According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the 2012 presidential and congressional elections will be the most expensive on record, at an estimated cost of nearly $6 billion. Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner says politicians should spend even more.
Older voters make up a major voting bloc that both candidates will be courting, and Mitt Romney's pick of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has put Medicare and Social Security front-and-center. Guest host Jacki Lyden discusses how these voters might respond with Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center.
Last month's deadly theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., are starting to play front and center in at least two hotly contested U.S. House races in the swing state.
The conservative lobbying group Compass Colorado this week announced it's beginning a slate of automated calls highlighting what the organization says is Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter's politicization of the July 20 attack that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.
Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell (left) talks with Republican Rep. Tom Latham on May 7, 2010, in Des Moines, Iowa. Redistricting is now pitting the longtime Iowa congressmen in a general election battle.
Credit Charlie Neibergall / AP
One of the candidates is House Speaker John Boehner's close friend and golfing buddy.
The other is an ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Both have their roots in rural Iowa, have long served together in the U.S. House, and are pretty darn well-liked by their constituents.
But Iowa, the focus of the political world this week, lost a House seat in congressional redistricting that came after the 2010 census.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
You could say that the presidential campaign got a jolt of energy this week. President Obama was in Iowa yesterday, touting the electric potential of wind power. Republican rival Mitt Romney was in Ohio, talking up that old standby, coal. Each man accused the other of standing in the way of a rival energy source.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
Well, it is VP against VP-hopeful. Vice President Joe Biden is touring Virginia, a key presidential swing state. And yesterday, Biden seized on Mitt Romney's choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as a running mate, saying it shows what the Republican ticket really stands for. In a moment, Ryan's day on the campaign trail.
First to NPR's Larry Abramson, who's traveling with Vice President Biden.
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan continues to introduce himself to voters. Over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced Ryan would be his running mate. So far, Ryan has campaigned exclusively in battleground states that were carried by Democrats in 2008.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.
But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.