Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 5:51 am
Credit Courtesy of Lincoln
Wanna cast your vote early? In Washington, D.C., and around the nation, food and drink have become a popular proxy for voter polls. Though they're unlikely to be accurate predictors, the results of a few seem to be drifting in the same direction as the presidential election polls conducted by professional pollsters at the moment.
Wisconsin is a prime battleground state in this year's presidential election.
Republicans hope the pick of native son Paul Ryan as their vice presidential nominee will bolster their chances to turn the state red in November. Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1984. Barack Obama won the state by a blowout 14 points in 2008. And a run of Wisconsin polls this week shows him widening his lead over Mitt Romney.
So what do Wisconsin voters have to say about their choices — and their mood?
Separate appearances Friday by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan before an AARP meeting in New Orleans proved that the third rail of American politics, Medicare and Social Security collectively, is still very much electrified.
Speaking to a supremely friendly audience via live video feed from Virginia, where he was campaigning, Obama drew repeated applause and cheers with promises to defend Medicare and Social Security from Republican proposals that he said threaten the entitlement programs' ability to deliver the kind of benefits seniors have become accustomed to.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan presented their visions for Medicare to the nation's most influential lobbying group for the elderly on Friday. Julie Rovner has parsed their remarks and joins Audie Cornish to provide some context.
Republican dreams of taking control of the U.S. Senate in November have been declared all but dead over the past several days by prognosticators pointing to trouble facing the party in unexpected places.
Missouri and Indiana come to mind.
But don't count Senate race analyst Jennifer Duffy among them.
"I'm not ready to call this done and over," Duffy said of the GOP's push to pick up four seats, which would definitely tip the Senate balance of power. "We seem to be in some period of transition. Whether it's permanent or not, we'll know in a couple weeks."
Many people erupted in outrage when secretly taped remarks by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney were released earlier this week. But people from both sides of the political aisle suggest that maybe Romney has a point. Host Michel Martin speaks with David Sirota who wrote about this on Salon.com, and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute.