Bloomberg News

One in Four Voters Are ‘Persuadable,’ Poll Analysis Finds

August 31, 2012

One in four registered voters may be open to changing their position in the race between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a poll analysis released today.

The analysis of an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted before this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, found that 24 percent of Obama supporters and 29 percent of Romney backers may be persuaded to switch sides. Democrats are preparing to convene their convention next week in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The analysis sought to identify “persuadable” voters by identifying those who are “anxious” about the candidate they support and are seeking more information about their positions, said Gary Langer, president of New York-based Langer Research Associates. He conducted the Aug. 22-25 ABC and the analysis released today.

The analysis found plenty of voters up for grabs between now and the Nov. 6 election, including 3 in 10 midwesterners and 27 percent of self-described moderates.

“These are less ideologically driven, more middle-ground voters,” Langer said in an interview. “They’re less likely to hold strongly held positions on some of the key issues in the campaign. These appeals to red-meat, partisan issues are not going to play all that well.”

People age 65 and older were less persuadable, at 18 percent, than those under that age, at 28 percent, according to the analysis. Eighteen percent of northeasterners were judged as persuadable, a smaller share than residents of any other region.

“If you ask people who’d they vote for, almost everyone does have a current preference, but that doesn’t mean they’re not persuadable,” Langer said.

The poll of 857 registered voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Tampa, Florida, at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.


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