Follow Up Interviews Find Swing Voters Slow to Decide

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

10/27/2004 - With less than a week to go before the election, many swing voters have yet to commit to a candidate, but over the past month there has been some movement among this group toward Sen. John Kerry. A Pew Research Center follow-up survey with 519 swing voters ­ who in September were undecided or said they could change their vote ­ finds that about half (52%) have moved off the fence, while nearly as many (48%) still are not certain of how they will vote.

Overall, Kerry has made more substantial gains among these swing voters in the past month than has Bush. Today, 40% say they are either certain to vote for Kerry or are leaning toward him (up from just 28% who leaned in Kerry's direction a month ago). Bush's support among this group of swing voters stands at 38%, up only slightly from 34% in September.

Those who have decided on their vote in the past month mention the debates as a crucial factor in their decision more than any other events or issues, especially those who have committed to Kerry (45% among those who cited a reason).

The remaining swing voters identified in the call-back survey are a diverse group, but they take common positions on several issues. About three-quarters (76%) say they agree with Bush on some important issues and with Kerry on others. Consequently, a 45% plurality believes that either Bush or Kerry would make a good president. As expected, most uncommitted voters (78%) say it has been hard to decide whom to vote for.

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