Rock Center | October 04, 2012
>> "rock center" tonight. about last night they now estimate 67 million of us watched a very energized mitt romney cruise to a consensus victory over president obama in their first of three debates. this now throws something of a change into the race and this only focuses more attention on the big and ongoing fight to swing those remaining undecided voters . they number about 5% of all voters. they take up 100% of the efforts of some of the campaign teams who have to find them and then hook them as harry smith recently saw in the critical state of north carolina .
>> reporter: republican volunteers canvass in the neighborhoods of raleigh, north carolina .
>> how are you today?
>> reporter: this is real retail politics, the ultimate neighborhood watch .
>> mitt romney .
>> thank you for your time.
>> reporter: the grueling day by day search for the most important person in this election. the undecided voter .
>> another double.
>> reporter: and we found him. he's george manukus.
>> you are aiming in the wrong direction.
>> reporter: george is a registered independent who voted for john mccain four years ago but is still on the fence. the candidate who wins his vote and others like him will win the election.
>> you know you are the most important person in the country?
>> i like to think so.
>> george is a serious consumer of political news and has been paying very close attention to the presidential race .
>> i see the negatives of both. i see the positives of both.
>> reporter: because george lives in north carolina , a swing state he has been inundated from propaganda from both parties. in north carolina alone, an estimated $50 mlt is spent to reach the 6% of undecided voters .
>> thank you for your time.
>> you get a lot of political phone calls here?
>> i'm on their speed dial .
>> i'm calling about the president obama election in november.
>> can mitt romney count on your support?
>> the phone rings all the time?
>> mailbox full of.
>> full of political literature, yes.
>> do you look at any of it?
>> not much. not much.
>> reporter: and then there are the tv and radio ads , a barrage that knows no limits. behind the ads are people like will who know just about everything there is to know about republicans and democrats and people in between. his company national media dissects nation-wide surveys. to him voters are consumers and picking a candidate is little different from deciding what car to drive. his bubble charts tell the whole stories what republicans like on the right. what democrats like on the left and the independents in the middle.
>> what is a republican drive?
>> an american-made automobile or suv.
>> what does this rock red republican like to drink?
>> sam adams which we like to think because sam adams was such a patriots and opposed big government . maybe that's why republicans like to drink sam adams beer . democrats like to drink vodka, rum, tequila, sauvignon blanc would be predictive of partisanship.
>> where does the republican eat dinner?
>> applebee's and ruby tuesdays but not tgi fridays .
>> he knows what you drink and what restaurants you eat in.
>> and how i'm going to vote before i do.
>> it's scary.
>> absolutely. yeah.
>> reporter: and he knows what we watch. armed with that kind of information, the parties can plant their ads in the places that will most likely yield a harvest, that all important bubble of independents and undecideds.
>> in north carolina --
>> we looked at the partisanship of the weather channel and is it in the middle.
>> reporter: that goes to local tv . will predicted what stations george watches in raleigh, nbc 17 and kral.
>> i watch nbc 17 and wral.
>> you learned a lot about who your constituency is.
>> too much sometimes.
>> the ads pile up and the phone keeps ringing. most of it targeted at george , who insists the debates will be the most important factor in his decision. and as for those carefully placed political ads?
>> it's lost its effect on me.
>> you are tuning out?
>> the one factor george cannot tune out is his wife voula. she is voting for president obama and may have more influence annie political argument .
>> we know each other pretty well. i know what goes in one ear and out the other.
>> isn't there anything you can do to recruit him over?
>> there there is a lot.
>> she won't do that.
>> we won't repeat that. cut, guys.
>> a jersey girl identifyibilty to me. two things here. who is undecided? what larger, more diverse choice are you waiting for. have you been in touch after the debate?
>> george , his problem going in is he said i don't think president obama can work with congress or that romney has a plan. we talked this morning and george is leaning toward governor romney. he was impressed last night but he is still undecided.
>> harry smith with the wild and woolly chase for the undecided out there. looked like you had a good time at their house.
>> i would happy to go back.
>> we should revisit after the election.