• Nathan Max

No Reason to be Undecided


Cartoon Credit: Phil Hands/Wisconsin State Journal. Undecided voters should be few and far between in 2020.

We see it every four years.


There exists a small segment of the electorate that can never seem to make up their mind. We call them undecided. They are the fence-sitters who, remarkably, can’t figure out who they want to vote for until the very last second.


We see them on our televisions, participating in cable-news focus groups or asking the candidates questions during town-hall meetings. They share their thoughts after debates, rarely coming to a decisive decision either way, frequently scoring the verbal combatants to a dead-even draw.


Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on much these days, but here is one unspoken area in which we have some common ground: Our disdain and exasperation when it comes to these indecisive individuals. These are people who are either terribly uninformed, desperately seeking attention or just plain stupid. Perhaps, even, all three.


Never has there been a clearer contrast among the two main presidential candidates. There are no shades of gray on a single issue. If Joe Biden is for something, Donald Trump is against it. If Donald Trump is for something, Joe Biden is against it.


One could argue that the only other presidential election in U.S. history in which there was a clearer distinction took place in 1864, when Abraham Lincoln sought to continue the Civil War until the South surrendered, and Gen. George B. McClellan wanted to end the fighting.


The vast majority of Americans have made up their mind at this point, more so than four years ago, when undecided voters broke for Trump by a big margin in the final days of the campaign, pushing him to an upset victory.


Donald Trump has his seven distinct categories of voters: The uber-wealthy, business owners, cops, evangelical Christians, gun enthusiasts, racists and conspiracy theorists, with a small smattering of others who might not neatly fit into one of those descriptions. These people comprise about 40 percent of the population, and they all have obvious self-serving reasons why they continue to support the president.


Biden’s supporters also have their reasons, the most obvious being that they desperately want to get rid of Trump. Polls indicate this group is much larger.


How is it possible that some haven’t made up their mind yet? Are these people just more thoughtful and deliberative than you and me? Not even close.


There is no earthly reason why someone should be undecided at this point, but believe it or not, they are out there. With a little more than three weeks to go until election day, and with early voting already taking place throughout the nation, there are still those who don’t know for whom they will vote.


The sad reality is, in normal times, these are the swing votes that can decide elections.


There is a large percentage of the American people who vote for Democrats every time, no matter what. And there is a large percentage of the American people who vote for Republicans every time, no matter what. Those percentages tend to be fairly equal.


These fence-sitters, the people who can never make up their mind, tend to be responsible for all of our fates, much like a swing justice on the Supreme Court. Four years ago, they delivered the election to Trump in a late wave of anti-Hillary Clinton sentiment after then-FBI Director James Comey put his finger on the scales.


With all the October madness coming out of the Trump administration, here’s hoping they break the other way this time.


Or Biden supporters come out in large enough numbers to blunt their possible impact.

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