Politics

Political Junkie
4:12 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

As Polls Show Romney Trailing In Swing States, Obama Edges Towards 270 Goal

It's true that Mitt Romney trails President Obama in most key battleground states, but the margins are in single digits
Mark Lennihan AP

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.

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Election 2012
3:09 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Early Voting Grows In Popularity Across Country

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

MICHAEL MCDONALD: Oh, thank you for having me.

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The Message Machine
2:35 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Colorado Springs Soaks In Triple The Political Ads

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Second of a two-part series

The presidential race is a national contest in name only. In reality, it's being fought in eight or nine swing states around the country.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Todd Akin Bets He Still Has A Chance

Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin is joined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at an Akin campaign event Monday in Kirkwood, Mo.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:22 pm

Say what you want about Rep. Todd Akin, he's no quitter.

Tuesday is the last day Akin can remove his name from the Missouri ballot as the Republican nominee for Senate. As the deadline approached, he made it clear he has no intention of dropping out.

"For about the hundredth time or so, I am in this race," Akin said at a news conference Monday at the Amtrak station in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis. "The people of Missouri chose me to do a job."

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It's All Politics
12:44 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Can Bad Campaigners Make Good Presidents?

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:59 pm

John F. Kennedy once said there was no experience that could have adequately prepared him for the presidency.

That presumably included a hard-fought campaign for the job against sitting Vice President Richard Nixon — one of the closest-ever contests.

So, why should we assume that presiding over a well-oiled campaign has anything to do with running the White House?

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Politics
12:15 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Redistricting: A Story Of Divisive Politics, Odd Shapes

Robert Draper is the author of Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the House of Representatives and Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush.
Dena Andre

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:47 pm

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.

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Election 2012
10:37 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Could Gay Marriage Keep Black Voters From Polls?

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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.

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Election 2012
10:37 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Rep. Cleaver Pushes To Prep Black Voters

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

First, your response to the Reverend over there. He's heard pastors say that they're actually telling people in their congregations not to go to the polls.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Debate Preview: Obama And Romney Shadow Box On '60 Minutes'

CBS News' 60 Minutes

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.

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Election 2012
3:07 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'60 Minutes' Airs Obama, Romney Interviews

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. So, all those political ads are on the air. Last night, the candidates themselves were on the air. They did interviews on the same CBS program, "60 Minutes." NPR's David Schaper was watching.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: After a week in which his campaign was on the defensive, Romney told "60 Minutes" he remains confident.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "60 MINUTES")

MITT ROMNEY: I'm going to win this thing.

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It's All Politics
7:37 am
Sun September 23, 2012

Women Head For The Hill In Record Numbers

U.S. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York waves as she takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

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:

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Around the Nation
5:53 am
Sun September 23, 2012

Doubts Creep In GOP Stronghold In Va.

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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.

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Presidential Race
3:35 am
Sun September 23, 2012

As Candidates Battle From Afar, Key Phrases Stick

President Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally on Saturday in Milwaukee.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, seem to have switched places in recent days.

The incumbent president is promising to change Washington from the outside. Meanwhile, Romney, who made his fortune turning businesses around, says he wants to work within the existing political system.

The contrast was on display Saturday in Wisconsin, where Obama held one of the biggest rallies of his re-election campaign.

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It's All Politics
7:55 am
Sat September 22, 2012

There's Still Time For Romney To Make An Effective Case

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Cox Pavilion Friday in Las Vegas.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Despite a series of political fumbles, Mitt Romney is "still very much in the game," according to political strategist Steve Schmidt. But, he says, it will take some work.

Schmidt served as John McCain's senior strategist in the 2008 election and helped George W. Bush get reelected in 2004. He spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon about the Romney campaign's stresses.

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Presidential Race
5:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Nev. Voters Scrutinize Candidates' Economic Messages

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns yesterday after months of pressure, and this week President Obama and his opponent sparred over remarks secretly recorded at a recent Romney fundraiser. Mr. Romney was in Nevada again yesterday. Both candidates have spent a lot of time in that battleground state. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea talked to voters in Reno.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: The battle for Nevada will likely be settled in Washoe County, which is home to Reno.

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Presidential Race
5:21 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Why Didn't Romney Pay Less Than 14 Percent In 2011?

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return this week in an effort to quell fiscal controversy about his personal finances. The Romney Campaign accompanied the release with a letter from his accountant that says the candidate paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes in each of the past 20 years.

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NPR Story
5:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Obama, Ryan Pitch Medicare Plans To Older Voters

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Both campaigns tried to appeal to older voters yesterday. President Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed thousands of members of the AARP in New Orleans. Changes to Medicare and Social Security topped the agenda for both, but NPR's Ina Jaffee reports, there was more to these voters reactions to the candidates.

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NPR Story
5:14 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Warring Political Ads: One Community's Experience

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you live in a swing state, the political ads on TV right now are inescapable, and they're only going to get more intense in the seven weeks before Election Day. NPR's Ari Shapiro wanted to see the impact that all this advertising's having on one community. He's been in Colorado Springs for the last week reporting a pair of stories that will air on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on Monday. Ari joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: How deep and profound is this impact?

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The Salt
4:16 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Red Food, Blue Food: Edible Polls Give Obama The Edge, For Now

The Donkey cocktail is leading in the polls so far at Lincoln, a restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Lincoln

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 3:51 am

Wanna cast your vote early? In Washington, D.C., and around the nation, food and drink have become a popular proxy for voter polls. Though they're unlikely to be accurate predictors, the results of a few seem to be drifting in the same direction as the presidential election polls conducted by professional pollsters at the moment.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney's 2011 Tax Return Gives More Fodder To Critics Who Already Had Surplus

Mitt Romney waves to supporters as he arrives at a rally Friday in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:34 pm

Mitt Romney's Friday release of his 2011 tax return puts that issue back in the headlines just when it had slipped largely off many people's radar screens.

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Election 2012
3:41 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

In Wisconsin, Political Circus Leaves Voters Wounded

Heidi Accola works a stand at the farmers market in Baraboo, Wis. She runs a 1-acre organic farm with her husband, but she says they don't talk politics at home because it gets too heated.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Wisconsin is a prime battleground state in this year's presidential election.

Republicans hope the pick of native son Paul Ryan as their vice presidential nominee will bolster their chances to turn the state red in November. Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1984. Barack Obama won the state by a blowout 14 points in 2008. And a run of Wisconsin polls this week shows him widening his lead over Mitt Romney.

So what do Wisconsin voters have to say about their choices — and their mood?

Economic Strain

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Presidential Race
3:30 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Obama, Ryan Talk Medicare At AARP Convention

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In New Orleans today, thousands of senior citizens were treated to two different visions for their future. President Obama and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan each addressed the AARP.

As NPR's Ina Jaffe reports, they took questions on topics ranging from Medicare to Social Security, and back to Medicare.

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Presidential Race
3:30 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Fact-Checking Obama And Ryan Speeches To AARP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Both President Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan presented their visions for Medicare to the nation's most influential lobbying group for the elderly on Friday. Julie Rovner has parsed their remarks and joins Audie Cornish to provide some context.

It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Obama, Ryan AARP Appearances Show Politics' Third Rail Is Still Charged

President Obama spoke to AARP members via live video feed.
AARP livestream

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:59 pm

Separate appearances Friday by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan before an AARP meeting in New Orleans proved that the third rail of American politics, Medicare and Social Security collectively, is still very much electrified.

Speaking to a supremely friendly audience via live video feed from Virginia, where he was campaigning, Obama drew repeated applause and cheers with promises to defend Medicare and Social Security from Republican proposals that he said threaten the entitlement programs' ability to deliver the kind of benefits seniors have become accustomed to.

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NPR Story
2:56 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Republicans Face Uphill Battle To Take Over Senate

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Just a few months ago, most observers believed Republicans had a pretty decent chance to take control of the U.S. Senate. Now, that doesn't seem as likely.

It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

GOP Senate Takeover Hopes Dim, But Too Early To Put On Ice

Republican Rep. Todd Akin and incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill debate Friday in Columbia, Mo. McCaskill had once been considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats until Akin made comments about "legitimate rape." The candidates were asked about Akin's controversial statement at the start of Friday's debate.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 5:58 pm

Republican dreams of taking control of the U.S. Senate in November have been declared all but dead over the past several days by prognosticators pointing to trouble facing the party in unexpected places.

Missouri and Indiana come to mind.

But don't count Senate race analyst Jennifer Duffy among them.

"I'm not ready to call this done and over," Duffy said of the GOP's push to pick up four seats, which would definitely tip the Senate balance of power. "We seem to be in some period of transition. Whether it's permanent or not, we'll know in a couple weeks."

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney's 2011 Tax Return Shows He Paid At 14.1 Percent Rate, Campaign Says

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann paid $1,935,708 in federal taxes last year on income of $13,696,951, an effective tax rate for the couple of 14.1 percent, the Republican presidential nominee's campaign just reported.

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Politics
10:05 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Was Romney Right On Video Comments?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we are going to talk more about those protests that have been spreading in the Muslim world connected to a provocative video that has now gone viral. We'll talk about whether this is about a clash of civilizations or values or something else.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Rep. Maxine Waters Cleared By House Ethics Committee

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and her husband Sidney Williams at the Capitol Hill hearing today where it was announced that she's been cleared.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.

Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.

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It's All Politics
8:01 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Voter Veto: On Controversial Issues, More Citizens Taking On Lawmakers

In March, Stacey Kargman-Kaye (left) and her partner, Sharon Gorenstein, with sons Asher, 13, and Ezra, 8, gathered at the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis to witness the signing of a law recognizing same-sex marriage. On Nov. 6, Maryland voters will decide whether to overturn the new law.
Amy Davis MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 11:22 am

If you didn't get your fill of the debate about the best ways to evaluate and compensate teachers from the strike in Chicago, you can now tune in to hear similar arguments in Idaho.

Voters there are going to decide the fate of three different state laws that would phase out tenure, offer financial incentives to top-performing teachers and strip teachers of collective bargaining rights.

All of these laws are being challenged by what are known as popular referendums: when citizens challenge laws that have already been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

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