WBEZ | undecided voters http://www.wbez.org/tags/undecided-voters Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 'Ode to Joy': Undecided voter finally makes up her mind http://www.wbez.org/news/ode-joy-undecided-voter-finally-makes-her-mind-103578 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/violin2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>53-year-old Bridget Kerans almost didn&rsquo;t have time for an interview before Election Day.</p><p>After all, she&rsquo;s got her job at a suburban library, online college classes, family obligations &ndash; not to mention practice time.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve wanted to do the violin for years,&rdquo; Kerans said once I&rsquo;d finally buttonholed her (and her violin) at a Starbucks in Schaumburg, where she lives. She even played a few notes of &ldquo;Ode to Joy&rdquo; before starting to talk politics.</p><p>Kerans has been one of three undecided voters WBEZ has been following over the past few weeks, to document how they make their final decision about whom to vote for in the 2012 presidential race.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/tracking-elusive-undecided-voter-102766">To recap:</a> Kerans was the die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter from 2008 Democratic Parimary, who never got on board with President Barack Obama.</p><p>In 2012, she has been pretty gung-ho about Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, a Libertarian icon. She recently emailed me a handmade poster she&rsquo;d taped to her house, featuring a cartoon Paul dressed in a Superman outfit.<br /><br />But during the recent presidential debates on TV, Kerans says she saw something in Republican Mitt Romney &ndash; something she hadn&rsquo;t noticed before.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m looking at the face, I&rsquo;m looking at the eyes. I honest-to-God swear I can see him thinking,&rdquo; she said as we met over coffee earlier this week. &ldquo;The gears are going, you know? &hellip; And he really &ndash; the last time, he made me feel proud.&rdquo;<br /><br />Kearns says she was drawn in by Romney&rsquo;s &ldquo;Five Point Plan&rdquo; to right the economy, which his campaign says would cut back on taxes, regulation and government spending.</p><p>It&rsquo;s a big issue for Kerans, who said she still remembers what it felt like to get laid off when her long-time job was outsourced a few years ago.</p><p>&ldquo;I had to start over again in my forties &ndash; late 40s,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And now, you know, I have to do everything, so you just don&rsquo;t wanna go down that road again.&rdquo;</p><p>Kerans says she&rsquo;s counting on Romney&rsquo;s business experience to help create jobs. And she&rsquo;s also hoping he&rsquo;ll make the GOP more moderate.</p><p>So what happened to Ron Paul?<br /><br />&ldquo;I wish he was the one. I really do. I want him so bad,&rdquo; Kerans said, laughing.</p><p>But not bad enough to write in Paul on Tuesday&rsquo;s ballot, she said. And by the time the coffee&rsquo;s gone, it sounds like she&rsquo;s finally made her decision.<br /><br />&ldquo;Well, it&rsquo;s gotten much easier and it&rsquo;ll be Romney,&rdquo; she said, when I ask who she&rsquo;d vote for if she had to decide just then.</p><p>Now that she seems to have decided her presidential vote, Kerans can spend more time on other pursuits &ndash; like the violin.</p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 17:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ode-joy-undecided-voter-finally-makes-her-mind-103578 Undecided voters: After Bruce Lee, a swing toward Obama http://www.wbez.org/news/undecided-voters-after-bruce-lee-swing-toward-obama-103546 <p><p>With less than a week before the presidential election,&nbsp;the vast majority of voters have already made up their minds.<br /><br />But not all of them have.&nbsp;</p><p>WBEZ has been tracking three undecided voters from the Chicago region leading up until Election Day, to document their decision making process - and to see how they cast their ballots on Nov. 6.</p><p>Today we hear from&nbsp;34-year-old Jay Abedelal, of Chicago, who works admissions at a for-profit school here. If you remember Abedelal, it might be as the guy who said a few weeks back his ideal presidential candidate was martial arts movie star Bruce Lee.</p><p>Abedelal&rsquo;s been busy since we last heard from him. This week, at a downtown college, he finally showed me what he&rsquo;s been up to: film editing.</p><p>Abedelal sits at a computer clicking away at some video clips he&rsquo;s been editing for a film class.&nbsp;For about 15 hours each week, he&rsquo;s basically making a bunch of small decisions about music tracks and what to cut.</p><p>But he&rsquo;s still made time to think about his big decision: how he&rsquo;ll vote in the presidential election.&nbsp;A few weeks ago, Abedelal said if he didn&rsquo;t find his ideal candidate &ndash; someone with the strenth of character he sees in Bruce Lee - he may not even vote.&nbsp;</p><p>But now, he&rsquo;s thinking pragmatically - about voting for someone who can win, versus someone who he thinks should win.</p><p>&quot;Even if somebody did have the attributes of Bruce Lee...it&rsquo;s almost impossible [to win] if you&rsquo;re not a Republican or Democrat,&quot; Abedelal said. &quot;And that&rsquo;s just the way it is.&quot;</p><p>Abedelal had earlier considered writing in Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, a Libertarian favorite. He later said he was thinking of voting for the Green Party. But now, it seems Abedelal is leaning against casting a third party vote.</p><p>That leaves him leaning toward voting again for Democratic President Barack Obama. (Abedelal, who is Muslim, had earlier ruled out voting Republican because he feels his faith was villified after 9/11.)<br /><br />But he says there&rsquo;s also something larger going on.<br /><br />Namely, this radio series.<br /><br />&quot;Since I&rsquo;m on a radio station where thousands &ndash; tens of thousands &ndash; of people are listening to me, I think it&rsquo;s a &ndash; it&rsquo;s a big responsibility for me to get enough information to make an educated decision,&quot; Abedelal said.<br /><br />So Abedelal says he&rsquo;s more plugged in to a presidential race than he&rsquo;s been in years.&nbsp;He talks politics with friends, listens to radio news, and watches clips from the debates on You-Tube.<br /><br />Abedelal says he&rsquo;s not gonna be an &ldquo;impulse voter&rdquo; on Tuesday.&nbsp;He&rsquo;s weighing the issues:&nbsp;He said he likes President Obama&rsquo;s health care plan, but questions Romney&rsquo;s aggressive stance toward Iran.</p><p>So I asked him the big question when we met earlier this week: If the election were held today, who would he vote for?<br /><br />&quot;If it was today? I&rsquo;d probably vote for Obama,&quot; he said.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s the most confident answer I&rsquo;ve heard yet from Abedelal.&nbsp;But there are still six days to go.</p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 06:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/undecided-voters-after-bruce-lee-swing-toward-obama-103546