For some voters, it took a long time to decide on a candidate

Story posted November 7, 2012 in

By Amanda Dash and Courtney Gontz

John Battaglia from State College is a registered Republican, yet this election has led him to vote Democratic.

 This happens to be a common story this election. A series of interviews has shown that while some students remain true to their registered parties, many were undecided who they would vote for until the last moment.

Battaglia said that over the past three months there was a "major shift" in his thinking that caused him to vote for Obama over Romney.

According to a poll conducted by the Washington Post on Oct. 10 through 13, out of the 1,252 adults, 9 percent said they were undecided.  This is a big difference compared to the poll from July when the number was 19 percent.  Even as of late August the number of undecided adults was at 15 percent.

Another poll from Quinnipiac University from mid-October showed that around the same time a large percentage of Pennsylvania voters were less likely to be undecided. Results of the poll showed that 3 percent of Pennsylvania voters were undecided, which was considerably less than the 9 percent national average.

  Some Penn State students said they had a tough time deciding who to vote for, while others had been decided since day one of the campaigns.

First time voter Rachel Bautsch of Reading said she initially wasn't going to vote at all because she didn't like either candidate. It wasn't until a few days ago that she finally chose to vote for Obama as the "lesser of the two evils," the registered Democrat said.

Democrat Shaquayla Willet, a freshman bio-behavioral major from Pittsburgh, said she has known since the last election that she was going to vote for Obama.

"He was different," she said.  "The changes he promised to make were reasonable and I like what he has done so far while in office."

While several students were changing their vote from undecided to Democratic, there were several students remaining loyal to the Republican Party.  One in particular was Brian Adams, a junior mechanical engineering major.

Adams, registered Republican from Rochester, N.Y., laughed when he was asked if he wanted an Obama sticker at the front door.  He said that he has been following the news for a long time and had decided that Romney would be in the country's best interest.

Andrew Patterson, junior and public relations major from Shrewsbury, although registered Independent, said he had a difficult decision deciding between Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Obama.

“Socially, I like what Obama has done with supporting gay marriage and foreign policy overall. These things are important in the long run,” Patterson said.

A self-declared “radical voter,” Patterson said that his vote seems “more pure” with Stein, and voting for Obama would be just settling for someone he is not completely behind.

“Over time I’ve become more realistic and pragmatic in my believing,” he said.  “I’m not as averse to voting for Obama as I used to be.”