Nov. 6 is 32 days away, but for millions of Americans, there is no longer an Election Day.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia now have early voting, which is under way even now in eight states. Hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast, most before this week's presidential debates or Friday's jobs report, and all ahead of the three future debates and any unforeseen October event that might test the mettle of a candidate.
Independent fact checkers have not been particularly kind to Mitt Romney since Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver. But one of the candidate's claims turned out to be so far off the mark that he had to be corrected by his own aides — a fact not unnoticed by the Obama campaign.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In the 2008 election, Indiana was a surprise. It voted for Barack Obama by a tiny margin. Typically, it's a solidly red state. And this year, Indiana seems on the verge of a Republican sweep, that is, except in the race there for U.S. Senate. The campaign to replace longtime Republican Richard Lugar is heating up in the Hoosier state.
Though Lugar is out of the running, that doesn't mean he's out of the race as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: I'm Ari Shapiro, traveling with the Romney campaign. The Republican presidential nominee had been chugging along on momentum from Wednesday's debate performance when this morning's unemployment numbers changed the story. At a rally near Virginia's border with Tennessee, that did not faze voters like Nancy Lemieux(ph). She says the statistics are bogus.
NANCY LEMIEUX: Because they twist the numbers to suit the politicians and right now, it's Obama's cronies. So I don't believe anything I hear on TV.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Another page turned today in the presidential campaign. After a day of debate analysis giving Mitt Romney a leg up, President Obama got some news he can play to his advantage - the jobs numbers, which show the unemployment rate dropped sharply to its lowest level since he took office, 7.8 percent.
President Obama and Mitt Romney are both calling on the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign oil, though their plans differ. Here, workers with Bramwell Petroleum set up a derrick for a new oil well near Spivey, Kan., in March.
Credit Lauren Purkey / MCT/Landov
The Obama administration has set higher fuel economy standards for cars and promoted alternative energy sources. Here, a Ford Focus electric car is shown during a test drive in San Jose, Calif., in July.
The pressing energy issue in the 2008 presidential campaign was how to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Four years later, the drive for "green energy" has been replaced by a new imperative: the need to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"I will set a national goal of North American energy independence by 2020," Mitt Romney declared during a campaign speech in August. "That means we produce all the energy we use in North America."
He reiterated that goal in the opening minutes of the presidential candidates' debate in Denver this week.
President Obama takes the stage Friday during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Supporters of Republican Mitt Romney during a campaign rally Thursday in Fishersville, Va.
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, a Democrat
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Wendy Leedy, John Gaugush and 3-month-old Isabel at the annual craft fair in Occoquan. Says Gaugush: "I think most people in America are not far right, and not far left, but are forced to pick one or the other."
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:50 pm
Barack Obama made history in Virginia four years ago when, on his way to winning the White House, he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state in more than four decades.
His surprisingly comfortable 53-46 percent win over Republican John McCain mirrored more closely than any other state the 2008 national result and provided potent evidence of demographic and economic changes that have been sweeping the Old Dominion.
It's more diverse, wealthier, better educated than ever before.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:09 pm
To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:22 pm
With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.
The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.