February 9, 2023 Leave your thoughts

Two sides of the same voter

Imogen Moore

Every now and then, voters are undecided, uninformed about politics, or
slowly following a campaign? But political indecision is no trivial matter; the
undecided get the final say.

It’s been claimed that undecided voters have lower levels of political
knowledge, rarely link their choices to the candidates’ stands on issues, are
the least interested, least knowledgeable and least sophisticated (McClung
Lee, 1949; Johnson-Cartee, 1997). However, it has also been claimed
that the undecided voter consumes more traditional news and social media,
hosts online discussions about elections, and makes voting decisions in an
informed manner (Dobrzynska et al., 2003; Sciarini & Tresch, 2011). The
debate between the undecided as one group of highly sophisticated or less
sophisticated voters continues to the present day.

However, two online surveys, conducted before and after the April 2019
elections in Israel, examined the ways sophisticated and less sophisticated
voters perceive and utilise media. They also examined their voting
considerations and decisions (Yarchi et al., 2021). Accordingly, the findings
indicate that the typical sophisticated undecided voter is more likely to vote
than less sophisticated undecided voters, exhibit greater trust in traditional
media, consume more news to follow the campaign (from various traditional
news outlets and social media), carry out online discussions about the
elections, base his or her decision on policy issues, debate between parties
within the same ideological camp and come from a more privileged social

Perhaps, then, not all undecided voters are alike and there exists, two types
of the undecided voter.

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