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Chasing The Moderate Vote

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

October 17, 2006

The Rasmussen reports show 32% of American are Republicans, and 37% Democrats. This leaves a substantial amount of voters undecided on which direction to cast their vote and with more scandals erupting on the political battlefield, their decisions may be the most important.

The Mark Foley fallout, George Allen's now infamous "macaca" remark,
and Jim Webb's take on women in the military- It seems that scandal surrounds this years elections. With partisan voters clenching tightly to their political parties, some political analysts see a "forgotten few" determining the future.

"The moderate voters will be deciding this election and it's going to be a question of what large numbers they turn out," David Wasserman of Uva Center for Politics said.

But how much weight do these salacious stories carry when it comes to those already on the fence?

"In terms of some of the latest headlines, the political scandals, touching both parties a little bit stronger towards the Republican side right now a lot of times that has a tendency to turn off some of the moderate voters," said Matt Smythe, also of Uva's Center for Politics.

For some moderates, the state of politics now is what drives them to the polls.

"It's all important but I just feel like, I consider myself middle class and I feel like we're being squeezed from both sides and that nobody really cares about the middle class folks so that's the way I'm going to be when trying to determine what goes on in the election booth," said Allen Saunders, a moderate voter.

He's not the only moderate remaining unaffected. "Even in recent polls in the last week amid the scandals, their concerned with taxes, with gas prices, with the war in Iraq," Smythe said.

Those exact issues are what Allen said will drive his decision come election day.


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