Some truths, or truisms, from Gail Collins at the New York Times:
At this point, they only care about the small chunk of undecided voters in swing states. That means a handful of people in Ohio who have managed to avoid noticing that Obama and McCain disagree on virtually every important issue facing the nation and continue to insist that they are torn between them.
Plus, of course, a couple of folks who got picked for a long-running television panel of undecided voters and don’t want to admit they’ve made up their minds because they’ll get thrown out.
This is one of the reasons why the last few weeks of a presidential campaign tend to be so awful. The candidates are gearing their remarks to people who have managed to completely ignore nearly two years of news about the 2008 elections.
Well, partial truths. It's also about ground game, about those people who have their minds made up but aren't plugged into the system, and about the hyper-energetic staffers and volunteers who are looking for them. (And Obama pwns McCain on that.)
But the informed pure independent, the model that the Objective Journalism Paradigm holds up as the American ideal, who actually "studies the candidates," is a rarity. Five percent tops.
Four years ago, ad a was voting on Day One and someone asked me "how can you have your mind made up already?" I replied, "How can I not?"