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Portrait of Two Last Minute Deciders

By Peter Slevin
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- With candidates zipping across the state like jet fighter planes and the media long past the saturation point with news reports and advertisements, it is hard to find Hoosiers who have no opinion about the presidential race. Not since 1968, people say, has the energy been this high.

But Bob and Phyllis Nielsen, loyal Democrats and poll watchers at the Bittersweet Library, just could not decide.

Friends and neighbors slipped into the cool, carpeted polling station starting at 6 a.m. By 2 p.m., the 150th voter had come and gone, but the Nielsens remained unsure. They planned to cast a vote, they said, but choosing between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama was just proving to be a problem.

"We've got till 6 o'clock," Bob Nielsen, a retired company comptroller said.

"Just really haven't been able to settle on it," Phyllis Nielsen said of her decision. "Might not make it till November. Too many negatives. They just constantly bombard each other."

"They're just so full of bull and baloney. I don't believe any of them," Jim Nielsen said, as they processed absentee ballots. "They said, 'What I'm going to do.' They aren't going to do anything without Congress. But people believe them."

Despite the ground operations assembled by the Clinton and Obama campaigns, the Nielsens said they had heard from neither camp. When it comes to decide, Bob Nielsen said, "I'll probably go in there and flip a coin."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 6, 2008; 6:12 PM ET
Categories:  Primaries  
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Next: A Familiar Demographic Story in N.C.

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