this is "nightline." >> tonight, inside the final 30. battleground and biscuits. >> double bacon. >> triple. >> in this small town in a high-stakes swing state, deep fried foods and deep conversations. >> we got one crook and one big-mouth. >> byron pitts takes us to north ca deep roots. >> we cater to white trade only. that actually gave me chills. >> where divisions of the past are shaping the future. >> i'm voting out of respect. marcia, marcia, marcia. "dancing with the stars" sensation more reek mccormack on leaving "the brady bunch" behind. her battle with drug addiction -- >> once i tried cocaine, it changed everything. >> and the man she says saved her life. >> myife is extremely courageous. and --
>> "you spin me round." celebrating the life of pete burns, the rock legend who inspired a generation of young people to be true to themselves. ? baby right round ? >> first the "nightline 5." >> i i was smoking instead of being there for my son's winning shot. that was it for me. that's why i'm quitting with nicorette. >> a fast-dissolving formula that relieves sudden cravings fast. >> how. when coughing keeps your family awake, breathe easier with vick's vaporub. soothing cough relief that starts working instantly. >> and number one coming up in
t minus 15 days until the election and we're all getting bombarded by this wild race. perhaps nowhere are things hotter than in the battleground state of north carolina where clinton and trump are in a dogfight. this is where a gop headquarters was fire bombed. it's also where my "nightline" coanchor byron pitts has roots. byron makes a fascinating homecoming tonight in the latest installment of our series "inside the final 30." >> reporter: welcome to dal where the food's fried. >> double bacon. >> triple! >> double. >> reporter: folk are friendly. >> good morning. what are y'all doing here so early? >> reporter: the guns on the wall are real. and there's little love for either presidential candidate. >> we got one crook and one big-mouth won't shut up. >> i wonder who you're talking about. >> you know who i'm talking about. >> reporter: for decades the southern town west of raleigh has leaned republican.
you guys mind? >> we're kind of voting for the lesser of two evils. >> reporter: this far below the mason-dixon line, race matters. >> i'm voting for donald trump. >> why clinton? >> she's more qualified. >> reporter: 49-year-old a.b. parker has voted in every election since he was 18. not this year. >> have you ever not voted before? >> no. >> it must be hard. >> it's terrible. >> reporter: terrible, what will likely be a terribly cloes contest el >> holy charlotte! >> reporter: 15 electoral votes, the swing state of north carolina, now the front line of this year's political battle ground. north carolina won't be won or lost with big rallies or in big cities but in small towns like apex. communities like friendship. >> that's a great aunt's house right there. looks exactly the same. >> reporter: friendship is home to my family where dirt roads and dignity once intersected. it was formed in the 1800s when
so friendship is more of an idea than it is a town? >> it is not a town, it's a community. but it's certainly an idea. >> reporter: here clinton nor trump paint a picture locals aren't thrilled about. >> we don't talk politics because we know some people think different so we don't want to hurt anybody. >> reporter: comfort food and uncomfortable conversations have a long history in north carolina. >> the location hardly seemed historic. woolworth's 5 and dime in >> reporter: 1960, four freshmen -- negroes from north carolina a and t university -- made the revolutionary move to sit-in. audacity at odds with anger generations old. >> you've arrived at your destination. >> reporter: 56 years later, outside that same diner, the scars of history still sting. >> that actually gave me chills. "we cater to white trade only." that meant anyone who looked like me couldn't go there.
>> reporter: the old woolworth's now a civil rights museum. where we met tobias thorne. >> they sat down for us, now we stand up for them. >> reporter: his ballot less about the future president and more about promises past. >> i'm voting out of respect of all the people who made sacrifices for me to be able to vote. because honestly, if it weren't for that, i can't honestly say i would be as engaged with it. i will be voting. i won't be voting for trump. but is it the same amount of excitement? personally, not for me. >> reporter: a sharp contras to eight years ago when he voted for the very first time. his state historically red, went blue. that year, 23% of voters were black. 96% of them voting for obama. but it was a tight race won only by 13,000 votes. in 2012, the state once again turning red. now both candidates desperately courting the african-american
vote for trump, i'm going to fix it. >> the decision for the next four years of this country could be either turmoil and disaster, or it could be hope and opportunity. >> reporter: marcus bass is an a did and. grad and director of a voting rights advocacy group. >> part what was i'm hearing is obama may have energized people eight years ago, but it's information people are relying on now, not enthusiasm. >> yeah, i think 2008, president obama brought a lot of folks to the table. now the folks are at the table asking the questions, demanding more than just a seat. >> reporter: for months he's been out fliers to communities less likely to vote. >> so this is a church not that far from north carolina a and t. it helps to just be the middle of the road provider of information. so giving them little things that they can hand out to their congregation, actually giving congregations this fan. >> fans are big. >> definitely big with fans in the faith community. >> where are you off to now? >> a meeting in durham at 3:00. >> that's a lot of time on the road.
>> dress shirt, casual shirt -- >> more than anything, t-shirts with messages have really lifted up the concerns in whatever space. having a powerful message, having a powerful button, is sometimes more important tan having on a suit and tie. >> reporter: he sees north carolina as a flash point. >> no protests in charlotte -- >> no justice, no peace! >> the controversial law in north carolina denying some rights to gay and transgender people. >> reporter: all these causes becoming a call to action during th the clinton campaign certainly hopes so. >> hello, byron pitts. >> very nice to meet you. >> reporter: calling on the likes of jason collins, the first openly gay nba player to rally troops at campaign offices. >> we owe it too people who have come before us to get involved if in the process, to get excited about it. >> reporter: even among the faithful enthusiasm seemed in question. >> how do you explain the
don't everybody speak at once. >> i don't know if it's excitement or if everybody's just kind of like -- just ready to vote. ready to go. >> reporter: fully throated enthusiasm or not -- >> are you reg pherred to vote at your current address? >> reporter: clinton has 33 offices in north carolina to trump's three. this voter is heading to china the next day and would not have voted until -- >> military or overseas so you can vote from china. >> reporter: it's that one-on-one interaction the >> we want to make politics as small and localized and individual as possible. that takes a big organization, it takes us all to work together to do our part. we do it really effectively, it works. >> reporter: not a bad strategy in a state where both candidates are viewed as flawed. the recent fire bombing of a gop campaign office. while still no arrest, a dark reminder for all that has changed in north carolina. old demons, old tactics live anew. this family-friendly state remains a family divided.
what will be an easier conversation to have in dallas? politics or your sex life? >> that's nonexistent so we don't worry. >> reporter: the average age at this table is 85. these same ladies have shared a meal, swapped recipes, attended funerals with my family. >> what do you all think about the two candidates? >> let's not go into that, i'm eating. i don't want to lose it. >> reporter: when it comes to politics, they sit at different tables. it's worth noting as blacks and whites debate one america in the front of the restaurant, the immigrants working back in the kitchen are having another discussion altogether. >> who are you leaning towards? clinton or trump? >> hillary clinton. maybe i vote for hillary clinton. because -- i don't know. donald trump, he is no respect. >> there's a time in which north carolina was north carolina. now it's more like north america there are people from all over
carolina home. back in friendship where my mother was born and where she's buried, in our family's cemetery. >> in the south, certainly here in friendship, people don't so much visit the graveyard to grieve but to talk. to visit family. >> reporter: the friendship of her childhood was predominantly black, overwhelmingly rural. today it's now a place where the highly educated and overly affluent live as friends. >> i moveder >> what's your work? >> software engineer. >> reporter: in north carolina this election is less about two unpopular presidential candidates. it's far more personal than that. it's about what was -- >> i'm sure she would have had a strong opinion about hillary clinton and donald trump. >> reporter: what is -- >> what do you think about this race between hillary clinton and donald trump? >> i just want to vote none of the above. >> reporter: and what will become of an old southern state battling over what a new america will look like, taste like.
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i carry a pistol. i fight back. that's why i'm still here. every woman has a right to defend herself with a gun if she chooses. hillary clinton disagrees with that. don't let politicians take away your right to own a gun. donald trump supports my right to own a gun. "dancing with the stars" tonight we saw maureen mccormick, better known as marcia brady, gracing the floor. on "the brady bunch" she was the perfect older sister.
with powerful demons. she sat down with abc's abbie boudreau. ? shot through the heart ? >> reporter: tonight on "dancing with the stars," a throwback to the 1980s for maureen mccormick, or as most people remember her from the 1970s, marcia brady. at 60 years old, the beloved tv veteran has turned in solid performances week after week. even paying homage "the brady bunch," the show that made her famous 47 years ago. ? the >> reporter: america's favorite girl next door says toeing the line between marcia brady and maureen mccormick hasn't been a ball. >> for years i think, you know, in my own personal life, i felt like i had to play marcia brady. ? here's a story of a lovely lady ? ? who was bringing up three very lovely girls ? >> reporter: the oldest girl with that hair of gold was the perfect one. famously inspiring jealousy from little sister jan.
school is how great marcia is at this, how wonderful marcia did that. marcia, marcia, marcia. >> marcia, marcia, marcia does not bother you. >> not at all. >> you hear it all the time? >> i do. >> reporter: that beautiful complexion and wholesome attitude resaw on tv gave way to a young woman struggling with her weight, depression, and what she says was an incredibly dark drug addiction. mccormick says she started using cocaine in her late teens after "the brady bunch" ende changed my endorphins and everything. i loved it. and i abused it to the greatest extent. >> reporter: we went out on a boat with mccormick and her husband michael cummings outside los angeles. smooth sailing today but it wasn't always. >> i just got in with a very fast rock 'n' roll club, immersed in the whole drug culture. >> reporter: she danced with her demons for five years. >> i think if i would have
>> reporter: she says meeting cummings 31 years ago saved her life. >> he pretty much said, you know what, you get it together or i'm go gone. >> my wife is extremely courageous. i have watched her face battle after battle. "dancing with the stars" is just another example in a long line. >> reporter: it wasn't your typical hollywood romance. in part because he'd never seen one episode of "the brady bunch." >> gosh, you never saw the show? how that is possible? >> he lived in a >> he lived under a rock. >> i can't say i saw the show. i mean, i was aware that it was out there. it just wasn't my thing. >> reporter: and in the studio, we learn maureen's russian-born partner has something in common with her husband. >> i have no idea who she is. >> he had no idea. the second man i've ever met, other than my husband, who had no ide i was. >> reporter: we're there for her latest rehearsal where she tangos with artem while fighting
>> we had a bit of a tough time in week three, i think. but we've seen the doctor, and i think we're doing much better now. >> reporter: mccormick says despite getting physically hurt the dancing has had a therapeutic effect. >> in the past you've talked about certain things like depression. does that help with your emotional state? >> exercise is really, really important for me. when i don't exercise, i don't feel as good. >> reporter: she's had support throughout her journey from her "brady bunch" family. >> fabulous! i'm so proud >> reporter: tv mom florence henderson strutted her stuff on the 11th season of "dancing with the stars." ? honey honey don't stop ? >> i'm extremely proud of maureen. because i know how tough it's been for her. >> did she give you any tips? >> she texts me every day. she's been to the show many times. >> reporter: maureen also had a special cheering section.
organization for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. like her brother dennis. >> they're my heroes. i look to them. they're so positive, they just want to keep going. they don't let anything stop them. so -- they give me strength. ? you give love a bad name ? >> reporter: tonight, mccormi mccormick's last tango. >> 7. >> that leaves 28 out of 40 -- >> reporter: her score is not high enough to make it in the next round. but smile and trademark resilience shone as bright as a mirrored ball. >> i've just learnt in life that, you know, there's many bumps along the road and you just got to keep going. you just got to keep pushing through. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm abbie boudreau in los angeles. >> our thanks to abbie. you can see maureen mccormick
morning. pete burns, bursing onto the scene in a pink kimono singing "you spin me round" and became equally famous for plastic surgery and his ever-changing look. ? watch out here i come ? ? you spin me right round baby like a record baby right round round round ? [ "on the road again," by willie nelson ] ? on the road again ? [ rear alert sounds ] [ music stops ] [ front assist sounds ] [ music stops ] [ girl laughs ] ? on the road again ? ? like a band of gypsies we go down the highway ? [ beetle horn honks ] no matter which passat you choose, you get more standard features, for less than you expected. hurry in and lease the 2017 passat s for just $199 a month. it's endless shrimp at red lobster.
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finally, pretty much anybody who grew up in the 1980s will remember pete burns singing "you spin me round." burns went on to lead a remarkable public life. world tonight are remembering. here's abc's nick watt. ? you spin me right round baby right found ? >> reporter: 1985. dead or alive's mesmeric front man pete burns is everywhere. a generation of kids realizes it's okay to be different. burns died sunday. he was 57 years old. along with the likes of boy george, he blurred gender lines, greatly expanding the definition of cool forever.
>> reporter: today the culture club crooner tweeting, one of our great eccentrics and such a big part of my life. later in life burns became known for his sometimes caustic appearances on reality shows like britain's "big brother." >> who trained you to use the toilet? >> my mom. >> how old were you? was it recent? >> wait -- >> reporter: he became famous for his ever-changing face. >> you were a beautiful man. why did you want to change it? i see myself as my own clay. i was remodeling it. >> reporter: i interviewed burns for "nightline" about his plastic surgery obsession. >> what are you underneath? >> i'm not about to tell anybody that, all i will say is what you say on the outside is a complete contradiction to something that's on the inside. we're all changing something. you're not sitting here unshaven. or stark naked. i'm not sitting here untouched by the syringe. >> reporter: he said a procedure on his lip in 2000 nearly killed
i get bored and i think i'm going to change. >> reporter: burns died, according to his manager, of a massive cardiac arrest. i'm nick watt for "nightline," los angeles. ? you spin me right round ? >> thanks to nick watt for that report. thanks to you for watching abc news tonight. we're online 24/7 at abcnews.com and on our "nightline" facebook page. thanks again for watching and good night. she never expected this. >> are you okay? >> the woman on a ridea long with cops gets a shock of her life. then yoga pants brigade. >> who the guy who says women over 20 should never wear yoga