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UDecide2008.com, a site dedicated to informing blog-illiterate swing voters, claims “ONE IN 14 AMERICANS IS STILL UNDECIDED.” There’s a kind of excitement to being “undecided.” It makes voters feel valuable; casting a ballot will be the ultimate expression of democratic decision-making, since this cohort of voters ostensibly won’t vote blindly down party lines. The media describes this group of unsettled citizens as election deciders. But how many voters are genuinely undecided, and how many are just coy assholes? Ezra Klein’s Op-ed in the Los Angeles Times argues that the idea of an undecided voter is largely a farce:
“It’s a bit odd that we give the Undecided Voter such a privileged place in American elections. Because from a civic standpoint, few creatures are as contemptible. … Many of those who claim to be undecided are not. Some don’t want to admit their preference.”
The media seems to think the opposite is true.
Science did a study a few months ago that examined the psychology of a undecided voter. They found that:
“People who think they are undecided about an issue often have made up their mind at an unconscious level … ” “It’s not that people are lying to the pollsters,” social psychologist Bertram Gawronskitells said. “It’s that they may not consciously recognize the automatic associations that influence their decisions.”
I think saying you’re “undecided” sounds somehow more sophisticated and thoughtful, but, most of the time, it’s not true. So stop pretending like you don’t know who you’re voting for, “undecided” voters. Because, whether you admit it or not, you know exactly who you’re voting for.