Op-Ed of the Day: Who are the undecided voters?

Today we talked about battleground states and Kerri asked, “Who are the undecided voters that the campaigns are courting?”

Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times went looking for an answer to that question, too.

For all we’re hearing about the importance of undecided voters, there aren’t many of them left.

In a Washington Post-ABC poll from earlier this month, only 3 percent of likely voters were undecided.

So who are these undecideds? MacManus found one of these rarities:

Mary Tate, a 67-year-old retired plywood company worker in Danville, Va., another swing state, is one of the genuinely perplexed. She voted for President Obama in 2008, but this time, she said, “I’m kind of on the fence. I’m leaning a little bit toward Romney, but I’m not positive.”

What’s pushed her away from Obama? “The debt,” she said. “Obama was handed a big mess; you can’t solve a problem that big in just four years. But I don’t like the debt he’s putting on us.”

How do the campaigns woo a conflicted voter? They’ll spend money says MacManus:

As Vanderbilt political scientist John G. Geer told me: “A billion dollars is chasing 5% of the vote in 20% of the states.”

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host