Politics

Around the Nation
2:49 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Missouri Ballot Measure Would Raise Cigarette Tax

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Asking voters to raise taxes on themselves is a tough sell, but there are initiatives around the country doing just that. In Missouri, it's the cigarette tax. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax of any state, and some of the highest smoking and lung cancer rates. St. Louis Public Radio's Veronique LaCapra reports.

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Election 2012
2:49 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Disputes Over Early voting Ignite In Florida

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The presidential election is still a day away and already disputes have broken out in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote.

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It's All Politics
2:06 am
Mon November 5, 2012

America's Changing Face Presents Challenges For The GOP

Voters cast their ballots during the first day of early voting at the Meadows Mall on Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

The final days of an election cycle bring an obsession with the short term — the very short term. Daily tracking polls. A relentless get-it, post-it, blog-it news cycle. Trending topics on Twitter telling us something (though it's not always clear what).

But for just a moment, let's slow it down, look at what's happening over a somewhat longer time frame, and see what it tells us about what the country will look like for the winner of the presidential race.

The Long View

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It's All Politics
1:27 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Any Way You Describe It, 2012 Campaign Spending Is Historic

Voters participate in early voting Friday in Silver Spring, Md.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:07 am

As relentlessly as the candidates have courted voters, they've also shown their love to donors.

A report by the Center for Responsive Politics places the total cost of the 2012 elections at an estimated $6 billion, which would make it the most expensive election in U.S. history

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Election 2012
2:00 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

Gay Marriage, Marijuana And Taxes: States Decide

Melissa Fults, treasurer for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, holds up cards at the back of a news conference in Little Rock, Ark., with the names of doctors she says support a ballot issue that would legalize medical marijuana.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:42 am

Voters will decide 174 ballot propositions across 37 states this election. Reid Wilson, the editor in chief of National Journal's Hotline, says he believes these decisions will change the day-to-day lives of average Americans more than who wins the presidency.

He spoke to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about some key initiatives across the country.


Interview Highlights

On same-sex marriage

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

The Last Pew Poll: Obama Holds Edge On Eve Of Election

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:24 am

The final poll released Sunday by the Pew Research Center ahead of Tuesday's election shows President Obama has a 3 percentage point lead over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney just two days before the general election.

Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 45 percent in the poll of 2,709 likely voters, which has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. The poll was conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

Here's more from the Pew news release:

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It's All Politics
10:49 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Potential Election Day Firsts: Races To Watch

On Tuesday, Mia Love could become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. Here, she speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 10:59 am

Election Day is promising many firsts — and not just the obvious ones.

Yes, the country could get its first Mormon president if Republican Mitt Romney is elected. And of course, it could get its first two-term African-American commander in chief if President Obama is re-elected.

But Tuesday offers a smorgasbord of other potential "first" opportunities across the nation — from New Hampshire, which could end up with the nation's first all-female congressional delegation, to Arizona, which could elect its first Hispanic U.S. senator.

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It's All Politics
10:03 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Two Days Out: It's All About Election Day Turnout

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney poses with children during a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 4:28 pm

With Election Day just two days away, the presidential campaigns of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney are spending the final hours criss-crossing the swing states trying to get their supporters to the polls.

Update 6:15 p.m. EDT:

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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.

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