Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 8:03 am
Campaign politics shadowing every word, President Barack Obama will step before the world and declare that anti-American rage and riots among Muslims abroad will never force the United States to backtrack on diplomacy.
In his final international address before the November election, Obama on Tuesday has a United Nations stage afforded to presidents, not presidential challengers. He will use it to try to boost his political standing without mentioning his opponent.
If you live in Ohio, you probably feel like this national presidential campaign is focused exclusively on one state - yours. Certainly may feel that way this week. President Obama has released a new TV ad in Ohio and he'll be campaigning in the key battleground state later in the week.
Let's talk now about one of this fall's key Senate races. In Missouri, Republican candidate Todd Akin is launching a bus tour today. You may remember he's the congressman whose controversial comments about rape led to calls that he drop out of the race. Today is the last day for Akin to remove himself from the ballot. He has made clear that is not going to happen. But he has an uphill fight to unseat the Democratic incumbent, Claire McCaskill. She has the financial advantage and she has the lead in the polls.
It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his interview on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.
To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"
It's taken as a given that American voters in 2012 aren't as concerned about foreign policy as they are the domestic economy.
It's also accepted as true that on matters of foreign policy, President Obama has an advantage over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who lacks significant firsthand foreign policy experience.
But Romney has made it a point lately to show that he's not ceding foreign policy and national security to Obama.
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.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 6:13 pm
By Padmananda Rama
Tuesday marks six weeks until Election Day, but registered voters in two dozen states are already able to cast a ballot for president, with more states to allow early voting in the coming weeks.
In the 2000 presidential election, early voting accounted for 15 percent of the total ballots cast. By 2008, that doubled to 30 percent, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. It's expected to be on the rise again this year.
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.