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What it the undecideds are really just Obama voters holding out on the president?


Over at National Journal, Josh Kraushaar notes warning signs for President Obama in recent polling. But what if it's all a feint?

The Onion News Network reports on a purported phenomenon of liberal voters pretending they might cast a ballot for Romney just to see Obama sweat. He hasn't been everything they hoped for, the segment posits, so they might as well show their displeasure "before they inevitably vote for him." In particular, ONN says 63 percent of registered Democrats claim to be undecided, but "when pressed with a second question, 'OK but seriously, when it comes down to it who are you going to vote for?' 89 percent say Obama." (NB: In addition to the second, obviously made-up stat, the first one also appears to be invented.) Perhaps the best detail is the chyron: "MoveOn.org withholding endorsement just to yank Obama's chain."

As with the best satire, there's an element of truth here. Democratic enthusiasm has lagged, a phenomenon partly attributed to frustration with the Obama administration's stands on issues from war to gay rights to economic policy. Republicans, meanwhile, are concerned that Mitt Romney won't stir enough enthusiasm among conservatives. But as Conor Friedersdorf explained this morning, ideological voters may express frustration with their party's standard bearers, but they tend to eventually fall in line because they're easily swayed by calls to party unity.

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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