Obama or Romney? How 5 undecided voters are making up their minds.

Last month, the Monitor profiled five undecided voters whose allegiances were especially prized because they live in swing states. Now, less than two weeks before Election Day, we check in with them to see what they’re thinking now.

A.J. Dellinger, Madison, Wis.

A.J. Dellinger
A.J. Dellinger

Occupation: freelance writer

Personal: single

2008 vote: Bob Barr

In August, A.J. Dellinger wasn’t sure which presidential candidate best matched his priorities – someone who could pull America out of economic turmoil and is liberal on social issues like gay marriage and abortion rights.

Three presidential debates and one vice-presidential face-off later, Mr. Dellinger has made his choice: He’ll be voting for Obama on Nov. 6. Overall in his state of Wisconsin, Obama has a 2.3-point edge, according to the Oct. 26 RealClearPolitics average.

The debates, actually, were not instrumental in helping Dellinger decide. The candidates “mostly rehash stuff from the campaign trail” during the debates, which “are just presentations” that are judged mostly for their style, he says.

He was hoping to hear the candidates talk more about issues he feels are important, including gay marriage and the National Defense Authorization Act, which made headlines late last year over a proposed provision for US citizens to be indefinitely detained by the military without a trial.

But both issues were never mentioned in the debates.

So Dellinger did his own independent research, which includes media sources far and wide – Russia Times, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and Comedy Central stars Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. What struck him was a shortage of specifics about Romney’s economic policy.

“In the first debate, Romney laid out his plan, but it seemed to lack a lot of details which never were revealed later. That is the biggest issue with his platform – lack of detail,” Dellinger says.

From his perspective, the absence of details from Romney essentially meant a vote for Obama.

For Dellinger, like many others, economic issues are key. “The economy should probably be the deciding factor in this election, given the state of the US economy,” he says.

Mark Guarino, staff writer

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