From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Audra and Sam Kochansky decided to come to John McCain's rally at the New Mexico state fairgrounds today "to hear what they're going to do for us." But they weren't happy with what they heard.
"More of the same," said Audra Kochansky of McCain's remarks.
"This is saber-rattling," said her husband, Sam.
Although these may sound like Democratic talking points, the married pair of nurse anesthetists are lifelong Republicans, but they consider themselves undecided in this election.
Mr. Kochansky, who describes himself as a "diehard Republican who's registered independent," says that Republicans disheartened after eight years of the Bush Administration have been left with an unsavory choice. "I'm trying to make a decision," he said. "That's not the way the Republican Party should have conducted itself."
To help determine which box they'll check on Election Day, the Kochansky's decided to attend both candidates' rallies in the Albuquerque area today.
If McCain was hoping to win them over, he has some work to do.
"Bush has been very disappointing and I thought maybe there was some hope in McCain but quite frankly it's the same saber rattling, just a different century, and it's disappointing," said Mr. Kochansky. "I want to hear about what he can do for us middle class people. I want specific ideas. I want some specificity to a political plan. Right now it's more negative. It's what Obama's going to do to us but not what he's telling us. He votes for this package for the congressional bailout but then he blames the Democrats."
The pair also said they were surprised that the turnout for today's event, attended by less than a thousand people, was so small.
An Albuquerque Journal poll conducted in early October showed McCain trailing Obama by five points in the state.
"Just from talking with our neighbors and such it's we're tired of the last eight years and even though McCain says he's not Bush, take a look around you," he said. "It's still the Republican Party, and unfortunately my Republican Party is still the last eight years and that's very disappointing to me."
If Obama gives them more of the same tonight, both Kochansky's said they might have to vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr.
But would they consider voting for Obama?
"We've had eight years of saber rattling," Mr. Kochansky said. "It's time to move on, and so if Obama comes down the pike and says 'I have hope for America and this is what it's all about,' yeah, I'll vote for Obama."
Mrs. Kochansky agreed.