Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:54 pm
With eyes on the presidential debate in New York, we decided to turn ours to the swing state of Nevada, where President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney are battling mightily over the state's small but crucial trove of six electoral votes.
Polls show the race at a near dead heat in the Silver State, which was hit harder than any other by the recession, and still records among the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in the nation.
The Romney campaign has accused the Obama administration of being too soft on China. Critics of China's trade policy say Beijing keeps its exchange rate artificially low in order to make Chinese products cheaper than products made in the U.S., thus giving China an unfair trade advantage. President Obama, like his predecessors, has declined to identify China officially as a "currency manipulator," saying that designation would have no beneficial effect and could spark a new trade war. Governor Romney says he would reverse that policy on his first day in office.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. A low profile wing of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has just reported raising a remarkable amount of money - $236 million in just the past few months. The report comes from Romney Victory, Incorporated, that's a joint fundraising committee that allows donors to give far more than the usual $5,000. Its limit is over $75,000 per person.
For Mitt Romney, this moment is a peak in a campaign that has had more than its fair share of valleys. During the Republican primary campaign, Romney suffered a number of close calls as the nomination and the presidency seemed about to slip through his fingers. The most recent of those close calls came just two weeks ago in Denver when Romney lagged far behind President Obama going into that first debate.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:53 pm
Each presidential and vice presidential debate lasts 90 minutes. If you watch political ads, though, they may seem to go on much longer.
In the hours and days after the first presidential debate and this year's sole vice presidential version, both campaigns used debate footage in their ads — attempting to amplify messages, make counterarguments and drive the focus of the election.
Former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nominee, has moved into a hospice care facility in Sioux Falls, his family and friends tell The Associated Press and other news outlets.
The 90-year-old World War II veteran is "coming to the end of his life," his daughter, Ann McGovern, tells the AP.
The Tea Party may have took the 2010 midterm elections by storm, but many analysts are now asking if the party's influence has cooled off. Host Michel Martin looks at the Tea Party's prospects for this election with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Shelby Blakely, journalist coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 12:46 pm
It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.
Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.
However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.
Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.
INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.
Veterans applaud at an Oct. 8 campaign event in Swanton, Ohio, for Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Health care and unemployment are among veterans' chief concerns this election season, and both the Obama and the Romney campaigns have offered solutions.
Military veterans across the country have a whole range of concerns this election season, from the high rate of suicide to special challenges for female vets. But like everyone else, they're especially concerned with health care and jobs.
The nation's obligations to some 2 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan pose a challenge for the next commander in chief. Unemployment for post-Sept. 11 vets is about 2 percentage points worse than the national average, and veterans want solutions.
As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.
The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey's respondents. Obama's support is now down to 37 percent among rural battleground voters, a plunge of 10 points from the actual rural vote in those states four years ago.
The nation's poverty rate is as high as it's been in almost two decades. Last year, 1 in 6 Americans was poor — more than 46 million people, including 16 million children.
But on the campaign trail, the issue of poverty has received surprisingly little attention.
When he first ran for president, Barack Obama went to a low-income neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and spoke passionately about hunger and poverty. He repeated Bobby Kennedy's question in 1967: "How can a country like this allow it?"
Romney adviser Dan Senor talking with NPR's Steve Inskeep
A President Mitt Romney would make the "military option" a credible threat in the effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons by repeatedly saying that it "remains on the table, that it is real" and by making sure that senior officials don't imply otherwise, a top foreign policy adviser to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee tells Morning Edition.
In three weeks, millions of Americans cast their vote for president in an election that both campaigns depict as a stark choice between two fundamentally different visions for the country. But the chief executive's power is limited in real ways, by Congress, foreign interests, and other players.
For a man who was elected president partly on his ability to give a great speech, Barack Obama has been at times a surprisingly poor communicator in office and on the campaign trail.
That may have been most evident earlier this month during the first presidential debate. But Obama generally hasn't been as impressive at getting his message across in his four years in the White House as he was during the campaign that put him there.
Rosie Castro was a Mexican-American civil rights activist during the 1970s. She passed down her passion for change to her children: Texas State Representative Joaquin Castro and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. For Hispanic Heritage Month, Rosie Castro speaks with host Michel Martin about the Chicano movement and raising her twin sons.
A poll out from ABC News and The Washington Post on Monday, shows President Obama with a slight edge over GOP nominee Mitt Romney. As the candidates head into Tuesday night's debate, host Michel Martin gets the latest on election news from Republican strategist Ron Christie and Corey Ealons, a former Obama White House advisor.
Voting stickers at the Miami-Dade County elections office on Oct. 10. A study of online conversations finds that voters in the large, diverse county are discussing issues differently from those in other parts of Florida.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:46 am
Last week, we discussed state-by-state differences in online conversations around the issue of unemployment. That analysis of millions of words from news posts, blogs and user comments showed how the conversation in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia varies greatly because of cultural and socioeconomic factors.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 6:39 am
Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.
Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. His vote could be one of the hardest to get, and often the one that made the difference.
Since April, more than 825,000 presidential campaign ads have been broadcast in the battleground states. Oddly, the dominant Republican voice on TV hasn't been that of nominee Mitt Romney. The big advertisers are four heavily funded SuperPacs and tax-exempt groups.
On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.
Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Something tells me the late Arlen Specter would not mind if we remember him with a joke. Specter was one of the most influential senators of the past half century, but shortly before his death of cancer at age 82, he turned to stand-up comedy, poking fun at fellow politicians like Newt Gingrich.
ARLEN SPECTER: I've known Newt so long, I knew him when he was skinny.
More Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for Congress than ever before. A total of 36, including incumbents, launched campaigns this year — more than double the number from a record set just two years ago, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
Of those, a record 21 contenders — 18 Democrats and three Republicans — claimed victories in their primaries and are now vying to represent districts across the nation.