Politics

Presidential Race
4:35 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Obama Makes Final Pitch To Get Out The Vote

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:08 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Presidential Race
4:35 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Candidates' Last Hurrah: What's The Strategy?

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:08 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In this final weekend before Election Day, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are both looking for an edge as they make their final arguments to voters in a handful of battleground states.

For more, Mara Liasson, NPR's national political correspondent joins us. Mara, welcome.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Nice to be here.

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Presidential Race
4:35 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Romney Brings Bipartisan Appeal To Final Push

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:08 am

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: I'm Ari Shapiro, traveling with the Romney campaign. And here's a summary of Romney's final sprint: a rally in New Hampshire, a flight to Iowa for another rally, a flight to Colorado, two rallies there with a long bus drive in between then back to Iowa for a few hours' sleep in Des Moines. And that was just yesterday. Romney means it when he says:

MITT ROMNEY: We've had some long days and some very short nights.

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Presidential Race
4:35 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Knock By Knock, Campaigns Push N.H. To Vote

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:08 am

President Obama's supporters are trying to turn out voters in the battleground state of New Hampshire, even if it means using social pressure to do so.

Presidential Race
4:35 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Focus In Iowa Turns To Those Who Might Not Vote

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:08 am

Transcript

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: And I'm Sarah McCammon in Des Moines, where Republicans are fighting hard to get out the vote for Mitt Romney.

NATALIE LIEDMAN: Hi, Darlene. This is Natalie from the Republican Party. And I was just wondering if Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republican ticket can count on your support in this November's election?

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House & Senate Races
3:36 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Rape Comment Hangs Over Senate Race In Indiana

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat (right) meets Mike Nestor and LoRita Stofleth at Blueberry Hill Pancake House Saturday in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 12:08 pm

Republicans are hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate. The path toward victory had Indiana solidly on their side. That was, until Indiana's treasurer Richard Mourdock beat longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary.

Then, during a debate on Oct. 23, Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Donnelly, were asked about abortion and contraception. Like Donnelly, Mourdock said he was against abortion.

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It's All Politics
3:11 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Stuck In The Middle (Class) With You

The debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney is seen on a TV in a Korean restaurant Oct. 22 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

In a country of dreamers and achievers, we seem surprisingly content in the middle.

The term "middle class" is at once useful for political purposes and practically useless as an economic descriptor. Without a consensus on an economic definition, nearly half of the country self-identifies as being in the middle class.

That gives politicians an opportunity to make far-reaching appeals to voters, speaking to Americans with incomes of $30,000 and $100,000 in the same breath.

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It's All Politics
3:10 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Time's Running Out For Missouri's Todd Akin

Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin addresses supporters during a campaign event Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:44 am

It may be too little, too late for Rep. Todd Akin.

The Republican candidate for Senate from Missouri is seeing an influx of money in the closing days of his campaign. Still, it would come as a surprise to seasoned observers in the state if Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill went down to defeat.

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It's All Politics
3:31 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

In Iowa, The Physics Of Politics

More than half a million Iowans had already voted as of Thursday — a new record.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Both campaigns want to claim momentum heading into the final days of the campaign. This is especially true in battleground states like Iowa, where enthusiasm and voter turnout can make all the difference.

It's a common political metaphor — momentum — but is it a good one?

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Nonvoters: The Other Abstinence Movement

iStockphoto.com

To many Americans, the right to vote in a presidential election is a sacred and precious opportunity. To others, the right to not vote is just as meaningful. And they exercise it.

In just-released data, the Pew Research Center reports that about 43 percent of Americans of voting age in 2008 didn't participate in the presidential election.

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

With Buses And Billboards, Small-Money Groups Try To Make A Mark

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, a small-donor PAC, has launched a bus tour to reach conservative voters in hotly contested states, while trying to raise money to launch an anti-Obama TV ad.
Yfat Yossifor Courtesy of Mlive.com

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 5:23 pm

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It's All Politics
2:53 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Campaigns Strive To Project Confidence, But Not Hubris, In Final Days

Republican Ted Cruz (center), a candidate for U.S. Senate, greets voters in Mesquite, Texas, last month. Cruz has an 18-point lead over his challenger.
Ron Baselice, The Dallas Morning News AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:04 pm

There are political races all over the country that aren't even close, but you wouldn't know it from listening to the candidates.

It seems that every behind-the-curve challenger is scrapping his or her way to victory and every ensconced incumbent is fighting an unexpectedly tight contest.

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Election 2012
2:40 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

'For Whom Will You Vote?' May Be Wrong Question

If you want to predict a candidate's fate, there may be a better question to ask than whom voters cast a ballot for.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 4:53 pm

In the vast majority of pre-election polls, likely voters are usually asked, "If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?"

That's the wrong question to ask, says Justin Wolfers, a political economist with the University of Michigan. He's spent years researching polls, and in a new paper he offers what he says is the right question:

Who do you think will win?

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Obama Balances 'Comforter-In-Chief' Role With Campaign Sprint

President Obama greets audience members Saturday after speaking at a campaign event at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio, before traveling to Milwaukee for another campaign event.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:44 pm

President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are making the most of every moment this weekend, with only three days left before Americans choose who will lead the government for the next four years.

Update at 4 p.m. ET. Focus Is On Early Voting:

On his first stop today in the final campaign sprint, President Obama was in the super-battleground state of Ohio. The AP reports that the president reminded voters that Tuesday's election is "not just a choice between two candidates or two parties, it's a choice between two different visions for America."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Obama's Weekly Address Receives Belated Romney Response

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It's All Politics
3:56 am
Sat November 3, 2012

The Presidential Race Is Perfectly Divided, In One House

Rick and Cindy Oleshak of Webster Groves, Mo., put up "his" and "hers" yard signs about a week ago. They say they can no longer watch presidential debates together.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 8:44 am

Rick and Cindy Oleshak won't be voting the same way in the presidential election, and they want the world to know it.

The couple display competing yard signs in front of their house in Webster Groves, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. The Romney-Ryan sign is clearly marked "his," while Obama-Biden is "hers."

"We don't watch the debates together," says Cindy Underwood-Oleshak, a marketing consultant. "It took us probably 45 minutes to an hour longer to watch the debates four years ago, because we kept stopping and pausing and arguing."

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House & Senate Races
3:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Race For Redrawn Calif. District Is Tight And Pricey

Democrat Ami Bera is challenging Lungren. Bera ran against Lungren in 2004 and lost, but since the district was redrawn, the race has become competitive.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 8:48 am

Dan Lungren has been in and out of public office since 1979. The Republican represented a Southern California district in the '80s, served as the state's attorney general for eight years, and then returned to Congress to represent the Sacramento area in 2004.

These days, he's still the same pro-business, limited-government conservative he's always been, Lungren told a friendly audience in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

No, Romney's Son Is Not Gunning To Steal Ohio Vote By Rigging Voting Machines

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 4:34 pm

Have you heard the story that's swept the liberal blogosphere in recent days about how Mitt Romney's son Tagg is going to steal the election for his dad?

It's not true, but like all good conspiracy theories, it is based on kernels of truth.

This conspiracy centers on voting machines in Ohio, a key battleground in this election. A couple of Ohio counties use voting machines made by a company called Hart InterCivic. According to the rumor, Tagg Romney owns part of Hart. So, goes the story, Tagg Romney could fix the election.

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Media
3:41 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Campaigns Use Local Media As A Form Of 'Free Press'

In battleground states like Ohio, distant national figures running for the White House show up in person to capture the local news cycle again and again and again. The campaigns' desire to get "free media" simply by appearing is a source of excitement and exhaustion for local news organizations, which know they're being used but can't help themselves.

Presidential Race
3:40 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Tagg Romney, Voting Machines And Ohio 'In Context'

Social media and the liberal blogosphere have raised questions about a Texas-based voting system company's connections to several fundraisers for Mitt Romney and Romney's son Tagg. Further stirring concern, the voting systems are used in two counties in Ohio. We look at the issue in the latest installment of our series In Context. Tamara Keith talks to Audie Cornish.

Presidential Race
3:37 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Romney Makes His Campaign's 'Closing Argument'

Mitt Romney made his "closing arguments" on the campaign trail in Wisconsin on Friday.

Economy
3:35 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Romney, Obama Take Different Spins On Jobs Report

Both candidates seized on Friday's jobs report to make the case for why they should be elected next Tuesday. Employers added a better than expected 171,000 jobs in October. But the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent as more Americans entered the labor force to look for work.

It's All Politics
2:13 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

What If There's No Winner? Presidential Campaigns And Their Lawyers Prepare

People cast their ballots at an early-voting center in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 15.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 3:46 pm

The presidential race is expected to be extremely close, and that has a lot of people nervous about what it will mean for election night.

Does it mean that the vote count could drag on for days, or even weeks, as it did in 2000?

Lawyers for the campaigns, the political parties and state election offices are preparing for the possibility.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted could very well be the man in the middle of any election night storm. By all accounts, the vote in his crucial battleground state will be extremely close.

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Economy
1:40 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Sandy, Election Could Skew Future Jobs Reports

Workers clean up debris left by Superstorm Sandy in Long Beach Island, N.J., on Wednesday. The storm may lead to layoffs as business losses mount, but also could result in hiring related to rebuilding.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:20 pm

Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.

With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

How Secure are Electronic Voting Machines?

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:40 am

Election Day 2012 is just around the corner, and many Americans will be casting their ballots on electronic voting machines. But how reliable are these devices? Michael Alvarez, professor of political science at Caltech, discusses the technologies at your polling station.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:27 am
Fri November 2, 2012

It's All Politics, Nov. 1, 2012

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:47 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

Superstorm Sandy, the October Surprise no one anticipated, throws a monkey wrench into the final days of the campaign. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving spend the final pre-election podcast scouting the key presidential battleground states and have a forecast for control of the House and Senate in advance of Tuesday's voting.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for their pre-Election Day political roundup.

Economy
9:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

What's The Priority: Unemployment Or Deficit?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.

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It's All Politics
9:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Final Pre-Election Jobs Report Can Be Spun By Both Obama And Romney

President Obama gives a girl a high five at a campaign rally in Hilliard, Ohio, on Nov. 2.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:20 am

(Revised @ 12 p.m. ET)

The final monthly jobs report before Tuesday's general election contained something for both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney to work into their closing arguments to voters.

For Obama, it was the news that the economy in October created significantly more jobs — 171,000 — than many economists had forecast. And the Labor Department revised upward the job numbers for September and August, suggesting even more underlying strength in the economy than earlier appeared to be the case.

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It's All Politics
8:01 am
Fri November 2, 2012

In Oklahoma, Republicans Take Two Views Toward Taxes

Rowers return to the Chesapeake Energy Boathouse after training on the river near downtown Oklahoma City. The riverfront recreation area is one of the most visible examples of the city's sales tax initiatives in action.
Joe Wertz/StateImpact Oklahoma

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:45 am

On Tuesday, voters in Tulsa County, Okla., will weigh in on a pair of ballot measures that would extend a sales tax hike to fund economic development and public works projects.

Tulsa's Republican mayor, Dewey Bartlett, and other local GOP leaders support the idea of continuing the tax hike. So does the local business establishment, represented by the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Romney's Baffling Claim About Medicare Pay Cuts For Doctors

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes his case about Medicare during a briefing in South Carolina in August.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:19 pm

Health care in general — and Medicare, in particular — have been big parts of this year's presidential campaign.

But over the last couple of weeks, Republican Mitt Romney has been making a new claim that doesn't quite clear the accuracy bar.

It has to do with $716 billion in Medicare reductions over 10 years included in the federal health law, the Affordable Care Act. And it's become a standard part of Romney's stump speech.

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