POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 10/22
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Missouri finds Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) leads Rep. Todd Akin (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 46% to 40%, with Libertarian Jonathan Dine at 6%.
Key finding: “There were a lot of reasons to think this race might shift back toward Todd Akin as the furor over his controversial comments in August died down. But his image has actually just continued to get worse as the election approaches. 31% of voters now say they have a favorable opinion of him to 57% with a negative one. It was a 33/55 spread earlier this month.”
Here are the latest polls from the battleground, updated through the day:
Florida: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Public Policy Polling)
Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 46% (SurveyUSA)
Florida: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (Grove Insight)
Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Gravis)
Ohio: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)
Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Public Policy Polling)
Iowa: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Public Policy Polling)
“With one debate left, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are retreating from the campaign trail to bone up on foreign policy, leaving the work of courting voters to their running mates,” the AP reports.
“Obama left Friday for Camp David… He was to remain there with advisers until Monday morning. Romney was to spend the weekend in Florida with aides preparing the debate.”
Chris Cillizza: “With the level of preparation that goes into these debates by both candidates — not to mention the litigating of the format to within an inch of its life by the campaign lawyers — surprises are a rarity. But the foreign policy-themed debate does offer the possibility that a question is asked for which one (or both) of the candidates doesn’t have an answer at the ready… A gap in knowledge would be very problematic for either man, but even more so for Romney, who, as mentioned above, largely remains an unknown (or unproven) commodity on foreign policy for most voters.”
David Sanger: “The early line is that this is an opportunity for Mr. Obama to shine, and to repair the damage from the first debate.”
New York Times: “Through Friday, since Mr. Obama’s inauguration — his first 1,368 days in office — the Dow Jones industrial average has gained 67.9 percent. That’s an extremely strong performance — the fifth best for an equivalent period among all American presidents since 1900.”
The Wall Street Journal notes the odds of one presidential candidate winning the popular vote and the other winning the Electoral College are small, but “the makings of a split outcome are clearly there, due in part to a range of factors peculiar to this election.”
“Mr. Romney has clearly gained momentum since his strong debate performance in Denver earlier this month. For the first time all year he pulled ahead of Mr. Obama as measured by several running aggregates of national polls.”
“But many of these polls point to anomalies that could make a split outcome all the likelier. A month ago, when Mr. Obama was still ahead of his rival by seven percentage points in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, the president was losing by a similar margin in the South, which accounted for about a third of the poll’s base of voters.”
Here are the latest national polls of the presidential race:
Gallup: Romney 52%, Obama 45%
IBD/TIPP: Obama 48%, Romney 42%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal: Obama 47%, Romney 47%
Public Policy Polling: Obama 48%, Romney 48%
Rasmussen: Romney 49%, Obama 47%
George McGovern, the three-term senator from South Dakota and 1972 presidential candidate who inspired a generation of Democrats, died today after being hospitalized last week, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports.
The AP has an interactive look at McGovern’s life.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer endorsed President Obama for re-election.
“All politicians change positions over time — Obama in 2008 shifted his position on health care reform more to the center. But Romney’s frequent changes raise questions about his core principles and make his lack of policy details all the more troubling. They make you wonder if he would stand up to the more extreme elements in his own party, especially to the House Republicans who undercut Ohioan John Boehner’s attempts to negotiate a deficit and debt deal.”
BuzzFeed reports that 10 Romney for President staffers received bonuses — as much as $37,500 — in September, according to new Federal Election Commission filings.
Romney political director Rich Beeson scored the largest amount, taking in a combined $75,000 in two payments on August 31, after the Republican National Convention, and September 13.
President Obama “will keep up a grueling pace on the campaign trail later this week, visiting six states in two days, all in an effort to boost enthusiasm in the final days heading into election day,” Politico reports.
“Obama will make stops in Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio, sleeping on Air Force One and spending time calling undecided voters and volunteers.”
However, Nate Silver notes if the recent polls and his own forecast are right, Obama’s “efforts to compete in Florida mostly serve the function of a bluff.”
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