A technical glitch in the voting process allows a man extra time to decide his vote for the President of the United States and his vote is the deciding one. Kevin Costner plays the lead character named Bud Johnson. Bud is a lazy, beer-drinking, slacker, who does the minimum necessary to get through life. Bud has a precocious daughter named Molly (played by Madeline Carroll). She takes care of her father, because he cannot take care of himself. Molly wants her father to be more active and to participate in life, especially in regards to his civic duty to vote. Molly gives a report in school, which is taped for broadcast on the news. Bud could care less about voting, figuring his one vote will not make any difference at all. But, he agrees to meet Molly at the voting place to make her happy. Bud works at an egg packing plant and gets caught drinking on the job and is fired. He goes to the bar to get drunk. He sees Molly on the news which reminds him he promised to meet her. He runs out of the place, bangs his head, and passes out in his truck.
Molly is at the voting place waiting for him, but it is about time to close. Molly sneaks into the voting place to try to cast the vote for her father. She succeeds in getting the ballot registered as being cast but the machine gets unplugged in the middle of the process, which prevents it from registering which candidate was voted for President of the United States. Molly finds Bud passed out in his truck. Even though she is only a kid, she drives the truck home.
The rules allow a short time for such a voting machine error to be remedied and allow a person to be able to cast their vote during said period as long as it was already registered as being entered in the system. When all the others vote are counted, to everyone's shock, Bud's single vote will be the deciding vote for who becomes the next President of the United States.
The opposing parties see this as an opportunity for mounting a final campaign to get Bud's vote. The Republicans are trying to re-elect Andrew Boone (played By Kelsey Grammer). The Democrats are seeking to replace him with Senator Donald Greenleaf, who is from Vermont (played by Dennis Hooper). President Boone is advised by his campaign manager, Martin Fox (played by Stanley Tucci) to find out what Bud's position is on key issues so they can mirror those things to win him over. Senator Greenleaf gets similar advice from his staff. The problem is no one, including Bud himself, knows where he stands on any issues. The press is not helpful when they put their own spin on what they think Bud's opinions might be. Every time Bud's expresses an opinion on things like abortion or control of the borders, this causes the parties to waffle on major issues. They even take the opposing positions from the ones they normally would take. The Democrats says they are against illegal immigration and are pro-life, with the Republicans saying they are for gay marriage and support of the environment.
The candidates meet with Bud directly. President Boone gets Richard Petty to pick up Bud and Molly to drive them to the airport, where he takes them on a tour of Air Force One. Senator Greenleaf gets Willie Nelson to promise a concert. Once Bud gets to know them, regardless of what their people are saying about their positions or the bribes they offer, he starts to respect them both as individuals. Bud asks for a final debate before he casts his vote so he can ask the candidates direct questions. At the debate, Bud tells everyone he has no clue about any of the issues at all, so he is going to ask questions he received in the mail. Bud casts the final vote but we never find out which one of the men he selected.
Best part of story, including ending:
The ending is terrible because we never know who he votes for, so it makes the movie almost pointless.
Best scene in story:
I like when Molly is driving the truck home taking care of her passed-out father, because she is more responsible.
Opinion about the main character:
Bud so not be so neglectful of his daughter and he is very lucky she is so smart.