276: Swing Set
Oct 29, 2004
A journey through the minds of undecided voters. For months—through the Swift Boat ads, the convention speeches, the debates—we tracked a few of these voters to find out why they just can't make up their minds. Plus, a story of someone courting undecided voters, and another about people trying to sabotage undecided voters (and everyone else).
- Ira spends hours talking to James Hackett, known to his friends, and by the end of the story, to Ira, as Gig. He's a doctor in Cincinnati and a lifelong Republican. But he hates President Bush. Pretty much hates everything he's done since taking office. Over several months, he sways from Kerry to Bush and back again, sometimes with Ira's help, before coming to a final decision—one that probably surprises even him. (18 minutes)
- Matthew Chasteen is 18 years old. He's joined the Navy, and he's voting for the first time. He doesn't know what to do. His brother David, an Iraq war veteran, is pushing Kerry, even though he'd been an enthusiastic Bush supporter last time around. His mom Monica is probably voting for Bush. She's in the Air Force Reserve and is headed to Iraq next year. Matthew is mostly confused by both their arguments. Producer Sarah Koenig goes to watch the first presidential debate with him, and suddenly Matthew makes his mind up with a vengeance. (14 minutes)
- This American Life producer Lisa Pollak goes canvassing with her friend Andy in Ohio. He's a first time door-knocker for MoveOn. He knows what to say to Kerry supporters. He knows what to say to Bush supporters. But he's a little hazy about how to handle the undecideds. (8 minutes)