When Democratic Senator Kent Conrad announced his retirement, his seat in North Dakota was all but written off to the Republicans. Instead, on Tuesday, North Dakota voters chose Conrad's onetime protege at the State Tax Commissioner's Office, the state's former attorney general, Heidi Heitkamp, and she joins us now from her home. Welcome to the program.
SENATOR-ELECT HEIDI HEITKAMP: Thank you so much for having me.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:08 pm
The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.
In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.
Election Day has come and gone, but NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin are still trying to make sense of it all. Was it close? Well, a 50-to-48 percent popular-vote edge for President Obama certainly indicates that.
But the president won just about every battleground state, pushing his Electoral College totals into landslide proportions. And, the Democrats did far better in the Senate than anyone expected.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later, we want to hear what the Barbershop guys have to say about some of the ballot initiatives that made headlines around the country in this week's election. They include measures that will allow same-sex marriage in two additional states and permit the recreational use of marijuana in another state.
The guys also want to talk about the how the country's changing demographics contributed to this year's election results. That conversation is coming up.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:03 am
If Congress fails to act, some $15 billion will be cut from science funding in January 2013. Physics professor and Beltway insider Michael Lubell talks about how science can escape that "fiscal cliff," and what to expect for climate change, healthcare and space under four more years of President Obama.
On Election Day, Washington, Maine and Maryland states voted to legalize same-sex marriage, stopping a 32-state losing streak. In Maryland, African-American faith leaders took vocal positions on both sides of the issue, and host Michel Martin hears from two of them: Reverend Delman Coates and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:49 am
For as much criticism as pollsters endured in the run-up to Election Day, a look back shows many of them hit very close to the bull's-eye for the presidential race — but some did better than others.
Take the venerable Gallup. It had Mitt Romney at 49 percent and President Obama at 48 percent in a poll published Monday, a day before the voting. And when undecided voters were split up among candidates, Gallup put the figure at 50 percent Romney, 49 percent Obama.
Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 4:18 pm
Every second-term president has to rebuild some or all of his Cabinet as high-profile members often time their resignations with the end of the president's first term. President Obama already is expected to receive a number of resignations, which he will have to fill.
With the guessing game under way, here's a look at some of the people who may emerge from a second-term Cabinet shakeup:
Many religious conservatives thought this might be the year of an evangelical comeback, when voters would throw President Obama out because of his support of same-sex marriage and abortion, and his health plan's birth control mandate. It didn't work out that way.
"I think this was an evangelical disaster," says Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 2:53 pm
It only took two extra days, but Florida's Miami-Dade County has finished counting votes in the presidential election.
Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley said Thursday she was pleased to announce that the state's most populous county, with more than 2.5 million people, was "the first of the large counties to complete its tabulation process."
Townsley was referring to three other large counties — Broward (population 1.8 million), Palm Beach (population 1.3 million) and Duval (population 870,000) — that were still tallying absentee ballots.
Melissa Block talks with Republican strategist Mark McKinnon about how the Republican Party moves forward, following its defeats on Tuesday. McKinnon has said that the GOP has a problem with its brand.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The political landscape of Washington, after more than a year of campaigning and billions of dollars in political spending, is stunningly unchanged. President Obama is in the White House. Republicans control the House of Representatives. Democrats hold the Senate.
Speaking of the fiscal cliff, let's take a minute to review what it is and how it all began. Imagine yourself standing on top of a cliff and it's December 31st, New Year's Eve and you're looking down, way down, toward New Year's Day. That's the deadline, the day a lot of fiscal policy will change and nearly all of us will feel it unless Congress acts.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Before the election recedes too far, there are a couple more takeaways that deserve attention. One is the money. Spending in the 2012 campaign reached record heights. Some estimates put the total at more than $6 billion, and the new outside groups, the superPACs and the nonprofits, spent more than a billion to buy maybe one million television ads. In a moment, the effect of that unprecedented flow of cash.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:43 pm
Florida is again having problems determining the winner of its presidential vote. But its difficulties are entirely different from the ones that kept the nation in suspense for more than a month back in 2000.
"It was just a convergence of things that were an embarrassment to Florida," says Susan MacManus, a political scientist at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The election is over and the deadline for the so-called "fiscal cliff" is drawing closer. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about how the two relate, and what it could mean for America's economic future.
Unions poured millions of dollars into ballot campaigns to guarantee collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution and allow state-paid home care assistants to organize into a union. Both were resoundingly defeated.
The 2012 election was very close in the popular vote, but it was a real blowout in the electoral college. And that has Republicans sifting through the results, for lessons for the future. NPR's Mara Liasson reports.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
House Speaker John Boehner says he's ready to work with President Obama on a looming fiscal problem. Republicans kept control of the House on Tuesday, though they also lost seats. Now they have weeks to negotiate over the scheduled higher tax rates and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.
In an election that highlighted the political divide over abortion, female voters turned out to be a key to victory for President Obama.
Public outcry over Republican Todd Akin's comments on "legitimate rape" ultimately gave Democrat Claire McCaskill a U.S. Senate victory in Missouri. And in Indiana, Republican Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock lost his race at least in part because of his comments about pregnancy resulting from rape.
The Republicans' comments pushed the abortion issue to the forefront — and also united and motivated abortion rights activists.
Although voting problems in Tuesday's election were fewer than some people had expected, there were extremely long lines at many polling sites; so many that President Obama noted them in his victory speech.
"I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time, or waited in line for a very long time," he said, adding, "by the way we have to fix that."