There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.
The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.
That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.
The first openly gay congressman is now the first sitting congressman to be in a same-sex marriage. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank married his longtime partner, James Ready, in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Saturday.
The setting was low-key — a Marriott hotel in suburban Boston — and the ceremony lasted less than five minutes. Attendees including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John Kerry lent suitable gravitas.
And let's talk about the presidential campaign with Mara Liasson, NPR's national political correspondent. Mara, good morning.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, David.
GREENE: So, we just heard in Cheryl's piece that the NAACP is meeting. They're going to hear from Mitt Romney. They're going to hear from Vice President Joe Biden. They are not expected to hear from President Obama. What do you make of him sitting this one out?
Some people call it the art of diplomacy. Well, it sure is an art with a lot of rules. When an American president is meeting with a foreign leader, it is so important to respect the country's customs, use proper greetings, serve the right food, above all, avoid mistakes that could make things awkward. You might remember this scene from the TV drama, "The West Wing.
The NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, holds its annual convention in Houston this week. As in any election season, the group is focused on voting rights and voter turnout. But this year, there's another issue that's front of mind: the dramatically high rate of unemployment rate among African-Americans.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will address the NAACP convention on Wednesday, and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak the following day. NAACP members are ready to hear their plans.
The city of Scranton, Pa., sent out paychecks to its employees Friday, like it does every two weeks. But this time the checks were much smaller than usual. Mayor Chris Doherty has reduced everyone's pay — including his own — to the state's minimum wage: $7.25 an hour.
Doherty says his city has run out of money.
Scranton has had financial troubles for a couple of decades — the town has been losing population since the end of World War II. But the budget problems became more serious in recent months as the mayor and the city council fought over how to balance the budget.