Amanda Jaronowski is torn. The lifelong Republican from suburban Cleveland supports President Donald Trump’s policies and fears her business could be gutted if Democrat Joe Biden is elected.

But she abhors Trump personally, leaving her on the fence about who will get her vote.

It’s a “moral dilemma,” Jaronowski said as she paced her home one recent evening after pouring a glass of sauvignon blanc. “It would be so easy for him to win my vote if he could just be a decent human being,” she had said earlier during a focus group session.

Jaronowski is part of a small but potentially significant group of voters who say they remain truly undecided less than three weeks before the Nov. 3 election. They have been derided as uninformed or lying by those who cannot fathom still being undecided, but conversations with a sampling of these voters reveal a complicated tug of war.

Many, like Jaronowski, are longtime Republicans wrestling with what they see as a choice between two lousy candidates: a Democrat whose policies they cannot stomach and a Republican incumbent whose personality revolts them. Some voted for third-party candidates in 2016 because they were so repelled by their choices — Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton — and may do so again.

While polls show there are far fewer on-the-fence voters this year than the unusually high number in 2016, the Trump and Biden campaigns each believes it still can win over numbers that matter.

Among those people is John Welton, 40, a Presbyterian minister from Winfield, Kansas, who has spent much of his career moving from parish to parish. His political views, he said, have been shaped in part by watching how trade deals have hurt once-vibrant manufacturing communities and his congregants’ livelihoods, as well as by his own “pro-Second Amendment” views.

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Welton said he is turned off by Biden’s support for tighter gun restrictions. But he is also put off by Trump’s bullying and demeaning of opponents on Twitter and his divisive rhetoric.

On the other hand, Welton has been pleasantly surprised that Trump has made good on his campaign pledge to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, though thousands still remain.

In 2016, Welton ended up voted for Clinton, but barely. He circled the block at his polling place before making a decision. This year, he’s hoping a second debate will offer him some clarity.

“I remain pretty swayable,” he said.

Cathy Badalamenti, 69, an independent from Lombard, Illinois, is also struggling with her vote once again. In 2016, she voted for a third-party candidate after twice supporting Democrat Barack Obama.

“I’m not happy with anybody,” she said of her choices this time. That’s especially hard in a family of ardent Trump supporters who have balked at her indecision.

“Believe me, my son, my kids are looking at me and thinking, ‘How can you not like Trump?!’” she said, describing difficult Sunday night dinners where she tries to redirect the conversation from politics to the Cubs.

Badalamenti credits Trump for a booming economy before the pandemic …read more

Source:: News Headlines


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