“Waiting For A Feeling”

Nathaniel Rich headed to Virginia last week to knock on doors:

Canvassing is expected to make the difference. I saw this first hand these past few days, with a frequency that surprised me. I knocked on about ninety doors a day; about twenty-five would open, and behind about four or five of these I encountered that rarest, most valuable of species, the unicorn of the American electorate: an undecided voter.

These were not the undecided voters apotheosized by cable pundits—the wise moderates who struggled between conflicting impulses.

These people were, for the most part, blindingly ignorant of the candidates’ positions and even the central issues under debate. They had absorbed next to nothing from the hundreds of hours of advertisements, political speeches, and pounds of campaign mail to which they’d been subjected. Many appeared to view their ambivalence as a point of pride. "I won’t know until I’m in the voting booth" was a common sentiment. "I’m waiting for a feeling," another said, as if anticipating a visitation from the beyond. This quasi-religious tone was reflected in the statements of many of these voters, including one older woman who said, in response to a question about her political views, "That’s between me and my polls."

By the way, a glimpse at Google searches for people typing in "who is running for president?":

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(Video: The full, unembeddable version of Maher's monologue is here.)