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Report: One in Four Voters May Be Persuadable Report: One in Four Voters May Be Persuadable

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Report: One in Four Voters May Be Persuadable

photo of Julia Edwards
August 31, 2012

One in four registered voters may be up for grabs between now and November, regardless of who they already have verbally pledged to support, according to an analysis that ABC News released on Friday.

The analysis, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, defines the group as voters who “may be persuadable,” because they are looking for more information, but found one thing won’t sway them across either party line—ideology. It found that 29 percent of Mitt Romney’s current supporters are persuadable, compared with 24 percent of President Obama’s.

The analysis uses a method based on a model developed by political scientists at Williams College, University of North Carolina, and University of Michigan. It says persuadable voters are less likely to be ideologically committed, and more likely to base their vote on more subtle middle-ground positions.

 

It also says anxiety makes voters more likely to be swayed. Anxious voters put thought into their decisions and are compelled to gather as much information as possible before making their choice.

While the number of voters up for grabs is good news for both the Obama and Romney campaigns, the anxiety factor could pose a threat to those they’ve already won over.

In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 53 percent of respondents who back Obama say they are anxious about his job performance in a second term, and 62 percent of Romney supporters are anxious about their candidate. The 25 percent identified as “easily persuadable” were both anxious and looking for more information.

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