What do you think when you vote?

So the CNN/Gallup, CBS and ABC polls say Kerry won the first debate (watch interactive video extracts launched from this NY Times page). Good for him, he needs every point he can get.
I wonder what is in the mind of each voting American. From the individual reactions, the staunch partisans are staying where they are. A few undecided voters have made up their mind; others still stay undecided. I read that one voter was disappointed with both of them after the debate, because they still hadn’t produced a strong plan to reduce health insurance. Duh! The first debate was about foreign affairs and homeland security. Wait your turn. It’s not always about you!
Which makes me curious. Do typical voters think about the Presidential candidates’ policies as a whole? Or do they actually vote for the man who has said he would pay more attention to a pet cause of theirs? Would they vote against someone with a policy they find unpopular, even if his policy is intended for the good of the nation/world in the long run? I doubt so.
Considering that the president of the United States is in reality the most powerful man in the world (sorry, Kofi, but they chose you and they have lots of money and firepower and they don’t care what you say), would you give the candidate’s potential in the international arena, as much weight as his ability to manage domestic affairs? Or would you say, screw the world – this is my America, and I want a president who does things MY way?
It is very hard to be objective when everything around us is subjective. We are influenced largely by what the media says. Sometimes what the media says depends on who owns or controls it. Sometimes the people who claim to tell the truth, have actually doctored evidence or misrepresented some facts themselves (so I heard about Michael Moore).
Sometimes we get red herrings, or focus too much on a candidate’s weak point or gaffe. Quite often, that ‘weak point’ is conjured up by the other’s party. And naturally, at any political rally, you can bet that attitudes are going to be one-sided, with both claiming victory.
Even if you ignored what partisan bodies have to say, and looked at the facts – what each candidate stands for – who is to guarantee that every promise will be kept? Read my lips! Even if the candidate keeps his word, his word may not be final in the Senate.
Whatever the case, whatever the verdict – may God bless America.