“The Undecided Voter” a la Saturday Night Live

Our author Lynn Vavreck wrote eloquently for the New York Times last week about the movements of “the undecided voter.” Perhaps SNL writers read Campaign Stops too?

It turns out a lot of people do, and we’ve seen responses from all over the web:

  • Dylan Matthews at the Washington Post’s Wonk Blog sums it up saying, “So the “undecided” count has stayed pretty constant at 6 percent. It’s just a different group of people each week.”
  • PostBourgie writes, “this year’s presidential election might ultimately come down to the mercurial whims of a few thousand people who don’t really pay attention to or care all that much about this stuff.”
  • Larry Bartels writes at Washington Monthly, “To readers versed in election studies, these findings will seem very reminiscent of those from the first scholarly analysis of campaign effects: “conversion is, by far, the least frequent result and activation the second most frequent manifest effect of the campaign.” However, whereas Lazarsfeld and his colleagues in 1940 studied 600 prospective voters in Erie County, Ohio, Vavreck and her colleagues in 2012 have 44,000 nationwide. That’s real scientific progress.”
  • At The Week, they include the “6 percenters” among “a handful of key figures that have entered the political lexicon this year.”




Sample Free Chapters from The Gamble

John Sides & Lynn Vavreck