Youve seen the TV scene a hundred times: A network news station corrals six undecided voters -- three women, three men, two of whom are black, three white, and one seemingly of Middle Eastern origin -- in a library in Small Town, America. Mr. Correspondent then asks about the Big News Event.
You dont want to seem cynical but these staged town hall meetings sure do seem to spur predictable answers from our good neighbors, The Undecided.
But not this time.
Who are the faces behind the early polls that show Kerry won the debate? They are these six folks in Massillon, just outside of Canton, in swing state Ohio, speaking with NBC correspondent Ron Allen.
So why are you, Jennifer Bauer, an executive assistant, still undecided?
"Im not convinced George Bush is doing the right thing over in the war," Bauer says. "And I think John Kerry has a good knowledge of foreign policy."
And you, Phillip Elum, small business owner, you voted for George Bush in the last election -- what did you think of Bushs performance in the debate?
"His performance was fine," Elum says. "But John Kerry gave me a higher comfort level in his capability of being commander in chief and in homeland security."
Julie Farley, dental office manager, you are a "security mom." Who do you think will keep the country safer?
"I think John Kerry will."
"Yes. I think President Bush puts fear in us. And I think John Kerry is a leader and is basically just going to handle it."
Bob Phillips, you are a Persian Gulf veteran and now work at the veterans administration. Who do you think has a better plan for Iraq, for getting the troops home the soonest?
"I think John Kerry does, just for the simple fact that he wants to make it a coalition ideal, where everybody gets involved. Where George Bush is making our troops more involved."
So who had the stronger night?
All six: "John Kerry."