ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Robert Siegel. If you go to the real clear politics website and the average of National Polls that include not just John McCain and Barack Obama but also Ralph Nader and Bob Bar. You are still left with this number 6.4 percent. 6.4 percent undecided, don't know, won't say or don't care. There's one thing that we know about these people. To a great extent, the campaign has come down to them which raises the question, who are these people who after a year of primary debates, a winter and spring full of Tuesday night victory speeches, two conventions, dozens of Sunday newsmaker shows, perhaps a billion dollars worth of advertising, four general election debates, plus mailings, robocalls, door-to-door canvassing. Who are these undecided voters? So we've called poster Andrew Kohut who runs the Pew Research Center and asked him to tell us the answer. Andy, who are they?
Mr. ANDREW KOHUT (Poster, Pew Research Center): Well, demographically, we have a nice portrait of them. 63 percent female compared to 47 percent of the public at large that are older than people who've made up their minds, 27 percent are 65 years of age and older, 17 percent of the decideds are 65 years of age and older. They tend to be less well educated. They are more religious, however, than people who have made up their minds.
SIEGEL: So you've told us who the undecideds, like they are. What do they say, how do they describe their lack of decision?
Mr. KOHUT: Well, there are three factors going on. There are conflicted voters, go back and forth between Obama and McCain. There are disengaged voters and many of them are actually non-voters when we look up their records, we find out about half of them don't vote.
SIEGEL: After the fact when you check up on the people you've surveyed?
Mr. KOHUT: Right.
SIEGEL: Well, going back to that real clear politics average. Let's say they have about 6.4 percent still undecided, you would say on average 3.2 percent of them won't vote at all. Of the remaining 3 percent or so, is it possible that they could go 8 to 1 for one candidate or are they more likely to be roughly even?
Mr. KOHUT: It's conceivable and probably typical that the late deciders and the undecideds will go in one direction. They will be swept up with the trend of the moment but our analysis of the undecided vote in this particular election suggess that they're a little more supportive of John McCain than are the people who have already made up their minds. So you might say there will be a trend in John McCain's direction.
SIEGEL: And to recap the characteristics of this group much more likely to be female than male?
Mr. KOHUT: More likely to be female, certainly older than the people who've made up their mind, they're less well educated, and they're more religious.
SIEGEL: Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center, thanks a lot.
Mr. KOHUT: You're quite welcome.
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