Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:36 pm
With the death, destruction, flooding, power outages and transportation disruptions caused by Sandy the Superstorm, it may seem crass to ask about the impact on next week's election.
But here's a question: Could the trail of devastation left by the storm in a part of the nation whose states are generally colored blue in presidential races depress turnout in those states, especially among Democrats?
Staffers at The Seattle Times are protesting the newspaper's decision to run free political ads for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and for the state's referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage. The company says the ads are part of a pilot project to prove that political advertising in newspapers can work. But journalists at the paper say giving away the space diminishes their journalistic integrity.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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Mitt Romney did not officially campaign today out of respect for those recovering from Sandy or still enduring the giant storm, but he did appear in a crucial swing state before thousands of cheering supporters.
NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on Romney's balancing act one week before the election.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Looming over the recovery from Super Storm Sandy is what to do about next Tuesday's election? The prospect that some voters could still be displaced or without power a week from today has election officials trying to come up with alternative plans.
It even has some people talking about the highly unusual step of delaying the vote, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
As this long election comes to end, Superstorm Sandy is offering a chance for President Obama to showcase his leadership skills one last time.
For Obama, this campaign has truly been a fight against the elements: a painfully slow economic recovery and a political landscape in which the Republicans swept the table just two years ago. The Obama campaign, with its trademark discipline and meticulous organization, set out to overcome these obstacles.
But the long campaign has also put the spotlight on features of Obama's own personality and performance.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Shirley Sherrod lost her job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture after she was accused of making racist statements in a speech, an accusation that was false and a smear. Now she's telling her own story in her own way. She has a new book out and she'll tell us more about it in a few minutes.
Shirley Sherrod was forced out of the Department of Agriculture because of a misleading video. An edited clip appeared to show her saying she didn't want to help white farmers save their land. But the entire speech made it clear that Sherrod was actually saying racism is wrong. She talks with host Michel Martin about her book The Courage To Hope.
You can barely listen to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney make a speech or give an interview without hearing some variation of this vow:
"On Day 1 of my administration, I'll direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. And then I'll go about getting it repealed," he told Newsmax TV in September 2011.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 12:58 pm
Hurricane Sandy's on-the-ground devastation has yet to be cataloged, and how the violent storm may affect the presidential campaign with just a week to Election Day is equally uncertain.
Will President Obama's response to the disaster help or hurt his re-election prospects? Or will the campaign's new trajectory — canceled appearances, postponed early voting — ultimately benefit Republican Mitt Romney?
A new NPR poll shows the outcome of the Nov. 6 election is too close to call. Mitt Romney leads President Obama nationwide; Obama leads Romney in key battleground states. Both leads are within the poll's margin of error.
The latest and last NPR Battleground Poll for 2012 shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding the narrowest of leads in the national sample, but trailing President Obama in the dozen states that will decide the election.
The poll adds evidence that the Oct. 3 debate between the two men redefined the race. But the movement toward Romney that emerged after that night in Denver also seems to have stalled after the race drew even — leaving the outcome difficult to call.
Wisconsin is in the small group of remaining battleground states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. Turnout operations are an important part of the Mitt Romney and President Obama campaigns in all the critical states. But in Wisconsin, get-out-the-vote efforts grew out of the state's hard-fought gubernatorial recall election.
Looking at this year's Republican primary field, Sigmund Freud might have divided the candidates into superego and id.
The id is all about passion and zeal — and that defined most of Romney's challengers: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich all made pulses race.
The superego is more measured.
This much smaller column consisted briefly of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and more notably, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
A poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center shows that President Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days after the first presidential debate.
The poll shows that among likely voters, the race is now a statistical dead heat with both Obama and Mitt Romney receiving 47 percent support. Among registered voters there is what Pew calls a "statistically insignificant two-point edge" of 47 percent to 45 percent for Obama.
The rest of the government may have been shut down for the hurricane, but not the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justices were in court Monday to consider a challenge to the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. The new law broadly expanded the government's ability to conduct large-scale monitoring of international phone calls and emails to and from people in the United States.
With just over a week left before what may be another very tight election, many offices are seeing more and more heated conversations about politics. But what are the rules? Employment lawyer John Barr and human resources expert Lynn Taylor talk about the collision of politics and the workplace.
Early voters fill out ballots in Miami. Voting experts say Hurricane Sandy isn't likely to cause major disruptions — but that it would have been a far different matter had Florida taken a direct hit from the storm.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:57 pm
As Hurricane Sandy continues its slow progress toward the East Coast, thoughts of voting aren't uppermost in most people's minds. Nevertheless, state and local officials are scrambling to accommodate early voters as best they can.
Depending on how the storm ultimately plays out, Sandy isn't expected to have much effect on the outcome of the presidential race. Most of the states in its path are not considered competitive.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, you have no doubt heard about the religious violence that's been plaguing northern Nigeria but you might not have heard about how a new university, led by an American educator, is hoping to play a role in bringing peace to that country as well as other difficult conflicts on the continent. We'll tell you more about it later in the program.
Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:34 am
The 2010 elections, in which Republicans had a net gain of 63 seats in the House, was one for the record books. It was the most impressive showing by the GOP since 1938, when their net House pick up was 80 seats, and the best showing by any party in the House since 1948, when the Democrats added 75 seats. The sweep of two years ago more than wiped out the gains made by the Democrats in the House of 2006 (31 seats) and 2008 (20 more).
Now, the effects of this powerful storm have forced President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, to alter their campaign schedules. The president has cancelled a rally that was scheduled in Florida. We're also told of a rally that's been cancelled in Wisconsin.
Cokie Roberts spoke with us earlier on this program. She's been following the effects, the potential effects of this storm on the campaign.
One of the most bitter congressional races is in the suburbs of Chicago, where controversial freshman Republican Joe Walsh is fighting to keep a seat he was actually drawn out of.
The Tea Party favorite's bombastic rants frequently get him into trouble, even with members of his own party, and Walsh is facing a tough Democratic opponent in Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in combat.
There are 11 gubernatorial races this fall, and one of the most competitive is in the swing state of New Hampshire.
There, Republican Ovide Lamontagne and Democrat Maggie Hassanare vying to replace a popular Democrat who opted not to seek a fifth term. Both political parties and outside advocacy groups are pushing hard in a race where neither candidate enjoys a clear edge.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney places a prayer note during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in July. Israel is one of the few foreign countries where residents have a clear preference for Romney over President Obama.
Political campaigns have been transformed in so many ways over the decades. But you wouldn't want to wear a silicon chip or a yard sign in your lapel. Mort Berkowitz has made political buttons since 1976, and says business is still good. He joins us now from member station WBUR in Boston. Mr. Berkowitz, thanks for being with us.
MORT BERKOWITZ: My pleasure.
SIMON: You've seen a lot of buttons over the years, haven't you?
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments Judge," makes an appearance at a Tea Party rally in Mobile. The Republican is running for chief justice again despite being removed from the office nearly 10 years ago for defying a federal court order to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building.
Credit Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images
Roy Moore was ousted from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court because he refused to remove a marble statue of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse.
Credit Courtesy of Judge Bob Vance for Chief Justice
Bob Vance entered the race in August, upsetting the assumed victory of Roy Moore and siphoning off moderate Republicans uncomfortable with Moore's politics.
Republican Roy Moore, Alabama's controversial "Ten Commandments Judge," is back on the ballot this year, running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court — despite being removed from that office nearly a decade ago.
In a state as red as they come, he is facing last-minute Democratic challenger Bob Vance, who is reaching out to moderate Republicans turned off by Moore's politics.