The president of the Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant says the voters who may decide this year’s presidential election are those who wait ’til the last moment to pick a candidate. Don Racheter, the conservative Republican who heads the Public Interest Institute, says just a fraction of Americans have been following the "nuances" of the campaign.
"You’ve got 10 percent on the left, 10 percent on the right who are fighting it out, really interested in this," Racheter says, "and the other people sort of awake a few weeks before the election and kind of get into it." Racheter says there still could be some sort of "game-changer" between now and November 4th.
"If there’s some terrorist attack, if there’s some foreign policy development — that could change the ballgame," Racheter says. "We’re not at the election yet and a lot of people don’t make up their minds until the last minute…A lot of people don’t make up their minds until the last five, 10 days."
The latest media polls conducted in Iowa show about five percent of those surveyed say they’re still undecided. Republican presidential candidate John McCain has visited Iowa three times since the G-O-P convention — two solo trips and one with running mate Sarah Palin.
Racheter says the McCain campaign made a mistake by limiting Palin’s appearances here and elsewhere. "She’s very feisty and people like that, particularly in the times that we’re in that she’s an outsider. She’s a maverick. I think that she would have been fine if they would let her go," Racheter says. "I think they felt that since she hadn’t been in national politics that they needed to brief her on a lot of the issues. In retrospect they probably should have just been doing that as they went along." Racheter made his comments during an appearance on Iowa Public Television.