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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns outside Cleveland, Ohio today. He's in a state that's widely considered essential for him to win - a state where recent surveys show him trailing President Obama by single digits.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 2:41 pm
Appearing in Virginia on Thursday, Republican Mitt Romney tried to bring his campaign back to the issues he has focused on before in the swing state: the nation's economy and strengthening the military.
A day after Romney ignited a debate over his criticism of President Obama's handling of events in Libya and Egypt, the Republican presidential nominee largely steered clear of discussing unrest in Egypt and the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are both campaigning today in pivotal battleground states. Mr. Obama is in Colorado. Romney's in Virginia. The economy remains a central focus for the two men, but that's been overshadowed in the last 48 hours by events in the Middle East.
We'll hear from the Romney campaign in a moment. First, NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us from Golden, Colorado. Hi there, Scott.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Audie.
Washington, D.C., is one of the most heavily Democratic places in the country. But some of its suburbs are in the swing state that both parties are fighting hard for. Mitt Romney campaigned in Northern Virginia today and NPR's Ari Shapiro reports they can't say its rally gave a clear indication of whom he's trying to win over in this community.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Before Mitt Romney took the stage, people crowded the bleachers behind the podium. All but three of them were women.
Most of the election-year attention Ohio gets is focused on the heavily Democratic areas in the northeast around Cleveland, or in GOP strongholds in rural areas and in the south around Cincinnati.
But it's also worth keeping a close eye on the state's less-traveled southeastern border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia — the Ohio River Valley. It's a place where there is a lot of doubt about how much either candidate can help.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 8:24 am
It's become conventional wisdom that President Obama's new lead in the polls is a bounce, coming out of the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C.
But an analysis from the Wesleyan Media Project suggests that the bounce might be due to TV ads as much as grand speeches. The Obama campaign and its allies laid out $21.1 million for TV during the two weeks of the party conventions. Over that same stretch, Republican Mitt Romney and his backers spent significantly less, $12.9 million.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 8:21 am
For months, the tax-exempt Crossroads GPS has argued that its anti-Obama ads were merely issue ads and not political ads. No more. Today the group went up with ads explicitly telling viewers to vote against President Obama.
Co-founded by Republican operative Karl Rove, the group began running a 30-second spot Wednesday morning in Nevada that blames a weak economy and poor housing market on Obama and ends with the wording: "This election ... don't blow another vote on Obama."
It didn't take long for the attacks in Benghazi and Cairo to become part of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney jumped in first. In a statement last night before Ambassador Stevens' death had been announced, Romney accused President Obama of sympathizing with those who waged the assault. The Obama campaign responded, saying it was shocked that Romney would launch a, quote, "political attack" at this moment. And the politics have continued today as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.
Every election season Republicans and Democrats tried to rally their base and to go after undecided voters. They're increasingly using the Internet in Get Out The Vote efforts.
NPR correspondent Shankar Vedantam, who reports on social science research, joins me now to talk about how Facebook could become a potent weapon in going after the biggest untapped voting bloc in the nation. Shankar, welcome.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: Who are these mystery voters, this untapped voting bloc that we mentioned?