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16:44 A new Pew poll shows Vice President Joe Biden underwater on favorability by 12 points. His favorable number is 39% and his unfavorable number is 51%.
Paul Ryan, on the other hand, is at +4, with 44% viewing him favorably and 40% unfavorably.
Forty percent expect Ryan to do a better job in the debate while 34% say Joe Biden.
16:34 After the mother of a Navy SEAL asked Mitt Romney to stop mentioning her son’s story on the campaign trail, it’s interesting to hear this story. Jane Horton, widow of Chris Horton who was killed in Afghanistan, is very happy that Romney mentions her husband on the stump.
“To be honest, I’ve been through a lot and I’m not a super emotional person but it brings me to tears,” Horton said in an interview with ABC news after being informed that Romney was mentioning her husband. “Not that he’s telling my story, but that he’s telling my husband’s story, it means the world to me.”
Chris was a Romney supporter for a long time—he worked on Romney’s 2008 campaign in a minor capacity. To read the whole story, click here.
16:22 Yes, he’s a virtual gaffe machine on the trail, but Joe Biden is an experienced debater who has had some shining moments in the past. For example, check out this clip of Biden getting emotional during the 2008 VP debate with Sarah Palin. It’s powerful stuff.
And this clip from 2007 shows that he can get in a great zinger when he wants to as well.
16:08 Romney has put out a new ad aimed at Hispanic Americans. It features the governor speaking to the camera with Spanish subtitles and is focused on economic issues.
15:48 Team Obama has released an attack ad on Romney’s Medicare plan. It brings up Romney’s 47% comments and also says that Romney’s plan to voucherize Medicare could cost seniors thousands of dollars.
Of course, it doesn’t mention that those 55 and older would see no change to their current plans. But hey, you can’t expect them to mention that fact right?
Obama’s campaign has also released a similar ad hitting Romney on Medicaid.
15:36 Matt Lauer took Robert Gibbs to task over the Obama campaign’s Big Bird ad. Key quotation: “Is that the kind of ad that a campaign runs when it feels that it has ideas and solutions on its side, or is that the kind of ad a campaign releases when it simply wants to get attention?”
You answered your own question on that one, Lauer.
15:25 A Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll released today shows Mitt Romney ahead of Obama for the first time in a month, 45% to 44%, among likely voters. The poll was conducted between October 6th and October 10th, so entirely after Friday’s mixed jobs report.
15:23 This ad is going up this week in Ohio and other battleground states. It’s made by the conservative America’s Next Generation Super PAC. Seems like it may be a little over the top–is this an ad that will convince swing voters? Or are they pretty much just targeting the Republican base?
15:16 The times they are a-changin’. A recent Gallup survey finds that for the first time a majority of Americans (52%) believe the government should not favor any set of values in society. Only 44% believe it should promote traditional values.
From 1993 through 2004, a consistent majority of Americans favored the promotion of traditional values. Views since then have been more mixed, and now an outright majority favors no promotion of values.
The change comes largely from Republicans. In 2004, 79% of Republicans believed the government should promote traditional values. In the latest survey, it’s just 65%, a change of 14 percentage points.
15:03 The Claire McCaskill campaign has released 3 ads that absolutely brutalize Todd Akin on the issue of rape. Each ad features a woman speaking directly to the camera. All the women are rape survivors and two of them identify themselves as “pro-life.” Take a look.
14:42 Real Clear Politics moved three states out of the “Leans Obama” column and into the “Tossup” category in its Electoral Map yesterday. New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania all had recent polls conducted that put Romney ahead or significantly closer than he had been in previous weeks. The changes make the electoral count closer than they have been in weeks, with Obama taking 217 EVs, Romney 181, and 140 in the tossup category.
14:37 In a potential conflict of interest, it was reported that Martha Raddatz, the moderator for tomorrow night’s VP debate, has a longstanding connection to Barack Obama. Obama attended her wedding in 1991. Raddatz married a man named Julius Genachowski, a friend of Obama’s whom the president would later name to head the Federal Communications Commission.
Politico and The Daily Beast are defending her selection, but some right-wing sources are unhappy. It’s unlikely that she’ll be removed from moderating tomorrow.
14:29 A new RNC ad, “The Difference,” takes advantage of Joe Biden admitting that he and President Obama want to raise taxes and contrasts it with Romney during the debate talking about how he wants to protect middle-income Americans from tax increases.
14:15 According to polling from the Tarrance Group, Romney leads Obama among fans of NASCAR 63% to 34%. He leads on almost every issue, from the economy to Medicare.
13:53 Mitt Romney will stop re-telling the story of how he met one of the Navy SEALs who was killed during the Benghazi attack after the SEAL’s mother made it clear that she wasn’t happy with his doing so.
Romney had been using the account of how he met Glenn Doherty for most of this week during his stump speech. But this morning Barbara Doherty, his mother, told NBC’s Boston affiliate that, “I don’t trust Romney. He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”
A campaign aide told BuzzFeed that Romney would no longer use the story now that he knew the mother’s wishes.
13:31 Why was President Obama so bad at last week’s debate? According to Obama himself, it’s because he was just too darn polite.
During an interview with the Tom Joyner Morning Show today, Obama was asked what happened at the debate. His response:
“I mean, you know, the debate. I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite, because, you know, it’s hard to sometimes just keep on saying that what you’re saying isn’t true.”
Obama continued, “It gets repetitive. But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one. Governor Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term.”
13:22 The Heritage Foundation has created a short video detailing the White House’s response to the Libya attacks. It paints a pretty damning picture of incompetence or cover-up and is a great way to quickly catch up on what happened if you’re unsure.
13:08 The latest Gallup Trial Heat shows President Obama slightly expanding his lead over Romney. Obama captures 50% of the vote and Romney 45%. The results are based on registered voter polls averaged over a 7-day period.
12:03 Actress Stacey Dash of “Clueless” went on Piers Morgan Tonight yesterday to address the vitriol she received after tweeting out an endorsement of Mitt Romney. Dash, who is of black and Mexican descent, tweeted out: “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.”
The response was immediate and angry. Piers Morgan read one tweet as an example: “You’re an unemployed black woman endorsing Mitt Romney. You’re voting against yourself thrice, you poor beautiful idiot.”
Dash responded: “The fury, I really don’t understand the fury. I don’t understand it. I don’t get it… I was shocked, saddened. Not angry. Saddened and shocked—really shocked. But you know what, you can’t expect everyone to agree with you.”
Twitter can quickly become a very hateful place.
11:38 David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk University Political Research Center, told Bill O’Reilly on his show last night that his organization will no longer be polling in North Carolina, Florida, or Virginia. Why? Because Mitt Romney already has them in the bag.
“In places like North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida, we’ve already painted those red. We’re not polling any of those states again. We’re focusing on the remaining states.”
Paleologos said that Obama was in a bad place prior to his catastrophic debate performance, and it will be extremely difficult for Obama to climb to 50% now.
Here’s video of the appearance.
11:30 Mitt Romney told the Des Moines Register editorial board yesterday that abortion legislation isn’t part of his agenda.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” he said. He made it clear, however, that he would still prohibit federally-funded international nonprofits from providing abortions in other countries.
The Obama campaign accused him of contradicting himself because he has said that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade and because he supports the Hyde Amendment.
Of course, the Hyde Amendment is already current law (it bars the use of federal funds for abortion).
11:18 Nate Silver, the New York Times’s polling guru, now gives Obama only a 71% chance of reelection. That’s down from 86% a week ago. He says Romney’s surge may continue and that we are moving in the direction of a tossup election.
Obama’s odds on Intrade have dropped from almost 80% to about 62%.
And on Betfair, Obama’s odds have also dropped from over 80% to the mid-60s.
This race is far from over.
10:47 ABC News reports that, as many have suspected, there was no protest going on outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the night that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. The news broke the night before a Congressional hearing into the matter that was called by House Republicans. It’s a little sad that only the threat of embarrassment by the opposition party can coerce this government into revealing what went on during a terrorist attack on an American diplomatic mission.
10:28 Romney is up big with Independents, as Christian Heinze writes at The Hill. Some data points:
IBD/ITP poll released today: Romney 52% Obama 34%
Pew poll released yesterday: Romney 46% Obama 42%
Politico/GW poll released yesterday: Romney 51% Obama 35%
CNN poll released last week: Romney 49% Obama 41%
National Journal poll released October 3: Romney 49% Obama 41%
As a point of comparison, Obama won Independents by 8% in 2008.
10:17 A new poll of Colorado by American Research Group shows Romney with a 4-point lead. The Republican has support from 50% of those polled while the president captures 46%. Only 3% are undecided, and the margin of error is plus or minus 4 points.
The firm’s pre-debate poll of Colorado had Obama up 2 points, so this represents a 6-point swing in Romney’s favor.
This poll is the first post-debate poll to show either candidate reaching the 50% mark. It’s the third post-debate poll in Colorado and the second one that has Romney in the lead. The other one gave Obama a small 1-point lead.
Romney leads Colorado by a half point in the Real Clear Politics average.
10:10 According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News polling, two-thirds of all voters have favorable opinions of Michelle Obama. That makes her one of the most popular figures in politics today. Her popularity dives to 54% among Republicans but 81% of Democrats view her positively.
Her potential replacement, Ann Romney, is viewed positively by 56% of voters. She remains less well known than Mrs. Obama, but has gained favorability since the spring. Mrs. Romney is viewed positively by 82% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats.
9:53 A new WMUR Granite State Poll shows the race in New Hampshire tightening. Obama now leads by 6 points compared to 15 last week. Much of that decline probably reflects Obama’s poor debate performance, but 57% of the respondents in the poll answered before the debate, so that can’t explain all of it.
Obama is ahead 47-41, with 9% undecided. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
The big difference? Female voters. Last week, Obama led among women by 27 points, but this week it’s down to 9.
The majority of voters still think Obama will win. Sixty-one percent said the president will be reelected compared to 25% who say Romney will win.
9:38 Rep Chris Van Hollen, the Democrat who is playing Paul Ryan in Joe Biden’s debate prep, has released a video praising the Republican’s skill at debate. He’s trying to raise expectations for Ryan in order to help Joe Biden look better. In particular, he says this:
No matter how he does it, you can be sure Paul Ryan knows his plan. After 14 years in the House, including 6 as the top Republican on the powerful House Budget Committee, he’s been the face of the Republicans in articulating their policies. He is seen as one of the most quick on his feet elected officials in the country, and we know he doesn’t back down in debates.
9:22 President Obama is spending the day at the White House with no public events. He has a 2 PM sit-down with Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.
Mitt Romney has an 11:30 town hall with Chris Christie in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Then he has a 6:45 rally with son Josh Romney and Collin Raye in Sidney, Ohio. He will focus on jobs and energy today.
Joe Biden has debate prep in Wilmington, Delaware.
Paul Ryan is in St. Petersburg, Florida. He flies to Kentucky this afternoon.
Michelle Obama has a 1:45 MT rally in Colorado Springs and a 4:55 MT rally in Durango.
Ann Romney tours the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, at 1:20.
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