This is a summary of Kenneth Udut’s Presidential voting journey:
As an 8-year-old, Kenneth was intrigued by independent candidate John B. Anderson, the “Dark Horse,” who was excluded from the debates. However, the 1980 election was won by Ronald Reagan, not the “Peanut Farmer” Jimmy Carter, whom Kenneth had researched for a school report.
By 1984, at the age of 12, Kenneth found the lack of an independent candidate disappointing. The two-party pattern continued in 1988, leaving 16-year-old Kenneth unimpressed.
In 1992, when Kenneth turned 20, H. Ross Perot emerged as an independent candidate, earning Kenneth’s vote, despite some reservations about government-business parallels. Kenneth was irked when talk radio blamed Perot voters for HW Bush’s loss to Clinton.
At 24, Kenneth voted for Perot again in 1996, knowing his victory was unlikely. In 2000, the lack of a third-party candidate led to Kenneth forgetting to vote.
In 2004, Kenneth, now 32, reluctantly voted for George W. Bush, appreciating his cabinet. But Bush’s subsequent cabinet reshuffle left Kenneth disillusioned with voting based on cabinet choices.
In 2008, Kenneth, aged 36, voted for Obama, appreciating his ‘average’ demeanor and the historic significance of his candidacy. Kenneth voted for Obama again in 2012.
By 2016, aged 44, Kenneth was frustrated by the absence of a third-party candidate but predicted a Republican victory regardless.
In 2018, Kenneth shifted from Independent to the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, resonating with 75% of their values. Kenneth actively campaigned for Andrew Gillum despite a challenging smear campaign.
In 2020, at the age of 48, Kenneth voted for Biden, appreciating his work on domestic violence and support for stuttering children.
Now, Kenneth views the current President as neither exceptional nor poor. He still hopes for a viable third-party candidate, finding the two-party system limiting.