More about the autor

Midday Matinee – One Undecided Voter

November 5, 2012

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – One Undecided Voter

I spent 10 or 15 minutes talking with one very conflicted and undecided voter. Here is a snapshot of our visit. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Note: The man I talked with is, according to the Pew Forum not at all typical of the attitudes of Hispanics in the research Pew conducted. “Latinos, Religion and Campaign 2012″ is worth reading to get a data based understanding of the Hispanic vote.

A 30-ish Latino answered the door with three or four young children huddled around his legs and peeking from behind his back. I introduced myself as an Obama volunteer and a Minnesota Democrat. I asked if he had decided who to support for President.

“I am undecided and very conflicted,” he said. “Values are very important to me. It is all a question of values. I am pro-life and I oppose abortion for any reason.”

I was trying to listen but not let my feelings of disappointment show.

“I think marriage of one man and one woman is God’s plan,” he continued.

“Well,” I said, “I understand those values and I respect them, but I am wondering why you are conflicted. Can you tell me more?”

“I want to be able to trust my President,” he said, “and I can’t trust anything that Mr. Romney says. I have no idea what he would really do because he’s said too many different things. I am not an immigrant but that whole self-deportation stuff was very cruel for most Latinos. I don’t think that men like him who tear down companies will care about jobs for men like me.”

“Why are you for Obama?” he asked me.

I pause and think a bit because this man has been very honest and has obviously been thinking quite a bit about who to vote for. I am trying to recall Crissie’s Morning Feature about just such voters.

“I trust President Obama to work to make the rules fair for people like you and me,” I said. “I think his growing up with a struggling single mother gave him more empathy for the struggles of average Americans. I liked his executive order to protect the Dreamers when the Republicans in Congress shut down immigration reform. I like that he saved the auto industry when Romney said to let it go bankrupt. That saved lots of jobs and the investment the government made is being repaid. I trust that he is doing everything he can including killing Osama bin Laden to keep us safe. I think Planned Parenthood is a very important source of health care for women who can’t afford anything else and no tax dollars go for abortions. I don’t want it eliminated. I trust President Obama as a man of his word. I can’t address your concerns about abortion and marriage equality. I wish you good luck with your decision. Let me just leave this (the hang tag) with you because it lists your polling place and the hours and has a hot line number if you have any voting questions. You’ll vote at the same place whoever you decide to vote for. And thanks for taking the time to speak with me and for being so honest.”

“My wife uses Planned Parenthood and I hadn’t thought about that,” he said as we parted. “Good luck to you.”

I have no idea who this man will vote for but speaking with him was an honor.

  • NCrissieB

    Thank you for this touching story, addisnana. I think you handled it as well as you could, and it sounds as if he’s less a ‘single-issue voter’ than he seemed. His distrust of Romney would not have mattered otherwise. As grassroots Democratic activists, we must respect each voter we speak with … even when we disagree.