The first Presidential debate is tomorrow. But most polls show most Ohioans have already made up their minds when it comes to which candidate they’ll vote for. There is a small group of undecided voters but as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, it’s hard to reach them and it could be hard for the candidates to reach them too.
These days, finding undecided voters in Ohio is as hard as trying to find a $100 r bill on a sidewalk. After a week and a half of making repeated pleas on Facebook and Twitter and asking nearly everyone I know, I could only come up with two undecided voters who were willing to do an interview for this story. Both are realtors in Central Ohio.
And both men say they are regular voters. But Don Bush says despite the relentless parade of political ads from both sides on television, he can’t bring himself to decide to vote for either Democratic President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Bush: “I’m definitely undecided. I’m one that doesn’t like the process I’ve seen in the past at least three elections I’ve been interested in, where both the Republicans and the Democrats seem like giant corporations that are going to overwhelm the voters with advertising and shut everybody else out.”
Bush says he hasn’t heard anything of value in political ads recently.
Bush: “I don’t want to hear any more political ads. I’m sick of them. They say the same thing. And they don’t have any credibility with anybody.”
Like Bush, Toby Boyce says he’s tired of political ads. Boyce says he believes government should live within its means but he also believes it should help people who cannot help themselves. And he says neither candidate is speaking to both of those values.
Boyce: “The more I look at it, the more I don’t know. You know, I sat there and kept going back and forth. Traditionally I would lean Republican.”
But Boyce says he’s not comfortable with Romney and Boyce says the addition of Paul Ryan as the vice presidential candidate only makes it worse.
Boyce: “Paul Ryan’s stances on women, Paul Ryan's stances on everything else. All of a sudden I’m looking in the mirror going, how can you justifiably vote for a guy that’s taking us back 40 years in different segments of our population? That just scares me.”
But Boyce says he fears he will have to pay more in taxes if President Obama remains in office. Boyce says he doesn’t feel like either candidate is speaking to him.
Boyce: “We’re hearing a lot of stuff and its all negative. But it’s also about strict base talk. Well, if I’m not in your base, it’s almost like you don’t want to appeal to me anymore."
Boyce doesn’t like his choices but he says, in the end, he will still vote.
Boyce: “I’ll vote because it’s something I’ve always done and it’s something I believe strongly in. But I would say, in terms of the presidential election, I might throw my vote away and toss it to some third party candidate that has no chance of winning just because I don’t want to support either one of them.”
Don Bush is also thinking about throwing his vote to a third party candidate. He says many people he talks to say they are not voting for a candidate but voting against one.
Bush: “People are saying who are you going to vote for and I say I don’t know. They begin the conversation with ‘I can’t stand that candidate A so I’m going to vote for candidate B.' And that seems odd to me because when the election is over, that candidate B is going to say, ‘It was a mandate, I won, so my policies will be accepted.'"
Bush says at this point, he’s thinking about not voting in the presidential race at all and just voting the rest of the ballot. In fact he says he thinks voters should have a “none of the above option” so they are forced to vote for someone.
Bush: “And many people believe none of the above could win this election.”