The latest Bloomberg/LAT poll has a bit of good news for Obama. It seems undecided voters are more pessimistic about the economy than registered voters overall--and are looking to Obama to handle the crisis:

Almost nine of 10 of the persuadable voters in the Bloomberg poll said the country is on the wrong track. That result is 10 percentage points higher than for all registered voters. The percentage of undecided voters who said the economy is doing badly is 7 points higher than among the broader public....

In the Sept. 19-22 poll, the undecided voters said Obama would do a better job than McCain of addressing the market meltdown by a margin of 57 percent to 18 percent. That's significantly wider than among all likely voters, where there is just a 12-point gap between Illinois Senator Obama and McCain, an Arizona senator.

Putting aside slight candidate preference, what is the chicken-and-egg relationship at work here? Are these voters so gloomy because they still aren't completely convinced that one of the candidates has the right stuff? Do they remain uncommitted because they are so very distressed about the path the economy is on and are waiting to hear more from the candidates? Or is there a more basic element at work, along the lines of: people unable to commit to a candidate at this late date are fundamentally wishy-washy and prone to depression?

I'm sure the pollsters and political scientists among you have the answer.

--Michelle Cottle