“It’s the lesser of the two evils,” says Alexandra Klos, a first time voter. Klos like many other registered voters, was not definitive behind either candidate. Klos made her decision between the two candidates based on who she found to be less detrimental to the country.
So many voters this time around were unsure as to which candidate they planned to vote for, which could be the result of the divisions within the political parties. Just looking from the outside the casual observer might see three choices; democrat, republican, or independent. But over time the political parties have split into subdivisions. There exist sub groupings within of Republican, Independents, and Democrats. Instead of two rigid parties with some indecision in the middle, choices amongst political parties has developed into a vast spectrum. The variation of values, platforms, and beliefs within each party itself, makes it harder for people to decide on a candidate who support; considering the candidate chosen to represent them demonstrate many of the same values, but vary in some major areas. Many people found it hard in this election to find one candidate who shared all of the same ideals that they held.
This division amid the parties could explain some of the flip flopping on stances among candidates; depending on the audience a candidate is speaking to he might tailor his speech to focus on shared main issues, or rephrase his speech to sound more accepting. The fact that candidates were making last minute stops in battle ground states shows that they were still hoping to sway the indecisive and undecided voters at the poles.
Alexandra Klos is a third year speech pathologist major at Duquesne University, she is 20 years old, and a registered independent. She made her choice on candidates based on who she thought would be the lesser of the two evils, as opposed to standing firmly behind the beliefs and platforms of either.
Klos is not alone. In the hours leading up to the closing of the poles, people still had yet to decide who they were voting for. While votes were being counted and electoral votes being tallied, the race remained extremely close, going back and forth with the lead between Romney and Obama. It was no clear cut landslide victory for either candidate, who had to sweat it out for hours before finding out the results. The Pew Research study entitled ‘Beyond Red vs. Blue’ found a large increase in the number of independent voter rising from 30% to 37% within the past seven years.
With the next election, the political parties should be able to select candidates who will better connect with those who were indecisive this election.