Undecided Voters

In an earlier post,  I made the following statement: “Undecided voters are usually much more important to look at than those voters who have made up their minds,…but not always.  It’s time to explain what I meant.

Undecided voters are usually important, because the assumption is ( and studies have shown this) that once a person has chosen a candidate to vote for, they don’t switch to another candidate very often – for any reason.   Therefore, the theory is, if you can determine the demographics of the undecided voters, and if you have limited funds, your voter communications should focus on the undecideds.

But suppose you have good reason to believe that the undecided voters will not support your candidate.   Imagine, for example, that your candidate is running in a large field for several at-large City Council seats.   Further suppose that the majority of the undecided voters are Republican, that there are several Republicans running for Council, and that your candidate is a Democrat.   ( Even in non-partisan races, party preference matters.)   In these circumstances, your campaign should focus on turning out marginal democratic voters, rather on persuading the undecided.   In either case, it is useful to know who the undecided voters are.