A panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., has upheld South Carolina's controversial voter ID law, but says the state can't implement it until 2013. In a unanimous decision, the panel said there wasn't enough time to implement the law ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. The judges also said the law doesn't discriminate against racial minorities.
On Thursday night, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan takes the national debate stage for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman faces off with Vice President Joe Biden. We take a look at the strengths and weaknesses the House budget chairman brings.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:17 pm
Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.
In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.
Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin previews Thursday's vice presidential debate. WOSU news director Mike Thompson talks Ohio politics. And former Virginia governor Tim Kaine and former congressman Tom Davis talk about Kaine's U.S. Senate race against another former Virginia governor, George Allen.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:10 pm
Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.
Now we turn to the former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She served under President George W. Bush. She's now the founder and leader of Margaret Spellings and Company. That's a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Madam Secretary, welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.
MARGARET SPELLINGS: Glad to be here, Michel. I'm sorry I'm not seeing you face to face. Hurry back.
Our next guest spent years allied with key conservatives on education reform. Diane Ravitch is the former assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush. During her time in that administration and afterwards, she advocated standardized testing and expanding school choice through charter schools. Those would later become key elements of No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush, but she eventually became a critic of these approaches.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today we want to bring you into one of the most important conversations we are having in this country. It's about our schools. Welcome to our Twitter Education Forum. Today we are broadcasting from member station WLRN in Miami, but the conversation has actually already started.
For the past month on Twitter, using the hashtag npredchat, we've already been hearing from our radio audience and from our digital audience.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:11 am
Joe Donnelly is counting on the auto industry bailout to help him out.
Donnelly, a third-term Democratic representative, is running for U.S. Senate in Indiana, which remains heavily dependent on the auto and RV industry. His opponent, GOP state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, not only opposed the bailout of Chrysler, but sued to block it.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa and Ohio Tuesday, as a wave of new polls suggested Romney's strong debate performance last week paid off. Swing states that recently seemed far out of his reach now look like a virtual tie in polls, or even leaning in the Republican's direction.
With the presidential race tightening, both candidates are eying the same prize: Ohio. President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both campaigned there Tuesday. It was Obama's second visit to Ohio in five days.
For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:56 pm
With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.
When Mitt Romney said he would cut PBS funding in the first presidential debate — and singled out Big Bird, whom he said he liked a lot — he perhaps inadvertently introduced the befeathered yellow children's icon smack into the center of political debate. President Obama approved a cable-only commercial dinging Romney for going after Sesame Street rather than Wall Street, but Romney appears to think he has a winning hand — castigating the president for focusing on a profitable educational puppet empire rather than big issues, like terrorism in the Arab world.
From Ohio now to Michigan, where labor unions are betting big this election. They're throwing their weight behind not one, but three new ballot proposals. The most ambitious of the three would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state's constitution. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, that could reverse as many as 170 state laws that currently limit union bargaining power and fundraising.
Mitt Romney's day began in Iowa and ends in Ohio and that's where President Obama is as well for an evening rally in Columbus. NPR's Scott Horsley is already in Columbus and he joins us now. And Scott, the reaction to last week's debate has been mostly negative for President Obama. Are his Ohio supporters worried about that?
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:21 pm
Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:50 pm
Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.
The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.
Rion Tucker is covering a lot of ground in his home state of Maine these days. The 20-year-old is a canvasser for Equality Maine, and he's been knocking on lots of doors in an effort to make sure that voters in his state pass a ballot initiative in November legalizing same-sex marriage.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:12 pm
In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.
The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.
When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.
You heard Brian mention outside groups spending in Virginia. That spending was made easier by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling back in 2010, which opened the door to more corporate political spending. Loud complaints about that decision came from the state of Montana, where we're going next. It has a history of restricting corporate political spending, and officials worried that outside groups would swamp their tiny media market - which they have, as NPR's Martin Kaste reports.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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There was a time when Republicans seemed very likely to take control of the Senate this fall. They still have a good chance of that - though political odds makers now see the contest as close. It will be decided by races like the one in Virginia, where two former governors are running and debated last night. Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine are among the biggest political names in their state.