Even as she stood in line to vote Tuesday, 86-year-old Jean Swartzendruber was still undecided: Romney or Obama?
But several of the other undecided voters who took part in a debate-watching party at The Gazette in early October had made up their minds in the weeks before Election Day, swayed by the candidates’ subsequent debate performances, further review of their stances or just a gut feeling.
Robert Kane, a 38-year-old Republican who is the vice president of Investor Relations Cannabis Science, made his decision right before Hurricane Sandy. He said that if the election had been only about the economy, he would have voted for Romney.
But Kane said he didn’t appreciate what he saw as Romney’s lack of respect for the president during debates. He said Romney was like the spoiled brokers he saw when he worked on Wall Street — people who cheated and lied.
“It’s the unscripted moments,” Kane said.
He said he wanted to be able to trust who was making decisions in the Oval Office at 3 a.m. when no cameras are around.
“Obama is a real person,” Kane said. “If I trusted Romney, I would’ve voted for him.”
He said that in four years, Obama will put the country in a better position than Romney.
Another Republican, Zoe Wood, was swayed to Romney’s camp during the debates.
“I voted for Romney because I was really impressed by how he carried himself,” said Wood, who is retired from the Army.
She wasn’t happy with every aspect of the debate, but she said the research she had done and the debate performances led her to vote for Romney, just before Halloween.
Democrat Jackie Bechtol, 72, came to her decision when she woke up at 5 a.m. Tuesday. She said she voted for the lesser of two evils, but wouldn’t say who got her support.
“I don’t have a lot of confidence that things are going to change,” she said. “It breaks my heart.”
Swartzendruber also declined to say who she voted for, but she did end up casting a ballot.
“I’ve never missed a vote I since I was eligible to vote,” she said.