Politics

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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House & Senate Races
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sept. 11 Becomes Issue In Wisconsin Senate Race

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

One of the most liberal members of the House, Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin was not supposed to stand a chance in a statewide Senate run after she won the Democratic primary. And, a week out from the election, she remains in a tight race with former Governor Tommy Thompson for the open seat. Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson has this report.

Presidential Race
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama Pitches Bipartisanship Before Election

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

With his city picking up the pieces left by Sandy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the spotlight today to make a high-profile endorsement. President Obama gets his vote for a second term. Bloomberg singled out the president's leadership on climate change.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Mr. Obama, meanwhile, resumed campaigning. He's holding rallies today in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado while his opponent, Mitt Romney, spends the day in Virginia.

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Presidential Race
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama, Romney Begin Final Swing State Tours

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

It's a tight race in Nevada, where the vaunted Democratic machine is being challenged by Republicans. The GOP hopes a higher turnout will counter a Democratic registration advantage. Unions — which have half Hispanic membership — and the Obama campaign are doggedly pursuing every voter. Meanwhile, the Romney campaign's Nevada team is doing the same. Early voting ends Friday.

Politics
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Mobile Apps A Digital Take On Political Canvassing

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Canvassing has long been a part of the political process. But now, new social networking technologies are changing how people go door-knocking. Mobile apps with integrated voter registration rolls make it possible to collect and react to voter sentiment instantly. And a new Facebook tool enables volunteers to evangelize for their candidates like never before.

From member station KQED in San Francisco, Aarti Shahani reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TAPPING)

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Presidential Race
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Romney Says Obama Doesn't Understand Business

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: I'm Ari Shapiro, traveling with the Romney campaign. After a few days of muted criticism of the president, Mitt Romney let loose in Virginia today.

MITT ROMNEY: We really can't have four more years like the last four years. I know the Obama folks are chanting four more years, four more years. But our chant is this, five more days. Five more days is our chant.

(APPLAUSE)

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

A Campaign Map, Morphed By Money

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 2:36 pm

Campaign reporters spend a lot of time pointing at color-coded electoral maps like the one below, showing which states voted for Republican John McCain (in red) and Democrat Barack Obama (in blue) in 2008.

But these maps lie — visually speaking.

Red appears to be the clear winner, dominating a vast swath from the South to the Rockies. It's all geographically accurate, but electorally skewed. For example, Montana (three electoral votes) dwarfs Massachusetts (which had 12 electoral votes in 2008).

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Superstorm Sandy May Have Blown In Fresh Breeze Of Bipartisanship

President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon arriving in Atlantic City, N.J., on Wednesday to visit areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:02 pm

Amid the devastation caused by Sandy, there are signs the superstorm might have blown a fresh breeze into the nation's politics. Suddenly, everyone's talking about something that seemed impossible just days before — bipartisanship.

Nothing sums that attitude up better than the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Republican Christie, who has worked closely with GOP hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign and has consistently proved one of President Obama's harshest critics, put that aside in the aftermath of Sandy.

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It's All Politics
2:00 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

What Romney's Run Means For Mormonism

The Mormon Salt Lake temple in Salt Lake City.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 8:59 pm

Win or lose on Election Day, Republican Mitt Romney has already made history as the first Mormon to win a major party presidential nomination.

But has his race for the White House changed Americans' perceptions and stereotypes of the small, insular but fast-growing religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

And, by extension, has Romney affected how Mormons view their place in the nation?

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Politics
12:05 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Well-Liked Leaders Know The Secret: Make Us Laugh

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.

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It's All Politics
11:36 am
Thu November 1, 2012

If Presidential Election Held Today, Clint Would Beat Oprah

A life-sized cardboard cutout of actor, director and politician Clint Eastwood stands next to an empty chair cutout north of Los Angeles, California. Eastwood's 12-minute conversation with an empty chair representing President Obama sparked much attention at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:12 pm

File this under "I didn't really think there was anything else I could learn about or care about swing state voters, and then came this."

Swing state voters by 42-38 percent would prefer a President Clint Eastwood over a President Oprah Winfrey.

Republican swing state voters would prefer President Stephen Colbert over President Jon Stewart by a 3-to-1 margin. Flip that for swing state Democrats.

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It's All Politics
11:31 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Obama Returns To The Post-Sandy Campaign Trail

President Obama campaigns Thursday in Green Bay, Wis.
Tom Lynn AP

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 12:49 pm

Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.

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