We don't believe the campaigns of President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden or pollsters have an idea how many people are undecided on their pick in next month's presidential election.
It could be few, as national media speculate, or it could be many, as 2016's election suggest could be the case again.
We would doubt Tuesday's nearly unwatchable debate between the two men swayed any undecideds. If they gleaned a clear picture of either man through the fog of crosstalk, interruptions and obfuscations, we'd be surprised.
Trump, as president for nearly for years, is the known quantity. Those who have made up their mind accept him with his many flaws, or they don't. They appreciate what he accomplished for the country before the coronavirus, or they don't. They understand the coronavirus is an unprecedented pandemic that came with no playbook, or they don't.
Biden is a career politician with 47 years in Washington, D.C., and few accomplishments to point to other than election to public office. The undecideds know he was most recently vice president under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, but that is about the extent of their knowledge. They were unlikely to have learned anything substantive about him or his plans during the debate.
But we think those who haven't made their selection deserve more answers than they're getting from someone challenging the president. Here's what we believe they should demand from Biden before considering giving him their vote:
* You have repeatedly refused to say if you would entertain as president the option of adding members to the Supreme Court to achieve a more preferred ideological balance. Would you support that break in a more than 151-year precedent of nine Supreme Court members?
* You in recent days have denied you support the Green New Deal, a $100 trillion expenditure that calls for massive spending on climate-friendly infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Yet, your running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is a sponsor of a bill to enact it, and your campaign website calls it a "crucial framework" for your plan. What parts of the Green New Deal are you willing to support, and which parts can you say will never see the light of day?
* You and other Democrats have repeatedly attempted to blame Trump for early inaction on the coronavirus, claiming during the debate that he did not ask the Chinese premier to let the U.S. into the country to investigate. However, not only had U.S. officials been in China three days before you first mentioned the idea in February, but they had been trying to get in since early January, according to the New York Times. Will you agree to stop blaming the president for a global pandemic he had no definitive way to stop?
* You have said you rescued the economy from the Great Recession, which produced the slowest post-recession growth since World War II, and now have a plan to resuscitate it post-pandemic, and you said Trump wrecked the economy. Yet the economy grew much faster under Trump than it did under the last years of the Obama-Biden administration and showed record employment for many sectors before the pandemic. Will you now admit the previous administration's economic efforts were flawed, that Trump's worked, and will you give an honest answer on how things will be different if you are elected?
* You were unable to cite one instance in last week's debate in which a law enforcement unit supports your candidacy. Why is that and why have you been unable to forcefully call for an end to violence in the largely Democratic-run cities around the country?
* You have said that your son Hunter "did nothing wrong" while on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company, for which he had no background, while you were vice president. During his tenure there, he enriched himself, and, according to an investigation by two Senate committees, "received $3.5 million in a wire transfer" from the wife of the former mayor of Moscow. Are you willing to at least say that you should never have allowed your son to be involved with Ukraine while you were in charge of relations with the country during the Obama administration?
* You and other Democrats have repeatedly said Trump praised white supremacists in a conversation about a 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, uprising, but the transcript clearly debunks those claims. Will you apologize for the many times you have misused those remarks in an effort to make Americans believe their president is racist?
While we think it's important for undecided voters to hear from Biden on the above questions, we don't believe they will. We believe it is his hope to run out the clock, to continue to offer vague answers, to hope enough people oppose the president to give him a victory. But in our minds a presidential vote demands more than that.