Gauging the Undecideds With Two Weeks Left
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because while most Americans have made up their minds, these few are still struggling to decide whom to vote for … or even to vote at all.
By Nick Fouriezos
As Election Day draws near, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are running out of time to sway the last voters remaining on the fence — whether it’s Americans choosing between the two or even to vote at all.
As part of our weekly series leading up to Election Day, OZY is interviewing undecided voters about how they are thinking about their choices. Still undecided yourself? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below, read some of our latest conversations, edited for clarity and space.
Jequan Mayo, 20, Pennsylvania
Past votes: None.
I don’t know if I’m going to vote. I don’t think I’m going to, but I might, depending on how I feel about it the day of. For me, I kind of look at it the same way, no matter who the candidate is. The way Trump is doing things, sometimes he is doing it correctly but it isn’t understandable … and then certain stuff he says makes me not want to vote at all. As far as Joe Biden, I just don’t know much about him.
This is my first presidential election. I’ve heard that Trump is bad for people of color. And I’ve seen it too, which is the main thing that bothers me this election. But I don’t feel like anything is going to change. At this point, there aren’t any issues that I care about — because, at this point, candidates always say they will do this or do that, and nothing ever happens. So at this point, whatever comes, it comes.
Steve Friedewald, 57, energy industry, Texas
Past votes: John McCain (’08), Mitt Romney (’12), Gary Johnson (’16)
I’m probably going to vote based on my own situation in terms of economics, what’s better for my small family in terms of taxation, and what I think will happen with the economy, plus or minus. I had a bout with COVID-19 myself in late June, early July. I had it mild, no respiratory, none of the nasty business. No hospital, ventilation. I’m fortunate that it was five days of throwing up constantly, terrible cramps. … I don’t like the way the current administration handled it. I would say they bungled it from the get-go.
I just wish there was a better choice. From a character point of view, the president doesn’t have many good character traits. If you ask me, he says some terrible things. On the other hand, there’s not many policies that I like the sound of on the progressive side. I’m concerned with a transition to a new administration because they’re so vocal about moving away from the chemical and energy industry. And so that’s not good for me. It’s not good for my livelihood to switch to an industry that doesn’t exist — clean fuel.
Cynthia Ogrey, 78, retired nurse, California
Past votes: Obama (’08, ’12)
I’ve always considered myself a Democrat. And pretty much voted, not necessarily straight party line, but almost. When we got to the Obama years, it was like, “Oh, man, he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it!” Make real change. But every which way he turned, he was blocked. It used to be, to me, that the Republicans were more the richer folk and the Democrats were for the common man. And the Republicans would raise taxes against the common man, and the Democrats then would go after them and raise the taxes on corporations.
I’m looking at the two parties and wondering: Who are these people? I don’t think I agree with either of them. I just cannot vote for Trump. And I just cannot vote for Kamala Harris, because she is so pro-abortion. Biden, I believe, is past his prime. I think he has a good heart, he has empathy for people and what they are going through and what they’ve gone through. And I don’t see that same action in Trump at all.
When Trump was running against Hillary Clinton, I didn’t want either of them. I was in the same quandary. So I voted for everything else on the ballot and said I would come back to the question … but accidentally sealed the enveloped and turned it in, so I didn’t vote for president. And I thought “Oh, my gosh, that was such a Freudian thing.” Now I’m going to have to face it and say, “yea” or “nay.” And I still feel like both parties are not representing me as a person.
Bryan Stevens, 40, Oregon
Past votes: Did not disclose.
A shit sandwich or a crap sandwich? I’m not sure I’m going to bother even picking a sandwich. … Somebody would really have to pull ahead and stand out. I’m not really sure at this point because I’m so jaded by it all. Somebody would really have to get their act together and not give a shit what the other one’s doing and focus on their policies.