Politics

Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Tales From The Trail: Who's Undecided And Why?

Host Guy Raz speaks with NPR's Don Gonyea, who has just spent two weeks on the campaign trail. Along the way, he met some undecided voters. In swing states, undecided voters are being bombarded by advertising, and Gonyea explains what is keeping them from making up their minds.

Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

The Undecided Voter: Just Like The Unicorn?

President Obama and Mitt Romney answer questions from undecided voters at the second presidential debate, at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y., last Tuesday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 11:35 am

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino heard something strange on the radio last Tuesday. A local sports show host, Marc Hochman of The Ticket, said that while he might tune in to the Yankees vs. Tigers game that night instead of the presidential debate, he would definitely watch the third and final debate.

"That will really decide my vote at this point because I'm one of those undecided voters," Hochman said.

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Election 2012
10:45 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Obama And Romney, Metaphorically Speaking

Whatever you think about the candidates, we can all agree both have been punching bags for their opponents.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 3:46 pm

Sometimes it feels like everything that should be said about President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney has already been said.

But maybe there is a way to talk about politicians in a fresher, cleaner way — without talking about politics. Like — or as — poets do it. Speaking metaphorically.

Sometimes you can say more about someone by not really talking about the person, but talking about something else. My love is like a red red rose, Robert Burns wrote. He is a feather in the wind, Led Zeppelin sang.

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Simon Says
8:11 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Beware Election-Year 'Scam PACS'

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

What business would you tell a young person to go into these days? Plastics? Oooh, that can mean lots of regulations. Wind turbines? Solar panels? Who knows how long those may take to pay off? App development? How many Angry Birds does the world need?

Then what about superPACS? They're political-action committees that can spend unlimited amounts of money to laud, mock or bash any political candidate.

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National Security
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Wondering About The Cost Of War? We Have Answers

Sgt. Ben Roberts (center), recently returned from Afghanistan, speaks with Chick-fil-A manager Michael Sims at a military job fair in Columbia, S.C., in January.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, our focus is veterans affairs and defense spending.


Paying For War

Question from Sue Hoben of Canton, Conn.: "Why don't we increase taxes when we wage a war? For instance, Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely if national interest is at stake, then we should be willing to pay the price rather than add to the deficit."

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

They Call The Election A Horse Race; It Has Real Bettors, Too

The Dublin-based prediction market site Intrade lets users bet money on whom they expect to win a variety of U.S. political races, including the presidential race.
NPR/Intrade screen grab

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

By this point in the campaign season, the presidential polls may have your head spinning. Romney's up 7 points in one, Obama's up 3 in another ... and on any given day, a dozen other polls are swirling, each offering a different take.

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It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

White Men, A Key GOP Demographic, Discuss The Romney Appeal

Annual "Biketoberfest" participants ride along Beach Street in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2010.
Daytona Beach Visitors Bureau

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

For all the attention paid to women in this race, there's another gender gap — with white men.

The Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigned in northeastern Florida on Friday, where thousands of men had descended on Daytona Beach for the annual motorcycle festival Biketoberfest.

A bunch of them were at Willie's Tropical Tattoo smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and listening to music.

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It's All Politics
2:43 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama Battling To Maintain Women's Vote, Seen As His Key To Victory

The crowd joins Republican Mitt Romney in singing the national anthem at a rally Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:54 pm

After President Obama's self-described somnolent first debate performance, his female supporters lit up social media and tagged the campaign with complaints about his failure to talk about their issues, from pay equity to health and reproductive rights.

He's been playing catch-up ever since, focusing on shoring up his party's two-decade-long domination with female voters who are key to Obama's hold on the White House.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Colorado, A Big Win For Obama In 2008, Now A Harder Sell

Supporters turned out for President Obama's first post-debate rally on Oct.4 in Denver. The president is facing a fierce fight for Colorado after winning it by 9 points four years ago.
RJ Sangosti AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

In Colorado, the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. The state went heavily for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 — but the president is now facing fierce headwinds.

Obama won last time by 9 points, an astounding margin in a state that hadn't gone Democratic since 1992. One Democratic strategist calls 2008 a one-time case of "irrational exuberance," especially among Colorado's large contingent of swing voters.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Senate Hopefuls Make Final Pitches

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Candidates in a handful of other close Senate races squared off in their final debates last night. We're going to hear some of what they had to say in three states: Virginia, Connecticut and - first - Missouri.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Analysis
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Week In Politics: Presidential Debate, Polls

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Well, now from Biketoberfest to our own hard-riding political commentators, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks. Welcome back to you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be here.

DAVID BROOKS: Vroom, vroom.

BLOCK: We are in the...

DIONNE: I'm counting on David's deep expertise in NASCAR today.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Saying Moderator Is Prettier Than CNN's Crowley Gets Candidate In Trouble

Democrat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate from Arizona.
Ross Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 1:11 pm

As Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was courting controversy last night by saying during a debate that the "health of the mother" isn't a reason for an abortion anymore, out in Arizona a Democratic candidate for Senate was stepping in it by telling a male debate moderator that "you're prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:28 am
Fri October 19, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 18, 2012

AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:07 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

Presidential debate No. 2 is in the books, and the consensus is that — unlike debate No. 1 — President Obama came prepared for battle. For all the talk about "binders full of women," and what was said when after the events in Benghazi, Libya, Obama and Mitt Romney both made their cases. Now, they prepare for the third and final debate on Monday. We also bid farewell to former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political roundup.

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Barbershop
9:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Candidates' Jabs: Funny Or Flat?

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:03 am

In theBarbershop, the guys discuss President Obama and Mitt Romney's comedic commentary at a famed dinner Thursday night. Host Michel Martin is joined by writer Jimi Izrael; civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar; National Review columnist Mario Loyola and health care consultant Neil Minkoff.

Election 2012
9:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Are Candidates Ignoring the Poor?

President Obama and Governor Romney have discussed the middle class a great deal during the debates, but the candidates haven't spent nearly as much time talking about the poor. To get a read on the state of poverty in America, host Michel Martin talks with Irwin Redlener, of the Children's Health Fund and Timothy Noah, a columnist for The New Republic.

It's All Politics
9:32 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Redistricting In Maryland Imperils Longtime Congressional Republican

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., at a House Small Business Committee hearing on Sept. 21, 2011. After two decades in Congress, a redrawn district has put his re-election in question.
T.J. Kirkpatrick The Washington Times /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:38 am

Democrats have an uphill battle to take control of the House of Representatives in November. But one bright spot for the party is in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

State Democrats redrew the district's boundaries, and now it favors their party. That leaves 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in trouble.

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Election 2012
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama, Romney Campaigns Craft Ads For Female Voters

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Women are certainly front and center in the presidential campaign. Over the past few days, both Mitt Romney and President Obama have released new ads in an effort to court women. This follows the latest presidential debate where work and family issues created some heated discussions onstage and then among voters. NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.

JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: The ad wars are becoming as tit-for-tat as this week's debate. Right off the bat was this from the Romney camp, featuring a former Obama voter.

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Election 2012
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Campaigning In Ohio, Bill Clinton Opens For 'The Boss'

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

There are some sure signs that a presidential election is fast approaching: Get out the vote rallies take on a new urgency and the really big names show up. That was all on display yesterday in Parma, Ohio, where Bill Clinton and Bruce Springsteen were the co-headliners. NPR's Don Gonyea was there.

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Election 2012
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Redrawn 6th District In Md. May Benefit Democrats

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In November, Democrats have an uphill battle if they want to try and take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. But one bright spot for the party is the Sixth Congressional District in Maryland. State Democrats redrew the district's boundaries and now it favors their party. And that leaves 10-term Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett in trouble. NPR's Jeff Brady has our story from Hagerstown, Maryland.

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Election 2012
4:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Romney, Obama Poke Fun At Each Other At Al Smith Dinner

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The president and his Republican rival are both holding rallies today in swing states, meaning they'll likely be taking swings at each other's policies and political positions.

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It's All Politics
12:54 am
Fri October 19, 2012

The Third-Party Factor: Will 2012 Look Like 2000?

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson addresses students at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., in September.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

As the presidential race enters its final weeks, there are many factors that could affect the outcome: a great — or terrible — debate performance by one of the candidates on Monday in Florida; the next jobs report; or the presence of third-party candidates who are on the ballot in almost every state.

Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico who's running on the Libertarian ticket, is on the ballot in 48 states.

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Solve This
2:16 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Romney's Defense Plans Call For Higher Spending

U.S. Marines drive amphibious armored personnel carriers in the Philippines on Oct. 9, as part of the annual joint exercises with Philippine counterparts.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

One area where President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney clearly disagree is defense spending. The president wants less, Romney wants more. But the difference in their approaches is about more than money.

When Romney looks at the future, he sees a series of threats: from unrest in the Middle East to a nuclear North Korea to what he sees as a defiant Russia.

Speaking to veterans in Virginia's Fairfax County last month, Romney blamed the Obama administration for cuts that will go into effect unless Congress and the president act.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Swing-State Billboards Warning Against Voter Fraud Stir Backlash

An anonymous "family foundation" is paying for billboards warning against voter fraud, like this one in a minority neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. Clear Channel, which owns the space, says the anonymity violates its policies but it will not take the ads down.
Ken Barcus NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Dozens of anonymous billboards have popped up in urban areas in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Wisconsin. The signs note that voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Civil rights groups and Democrats complain that the billboards are meant to intimidate voters.

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It's All Politics
1:10 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Underdog Democrat Keeping Things Close In Nevada Senate Race

Democatic Rep. Shelley Berkley greets Republican Sen. Dean Heller before the second of their three debates, on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Early in-person voting in Nevada starts Saturday, and it's not just the presidential contest that's being closely watched in this swing state.

The race for the U.S. Senate is also seen as a tossup, a bit of a surprise for Republicans, who have counted on retaining the GOP-held seat as they try to build a majority.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller — in office for only 18 months — faces seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley on Nov. 6.

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It's All Politics
11:56 am
Thu October 18, 2012

A Watch Party In China For The U.S. Presidential Debate

The Shanghai skyline
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Gathering voters to watch a presidential debate and then evaluate it is a long tradition in American journalism. So, I got to thinking: What would happen if I invited a bunch of interested foreigners — all of them Chinese citizens — to watch the presidential debate from my Shanghai office?

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It's All Politics
7:56 am
Thu October 18, 2012

How Conservatives Learned To Love Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign rally Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:00 am

As recently as last month, it was clear that a lot of Republicans were unhappy with their presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

When I would ask GOP voters how they felt about Romney at campaign rallies or at their doorsteps, many made sour faces, like they were swallowing chalk. They offered their most backhanded endorsements, saying things like, "He wasn't my first choice," or, "He's who we've got."

It was clear they would vote for him, but for many it was not out of love — it was out of disdain for President Obama.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu October 18, 2012

For One Night, Obama And Romney Will Trade Jokes, Not Jabs

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (left) and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Oct. 16, 2008. At center is Bishop Edward Michael Cardinal Egan.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

After sharp words on the debate stage Tuesday and after weeks of tough talk about each other on the campaign trail, President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney face a different kind of challenge tonight:

They have to be funny about each other and about themselves.

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Election 2012
5:10 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Republican Governors Gear Up For Election Gains

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the keynote address during last month's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Christie's election in 2009 was part of the first wave of Republican gubernatorial victories.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

While the presidential election consumes the nation's attention, the Republican Party is poised to expand its dominance of state politics with this year's contests for governor.

If predictions of strategists in both parties and polling prove correct, the November elections could give the Republicans their highest number of governors in 91 years.

Among the current governors, 29 are Republicans, 20 Democrats and one is an independent. Next month, Republican candidates could take away as many as five governorships from Democrats.

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Election 2012
2:51 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Romney Reviews Debate Issues During Virginia Stops

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

After their lively town hall debate on Long Island Tuesday night, President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney jetted off in different directions yesterday to rally the faithful and woo the undecided in some key battleground states.

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Election 2012
2:37 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Obama Tries To Regain Female Voter Advantage

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:11 am

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley, traveling with President Obama, who's eager to regain the advantage he once enjoyed with women voters. The Obama campaign spent much of yesterday taking Governor Romney to task for what some regard as his out-of-date comments about women in the workplace.

Mr. Obama drove the point home last night in front of 14,000 supporters on a college campus in Athens, Ohio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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