Questions undecided voters want answered during town hall presidential debate

Final debate is shaping up to be the most important to voters

Published Oct. 15, 2012

John Pickering, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.The statistics on the number of undecided voters for this election have varied over the last several weeks. Some polls have the number as high as 25 percent, while others are much lower between 4 percent and 6 percent. In addition, the interest in this year’s town hall style presidential debate at Hofstra University has been intensified in light of Governor Romney’s spirited presentation compared to President Obama’s lethargic appearance in the first presidential debate at Denver.

“I expect the topics for the second presidential debate will include, resolving the intense partisanship in our Congress, job growth, handling of the financial deficit, projections on tax policies during next four years, and the future of the three big entitlement programs,” said John Pickering, professor of history in Lynn University’s College of Liberal Education. “Plus, both parties will talk about foreign policy and there will be mentions about the future of the Arab Spring and American security in other countries.”

What seems to be on the minds of undecided voters in this presidential cycle as we approach the second presidential debate?

Seven Potential questions:

  • What would you do as president to bring the extreme positions of both parties in the Congress together to solve the country’s problems?
  • How can you explain why Wall Street (stock market, business assets, etc.) seems to be doing so much better than Main Street?
  • What will you do in the first 100 days of your term to promote significant job growth?
  • Can you be specific as to the cuts in the federal budget you believe necessary to deal with the country’s deficit?
  • Do you believe the Arab Spring is just a myth, in light of recent attacks on U.S. embassies throughout the Middle East?
  • Do you believe that it is necessary to completely overhaul the U.S. tax code? What do you think of the concept of fair tax (a tax on consumption)?
  • Would you agree that all Americans face a time of austerity in order to improve the nation’s economic future?

In previous presidential debates, the town hall format has had an impact on the general election. In 1992, for example, President George H. Bush kept looking at his watch, which indicated to many a president who was bored and disengaged. In 2000, Al Gore’s movements into the space of George W. Bush, increased the impression that Gore was a “know it all” and questions regarding his lack of likeability arose.

More on Pickering

Pickering has been teaching history and political science courses at Lynn for more than 30 years. In addition, he serves on Lynn’s 2020 strategic planning committee that is determined to make Lynn the most international, individualized and innovative small university in the nation.

In this role, he can speak to the media regarding undecided voters and issues surrounding the 2012 presidential election, the numerous changes Lynn has undergone in the past 30 years and Lynn’s strategic plan.