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FROM THIS EPISODE

With the campaign down to a few precious days, the last, few undecided voters are said to be women. We find out who they are, where they live and how neatly they do or don't fit into categories like "waitress moms" and "Walmart moms." Whatever happened to "soccer moms?" Also, economic growth exceeds expectations, and the Tesla. Not just a groundbreaking electric car, it's exposing the stranglehold of automobile dealerships that dominate retail sales.

Banner image: Sarah Conard/Reuters

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal

Making News Economic Growth Exceeds Expectations 7 MIN, 37 SEC

The Commerce Department today released one of the last important sources of economic data before the November election. It shows an increasing growth rate, with different degrees of optimism from consumers and business. Kevin Hall reports on economics for the McClatchy Newspapers.

Guests:
Kevin Hall, McClatchy Newspapers (@KevinGHall)

Main Topic 'Waitress Moms,' 'Walmart Moms' and Undecided Voters 36 MIN, 52 SEC

Both parties agree that the 2012 presidential election is going down to the wire. President Obama and Mitt Romney are dashing from swing state to swing state in pursuit of this year's last undecided voters. Polls show they are women — predominantly white, non-college educated, working women who are the fastest growing part of a changing workforce — not the "soccer moms" of the prosperous 1990's. Obama accuses Romney of conducting "a war on women," but they've been moving in Romney's direction since after the first debate. Are they more concerned about abortion and contraception or the economy? How does "micro-targeting" help the candidates speak to the different needs of different women?

Guests:
Katharine 'Kit' Seelye, New York Times
Margie Omero, Momentum Analysis (@MargieOmero)
Will Feltus, National Media (@willfeltus)
Kirsten Swinth, Fordham University

Reporter's Notebook Is Tesla a Threat to Car Dealerships? 6 MIN, 31 SEC

Since the start of the US auto industry, manufacturers have granted the right to sell vehicles to new-car franchisers. State laws now require that car makers leave retail sales to somebody else. But a tiny new maker of electric cars is challenging that system. Elon Musk, who founded PayPal and was the first to launch private missions to the International Space Station, is making the sleek, expensive Tesla. Rather than use the franchise system, he's setting up his own stores. Auto dealers and regional associations are fighting back. Jerry Hirsch reports on the auto industry for the Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesJerry)

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