(Cross-posted over at Undernews:

The past three days were my first here in Tampa working on a non-partisan voter registration campaign targeting underrepresented voting groups in the area. No one was asked about how they planned to vote. But several people – at the supermarket, at the Wal-Mart, at the gas station – made comments to me about it, including:

“I’m not voting for Bush because he doesn’t care about poor people like me. Maybe if I owned this store, I might vote for him.”

“Of course I’m voting – we need to knock Bush out of that chair while we can.”

“I’m voting for John Kerry because he wants to make my health insurance cheaper.”

“No, I’m not voting. I don’t like Bush or Kerry – neither of them cares about people like me.”

“I’m definitely not voting for Bush. But who’s the other one that’s running?”

Most of the folks I’ve talked to have a very clear idea of what they think of George Bush – generally a very, very negative one. Many fewer have a clear idea of who John Kerry is and what he’s about – and it’s not because he hasn’t run enough TV commercials. For some hurt by what these years under Bush have wrought, here and nationally, haziness about Kerry won’t make much difference in whether they show up in November. For others, it will make all the difference.

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