Obama Romney rally supporters placards signs generic campaign election / CBS News/AP
The vast majority of voters have made up their mind about the presidential election, but tonight's debate caters specifically to those who haven't. The town hall-like format of the debate gives uncommitted voters in the audience, selected by Gallup, the chance to ask the candidates questions anything they want about domestic or foreign policy.
The format offers both risks and rewards for the candidates, in part because it's impossible to predict what your average uncommitted voter may have on his mind. For a hint of what may be in store, CBS News asked three uncommitted voters in battleground states what they want to hear in tonight's debate. And we'll also follow up with these voters following the debate.
Lynn Zuercher, 63, Arlington, Va.: Cracking down on Wall Street; reversing the HHS mandate
"I'd like to hear about the banks, and I've heard very, very little conversation about the banking industry, the massive problems they've caused for the global economy, what kind of repercussions there are for them. People like [JPMorgan Chase President and CEO] Jamie Dimon seem to have the politicians in their pockets.
"It really distressed me to see how much power the financial sector and corporate America has over our policy. This is the other major issue -- the way corporate interests are controlling state governments. In the last presidential debate Mitt Romney numerous times kept saying, 'I think we need to turn this over to the states.' Very, very few people pay attention to state government, but the corporations are basically pulling the strings; they're basically funding whatever their agenda is. I'm very concerned about the influence they have, and we're talking all 50 states -- Pfizer, the Koch brothers, Exxon.
"I don't hear the president or Mitt Romney addressing those issues at all. I know which way I am leaning in terms of the election, but it really worries me, the game the radical Republicans are playing. I'd like to see the president go much more on the attack on that.
"Another issue I'd like to hear the president address is the [Health and Human Services] mandate" requiring most employers to offer health insurance plans that cover the cost of birth control.
"Isn't there another way for American women to obtain contraception other than through a religious employer? I'm really upset about that. This is an issue that affects our First Amendment rights.
"It seemed to me that the president was doing it to garner female votes, and as a woman, that bothers me. I've used contraception even though I'm a Catholic, and I understand the inequities of women having to pay for that. At the same time, I work at Georgetown University Hospital, and I would never expect them to offer a health plan to me that includes contraception. It goes totally against the philosophy, and I don't think it's right for the federal government to do that."