By now the overwhelming majority of likely voters have chosen a presidential candidate and many of these committed voters are strongly advocating for their chosen candidate and against their candidate's opponent. But what about the small percentage of voters who have still not made up their minds?
Likely voters who have not made up their minds at this point are sometimes derisively referred to as low information voters. Ezra Klein's column posted in the Washington Post on Friday suggests that these voters will not actually decide the election. Rather their votes will be split relatively equally because current polling indicates that is the case, and if any breaking news happens these voters either won't notice or care.
Still, it seems that quite a bit of the campaigning that is going on at this late stage of the election is geared towards low information voters. Each campaign has released television commercials that lie about its opponent's position and the impact it will have. For example, the Obama campaign "Pay the Bills" ad declares "To fund his tax cuts for millionaires, Romney could take away middle-class deductions for child care, home mortgages and college tuition.” However, Mitt Romney’s plan doesn't specify the tax deductions or credits to be reduced or eliminated to offset his proposed 20% across the board tax rate reduction. The Romney campaign has been running a commercial that accuses the President of instituting "a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements", which is entirely false.
In both cases the campaigns are aware of their lies but they choose to perpetrate them. What reason other than to try to win over the low information voter? If, as research indicates, only 35% of these undecided voters know that John Boehner is a Congressman, then what is the likelihood that they will undertake even rudimentary fact checking of the lies being broadcast in 30-second snippets while they watch Dr. Phil or Friends reruns?
It may be as Ezra Klein asserts that the undecided voters will not migrate en masse to one side or the other, but it won't be for a lack of effort on the part of the campaign strategists.
Finally, Saturday Night Live has a very funny parody video of the low information voter: