter whether it's a large percentage or not, it matter what state and whether or not that stat holds the balance," said Kenski.

However, Kenski said a strong claim that "hits home" made by either candidate in tonight's debate could help bring out some of those undecided voters.


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