Attention Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: I know you’re busy running for president, but you won’t want to miss this.
Women — specifically moms — will play a big part in deciding which one of you gets to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next January, and they are paying very close attention to everything you say and do.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with moms Jen White Shedrick, Dori Brady and Rachel Brown — three undecided voters living in Wake County, North Carolina. They welcomed me into their homes and allowed me to tag along for their morning exercise walk.
These three women watched Monday night’s debate with their kids, and their chief reaction to the televised cage match was that Trump’s manners stink and his insults repel them. But Clinton isn’t in the clear with these women either. They are anxious about the possibility that more damaging information could come out between now and Election Day that could point to a lack of judgment on her part.
To win the White House, Trump and Clinton need to win these moms, and voters like them, in battleground states across the country. In our new NBC News|Survey Monkey tracking poll, nearly 30 percent of women said their opinion of Hillary Clinton changed for the better following the debate, while just 11 percent said their opinion of Donald Trump changed for the better.
The campaigns are watching these numbers carefully because women are more likely to vote than men, and in the swing states, they could be the difference.
While one of the moms we spoke with has a good sense of how she’ll vote, the other two plan to wait until the final day to make their decision. That means everything that transpires between now and Nov. 8 matters a lot.
In the run-up to Election Day, we'll be tracking the “Mom Vote.” We will listen to the issues and behaviors that are shaping the way women see the candidates, and which way they are leaning.
In addition, we want to hear from moms. We know you don’t vote as a block or think alike. Your concerns are America’s concerns and your worries center around the country we leave behind for our kids. But your votes will determine who wins, so speak up, reach out and tell us what you think using #MomVote on Twitter.