Democrats in Florida think they have a chance in November to take back some congressional seats now held by Republicans. Near the top of the list is the 26th Congressional District near Miami.
It's a largely Hispanic district currently represented by Republican David Rivera. Although just a freshman in Congress, Rivera is a well-known Miami politician. Before being elected to Congress, he served eight years in the Florida Legislature and shared a house with longtime friend Marco Rubio.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
The presidential campaigns converged on New York City today. Mitt Romney and President Obama were both in town to talk foreign policy. The president addressed the annual meeting of the United Nations, and both candidates spoke at a gathering for the Clinton Global Initiative. As NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports, the Clinton event brought a welcome reprieve from the usual partisan wrangling.
I know what you're thinking. How could anyone expect President Obama to have time to meet with foreign leaders at the U.N. when he needs to deal with those terrorists at "The View," especially that notorious Barbara bin Walters?
Just know that nothing can take me away from ScuttleButton.
Earlier today, both of the major party candidates for president spoke on foreign policy in New York. Former Governor Mitt Romney at the Clinton Global Initiative and President Barack Obama before the General Assembly of the United Nations. We're going to play back substantial excerpts from both. Governor Romney spoke first after an introduction by the former president who delivered a well-received speech on behalf of his opponent at the Democratic National Convention.
As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.
"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."
A new Washington Post poll shows President Obama inching ahead of Mitt Romney in Ohio. The state swapped political allegiances in the past — going for President Obama in 2008, then going for a GOP governor in 2010. Former Governor Ted Strickland lost that race and is now a surrogate for the president. He joins guest host Celeste Headlee.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, if you're a football fan, you've probably been, shall we say, puzzled, at least, by one or two calls made by replacement referees this season. We're going to get the latest from one of our sports contributors in just a few moments.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:28 pm
Is it possible to tell whether you are a liberal or a conservative by the jokes you think are funny?
Maybe so. "Like smell or taste, humor is a sense and different people are going to think different things are funny," says Alison Dagnes, author of the just-published book A Conservative Walks Into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor. "When you throw politics into the mix, our opinions and our biases will affect the way the jokes land."
Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:03 am
Campaign politics shadowing every word, President Barack Obama will step before the world and declare that anti-American rage and riots among Muslims abroad will never force the United States to backtrack on diplomacy.
In his final international address before the November election, Obama on Tuesday has a United Nations stage afforded to presidents, not presidential challengers. He will use it to try to boost his political standing without mentioning his opponent.
Let's talk now about one of this fall's key Senate races. In Missouri, Republican candidate Todd Akin is launching a bus tour today. You may remember he's the congressman whose controversial comments about rape led to calls that he drop out of the race. Today is the last day for Akin to remove himself from the ballot. He has made clear that is not going to happen. But he has an uphill fight to unseat the Democratic incumbent, Claire McCaskill. She has the financial advantage and she has the lead in the polls.
If you live in Ohio, you probably feel like this national presidential campaign is focused exclusively on one state - yours. Certainly may feel that way this week. President Obama has released a new TV ad in Ohio and he'll be campaigning in the key battleground state later in the week.
It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his interview on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.
To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"
It's taken as a given that American voters in 2012 aren't as concerned about foreign policy as they are the domestic economy.
It's also accepted as true that on matters of foreign policy, President Obama has an advantage over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who lacks significant firsthand foreign policy experience.
But Romney has made it a point lately to show that he's not ceding foreign policy and national security to Obama.
Tuesday marks six weeks until Election Day, but registered voters in two dozen states are already able to cast a ballot for president, with more states to allow early voting in the coming weeks.
In the 2000 presidential election, early voting accounted for 15 percent of the total ballots cast. By 2008, that doubled to 30 percent, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. It's expected to be on the rise again this year.
Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:04 pm
The election is not over, we are told time and time again, and it's not. There are still some 40-plus days to go, there are still debates to be had. It's true that Mitt Romney trails President Obama in most key battleground states, but the margins are in single digits. And, lest we forget, it's not that presidential candidates down in the polls haven't come from behind to win in the past.
So six weeks to go before Election Day, but in-person early voting has already started in a handful of states. Many others will begin soon, and more and more of us are choosing to vote early. In Colorado, for example, where we just heard from Ari Shapiro, nearly 80 percent of votes were cast early in the 2008 presidential election.
Michael McDonald tracks these trends with the U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.
Journalist Robert Draper says the 27th Congressional District in South Texas looks like a Glock pistol. It's just one of several "funny shapes" you will see in states across the U.S. as a result of the redrawing of congressional boundaries — otherwise known as redistricting.
"These maps can be very, very fanciful — they're these kinds of impressionistic representations of the yearnings and deviousness of politics today," Draper tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk to the head of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. That's a U.S. government agency focused on pulling developing nations out of poverty. But first, it's the final stretch before Election Day. Polls show African-Americans' support, not surprisingly, is solid for President Obama.
The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News' 60 Minutes there was something of a "shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance" of what will happen on stage next week.
Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am
More women are running for Congress this year than ever before. The 18 women running for the Senate break the previous record of 14, set two years ago. Also, there are 163 female candidates for House seats, more than the 141 who ran in 2004.
That gives this election season a Year-of-the-Woman ring to it, says The Center for American Women and Politics. The center's director, Debbie Walsh, offered some reasons in a press release:
President Barack Obama has pulled ahead of Governor Romney in another battleground state - Virginia. That's according to recent polls. This past week, we drove west from Washington, D.C. to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to talk to voters about the presidential election. On the way, we stopped at an apple barn to see some of the other choices Virginians face.