This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Congressional Democrats are looking into allegations that a Republican consulting firm committed voter registration fraud. The head of the company is an Arizona operative with a reputation for aggressive tactics, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.
President Obama and Mitt Romney had no public events on their campaign schedules today. They're both busy preparing for tomorrow's big event: a prime-time debate that could be one of their last opportunities to sway undecided voters. Yesterday, we heard from NPR's Ari Shapiro about Mitt Romney's preparations. And today, we get a scouting report on President Obama from NPR's Scott Horsley.
In Pennsylvania, a judge has issued a preliminary injunction against the state's controversial voter ID law. In effect, the judge's ruling will allow registered voters to cast ballots in the upcoming election, without showing the government-issued ID required by the law.
Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:55 pm
You can believe this latest poll result if you'd like. Or not.
A survey released Tuesday that was conducted by Public Policy Polling asked people if they thought pollsters were rigging their results to show President Obama leading Mitt Romney (h/t Josh Voorhees at The Slatest).
Today, at 6 p.m. Eastern time, is the deadline for you to send in your Electoral Vote predictions for Obama and Romney. It is a strict deadline, but worth it. The winner gets a Political Junkie t-shirt!
Of course, you can also get a shirt by solving this week's ScuttleButton puzzle, but the odds are much steeper. But you have several days to send in your answer for that one.
Medicaid is already the nation's largest health insurance program in terms of number of people covered: It serves nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Yet at the same time it's putting increasing strain on the budgets of states, which pay about 40 percent of its costs.
Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:20 pm
There's always a lot of noise around a presidential campaign — minor flaps that suck up a lot of media attention but are forgotten by Election Day.
John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University and a founder of the blog The Monkey Cage, says there's no need to worry about a lot of the ephemera that news coverage tends to focus on.
"I'm telling you, all the fun things don't matter," Sides says.
Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:55 am
If you want a little background and perspective to what the presidential candidates are saying — as they're saying it — then our "Pop-Up Politics" videos are for you. As VH1 did with music videos, we've added pop-up bubbles and animation to stump speeches to give context to the candidates' statements on the war in Afghanistan, energy and the economy.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Both the presidential candidates are preparing for debates while staying in swing states. For a few days, each becomes a kind of candidate-in-residence.
INSKEEP: And so it was that President Obama abruptly appeared at a campaign office in Henderson, Nevada yesterday and delivered pizzas to the staff. Who knows? Maybe these candidates will be delivering pizzas to swing voters before we're all done.
In this year's presidential campaign, $11 million has been spent so far on ads targeting Hispanics, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.
That's eight times the amount spent four years ago on Spanish-language ads, and it's focused in just a handful of battleground states: Florida, Nevada, Colorado and, perhaps most surprisingly, North Carolina.
Republicans are still within reach of a big political goal this year: retaking control of the Senate. They lost the majority in 2006, in part because of the razor-close victory of Democratic challenger Jon Tester in Montana.
Now, Tester is the incumbent facing a tough challenge of his own. And if he's going to win re-election, he has to turn out a lot of younger voters, the way he did in 2006. And on that front, he does have some allies.
Here's something President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on: America's tax system is too complicated. Both men have outlined changes that are broadly similar, but with some important differences.
Today's tax code is like a department store, where the price tags are high, but there are lots of coupons, sales and weekend specials. That creates some inequities. Just as shoppers can pay different prices depending on which day they buy, taxpayers with the same income can pay very different rates depending on which deductions they qualify for.
Let's say you're pushing 115 mph on the highway, racing neck and neck with a Chevy Camaro — in an online video game, of course.
Right as you're pulling into the lead, you notice a billboard pop up on your TV screen. Early voting has begun? Voteforchange.com? Whoa, keep your eyes on the road!
This is Need for Speed: Carbon, one of 18 games that the Obama campaign advertised in during the 2008 campaign. This year, President Obama is back at it, running ads in Madden NFL 13, on the free online game site Pogo.com, and in mobile games like Tetris.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:31 pm
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Republican challenger, John Dennis, won just 15 percent of the vote versus her 80 percent in the 2010 midterm elections, a very good year for the GOP, which took over the House after delivering a historic beat-down to the Democrats.
NPR's Ari Shapiro spent a week in one city in a battleground state, Colorado Springs, where campaign spending has tripled since 2008. He discovered how it's changing, and the campaign strategy behind targeting specific ads for specific markets in hopes of winning over undecided voters.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 1:20 pm
The candidates have gone through the primaries and caucuses, the delegate counts and the conventions. At this point, they're traveling the country, trying to make their case. Now comes the most widely anticipated event in the race for the White House: the presidential debates.
President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney are busy cramming for their first debate. The face-off Wednesday night in Denver could be their best opportunity to sway undecided voters. The two men are squeezing in a bit of campaigning between practice sessions. Romney holds a campaign rally in Denver Monday, while Obama rallied with supporters in Las Vegas Sunday.
Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:33 am
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is still running for office but has been out of sight for months. He is being treated for a bipolar disorder, and his wife says he will return to work when he gets his physician's permission. Three other candidates are campaigning for the seat.
Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.
The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.
Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am
Wednesday, President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney will face each other on the same stage for the first time. It will be one of three opportunities before the election. It could be one of the last opportunities for the candidates to sway voters who haven't yet made up their mind. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Scott Horsley and Ari Shapiro, who have been on the trail with the Romney and Obama campaigns.
President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both barnstormed Ohio this week, holding rallies just miles apart in the state's northwest. Obama's event was smack in the middle of Wood County, with Romney's just north.
The county may have a population of only 125,000, but it has an outsized importance in presidential elections.
"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."