Pressure mounts for undecided voters to make up minds



When The News Outlet began following undecided voters in mid-August, the Columbus Dispatch reported that 10 percent of Ohio’s registered voters were undecided.

That number has dwindled as the presidential election approaches. About 5 percent of voters tell pollsters they remain undecided, according to The Atlantic magazine.

President Barack Obama’s campaign has spent more than $25 million in television ads in the Akron, Canton and Cleveland area, according to analysis of ad contracts by ProPublica, a national investigative news organization. Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign has spent just more than $9 million in the same market. The Republican candidate has spent much of the last month touring bellwether Ohio, in an attempt to court last-minute undecided voters.

The most recent polling average has Obama leading the presidential race in Ohio by 1.9 points, according to Real Clear Politics, which tracks and aggregates polling statistics.

Kathy Chicoine of Cuyahoga Falls was very active in elections in the past, volunteering to make calls, distribute literature and attend rallies.

This election year, Chicoine wasn’t passionate about either candidate. After the final presidential debate, she decided that although neither candidate’s plan stood out to her, she would still vote.

“I need the candidates to break down their plans like I’m a fifth grader,” she said. “It is better to think through a decision before acting.”

Joe Sullivan, 60, of Boardman found himself see-sawing between the two candidates. Before the first debate, he was for the president. After that debate and Obama’s poor performance, Sullivan changed his mind.

He decided to wait until after the final debate to make a decision.

“It’s too important not to vote,” he said. “I went with my gut instinct.”

He decided to support the president.

Despite many reservations, Jody Jacobson of Cleveland voted via absentee ballot. She had planned to support Mitt Romney, but that support was not unwavering.

“I still feel that I chose the lesser of two evils. Let’s just hope and pray that whoever becomes president figures out our economy.”

Doug Livingston, Suzy Starheim and Kayleigh Bracht contributed to this story. is a collaborative effort between the Youngstown State University journalism program, Kent State University, The University of Akron and professional media outlets including, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown), The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).