PHILADELPHIA – For the campaigns of US President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, 27-year-old Liz Segel is more valuable than gold.
She is young, Jewish and completely undecided ahead of Tuesday’s American election. And most importantly, she lives in Pennsylvania, a swing state.
Segel came to a pro-Israel event in Haverford, Pennsylvania, on Monday that was full of people whose minds have long been made up. But Segel will make up her mind on Tuesday at her polling station based on her mood.
Her family has been pressuring her to vote for Romney, but she said she has gone back and forth between the two candidates. She watched the presidential debates and felt that both sides made good points.
“I think Romney is great for Israel, very smart and a great businessman, but he is very shady and I don’t know when he is telling the truth,” Segel said. “I don’t get a good feeling about him. I think Obama is a straight talker who is bringing America and Israel to peace. I think he is trustworthy. I like the first lady, and I can relate better to his family.”
Segel voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 election, because he was pro-Israel.
But in this race, she is also voting on women’s issues, education, Supreme Court candidates and the economy.
Most of the women who attended the pro-Israel event said they were voting on that issue, but also taking into account domestic concerns.
Anna Green, of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, said she went to an AIPAC convention in Washington and got an impression that the Obama administration has been very supportive of Israel.
She said that President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speeches persuaded her to back Obama.
“Although I love Israel and I lived there, I am also American and American Jews have to think about our children and grandchildren,” she said.
Marilyn Toub of Penn Valley, Pennsylvania said she thinks Obama is too young and inexperienced.
“More Americans should care about this country when they vote, and Romney is best for this country,” she said.
This election should be about getting America on the right track.”