They're still undecided.

A month ago, a group of Minnesotans told interviewers for the Star Tribune's Minnesota Poll that they hadn't yet made up their mind whether to support John McCain or Barack Obama on Nov. 4.

Now, with two presidential debates and a vice-presidential debate under their belts, several said Tuesday night they still haven't made up their minds.

"They're not making it any easier for me to decide," said Kay Schroeder, one of those on the fence. "At least they're not still bickering back and forth like a couple of kids."

At the same time, some voters said they have shifted their support toward Obama, which may reflect the broader tilt toward him that has been picked up in recent days by a host of national and statewide polls.

The assessments from these undecided Minnesotans are hardly statistically representative, but the importance of voters like these can't be overstated in the final weeks of the campaign.

The debate held in Nashville also featured undecided voters, who filled the hall at Belmont University and submitted the questions asked of Obama and McCain.

Here are the assessments of a handful of Minnesota's undecided:

Kay Schroeder, 63, a retiree from Long Prairie: "They seem like all they want to do is answer the same questions over and over. They simply go back to what they've said before. I haven't decided yet, but it seems like Obama's a little better on substance.

"I'm not that crazy about the McCain ticket, with all their folksy stuff. And I'm not ready to vote for Gomer Pyle as my vice president. Still, I want to hear it all before I choose."

Tom Block, 52, a heavy equipment operator from Lastrup: "It's the same as they were saying at the other debate. All they're doing is blaming each other, saying the same things over and over again, not dealing with the issues. If an independent got into the race at this point, I'd vote for someone else entirely.

"McCain's sitting there with his sly voice, sneaking in shots. Obama's saying he's right on this issue or that issue. I've had it. I'm turning them off and going to bed."

Dennis Morgan, 61, a laid-off paper mill worker from Bovey: "I'm pretty much sick of all of them, especially that woman with her Daisy Mae, aw-shucks thing.

"I've decided I'm voting Obama. I'm sick of McCain saying he's my friend -- he isn't. As a Vietnam veteran, his record on vets isn't as good as Obama's, and Obama wasn't even in the service.

"I've pretty much decided I don't much care anymore what they say in the debates -- what's going to matter is what they do after they're elected."

Marge Blenkush, 53, a disabled resident of South St. Paul: "After that, I still like McCain on foreign policy, but I like Obama on the domestic issues. I thought the debate would make things clearer, but neither one of them closed the deal. Thank goodness I have a few more weeks to decide."

Laura Eldridge, 60, a homemaker from St. Paul: "I felt they pretty much performed equally because nothing leaped out at me tonight. I've watched all of the debates, and I have to admit I fell asleep at one point. I see strengths on both sides.

"I don't know if I'll end up deciding when I walk in the voting booth. I do know from talking from my friends I'm not the only one who feels that way."

Bob von Sternberg • 612-673-7184