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.
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?
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.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The race for the Senate seat held by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, has seen some wild swings this year. Republicans initially thought their candidate, Congressman Todd Akin, had the race locked down. But that changed dramatically in August, when a controversial remark by Akin swung the race in McCaskill's favor. Now, Akin's recovered some of that lost support. NPR's David Welna has this update.
Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:17 pm
Six states and the nation's capital have recognized the legality of same-sex marriages, either by law or by court order.
But over the past decade and a half, each of the 30 states to consider constitutional amendments that would outlaw such unions has adopted the ban — from Alaska in 1998 to North Carolina earlier this year.
That may change on Election Day, when voters in Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota — awash in money, messages and advertisements from both sides of the issue — will make their decision on whether to recognize gay marriage.
The U.S. economy remains in a gray area, so it's no wonder that the presidential race is essentially tied.
Gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annual rate between June and September, according to figures out Friday. The White House says this means the economy has been growing for 13 straight quarters.
Now comes the debate over the debates. No matter who "won" or "lost," it's clear that there has been momentum building toward Mitt Romney since he first debated President Obama early this month in Denver. Plus, a look at the competitive Senate races. And the comment by Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock about rape, pregnancy and God has put a GOP Senate seat in jeopardy.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for this week's political roundup.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. There it was in big, bold type on the Fox News website, how Twitter may have tipped the election for Romney. A column written by Juan Williams, who points out that Twitter reported there were, quote, a whopping 10.3 million tweets during the first debate, unquote.
It's been a bit of a mystery throughout the campaign. The president seems to devote at least as much time criticizing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney as he does explaining what he'd like to do if returned to office.
Obama has taken some heat for his silence and sought to answer such complaints this week. But even as he's made his priorities more clear, he hasn't answered what may be the biggest outstanding question: how he'll get congressional Republicans to go along with his agenda.
Democrats and Republicans are on track to spend about $1 billion each on television advertising in the presidential race. Most of it is negative, and almost all of it is concentrated in nine battleground states.
If you live in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia or Wisconsin, you cannot get away from the ad blitz being waged by both sides. For the folks who track political advertising at Kantar Media CMAG, these commercials tell a story.
Political history was made last night when President Obama's campaign, including affiliated Democratic Party committees, announced that it has raised in total more than $1 billion this election cycle, NPR's Peter Overby reports.
The number turned up as Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney made their final campaign finance disclosures before Election Day.
With 13 days left until the Nov. 6 election, President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, both included trips to Iowa and Nevada on their schedules. Each tried to fire up his supporters and cast doubts about the other to gain an advantage in a race that appears essentially tied.
At rallies in Davenport, Iowa, and Denver, both swing states where the election is fluid, Obama trotted out attack lines he's used in recent days against the former Massachusetts governor.
President Obama is matching his opponent mile for mile, campaigning today across the country and late into the night. He set off this morning on tour that will take him to half a dozen battleground states before he returns to the White House late tomorrow. NPR's Scott Horsley is tagging along with the president.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is where it got started, Iowa. I believe in you and I'm asking you to keep believing in me.
Audie Cornish talks to Jon Ralston, host of the Nevada TV show Ralston Reports. He talks about the unprecedented number of political ads airing in Nevada this year. Many shows, including his, have been shortened to create more time for ads to run.
Women's issues were back front and center in politics on Wednesday after Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said in a debate Tuesday night that when a rape results in pregnancy "it is something that God intended to happen." Democrats pounced and Mitt Romney distanced himself from the remarks. But the Romney campaign did not ask Mourdock to pull down a TV ad Romney taped for him. Mourdock is in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in an overall fierce contest for control of the U.S. Senate.