From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Last night's second presidential debate produced more friction and fireworks than the first, and that didn't seem to bother a group of voters in a state that knows a lot about political bickering, Wisconsin. NPR's David Schaper watched the debate with roughly a dozen Democrats and Republicans who have dedicated themselves to bridging their state's political divide.
It's too early to tell if President Obama's performance last night will stop his slide in the polls, but we're going to focus now on one poll and one question in which the president, in his worst stretch of this campaign, actually gained ground. The question was, who would you rather have babysit your children?
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
That's right. When the ABC News/Washington Post poll put that question to registered voters last week, 49 percent chose President Obama, 36 percent Governor Romney. Two weeks before, they were tied.
It's midday in the cafeteria of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, and legislators and their aides are busy wheeling and dealing over lunch.
Gil Hoffman, political analyst for The Jerusalem Post newspaper, surveys the cafeteria floor with an expert's eye.
"Never a dull moment in election season," he says. "This is where the politicians, when there is something really important to get across to the press, this is where they do it; this is where they meet and make whatever political deals they need to get ahead."
In many states, the tight presidential race isn't the only thing on people's minds: Ballot measures are putting some controversial social and political issues up for popular vote. Same-sex marriage and the death penalty are just two of the measures voters will weigh in on come election day.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Binders full of women, Benghazi blame and ancient history now, there was a vice presidential debate last week. It's Wednesday and time for a...
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Bunch of malarkey...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Last night's presidential debate showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaping off his barstool at the first question, and an equally charged President Obama walking purposefully around the stage and doing some strong finger waving to emphasize his remarks.