The Fix: Campaign 2012

Want to re-live the 2012 Iowa caucuses? Of course you do!

Want to re-live the 2012 Iowa caucuses? Of course you do!

On Saturday night, we had the pleasure of watching "Caucus", a documentary on the 2012 Iowa Republican caucus fight -- and then moderating a panel that included A.J. Schnack, the film's director, as well as senior operatives from the campaigns of Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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Black voters turned out at higher rate than white voters in 2012 and 2008

Black voters turned out at higher rate than white voters in 2012 and 2008

The Associated Press is out with a study of the 2012 election concluding that the black voter turnout rate exceeded the white turnout rate for the first time. It's almost certainly true that black turnout was higher than white turnout last fall -- but that also was true in 2008.

Using census data and exit polling, the AP found that black voters were 13 percent of the electorate even though they make up only 12 percent of the population. White voters represented 72 percent of the electorate, outperforming their 71.1 percent share of the population, but not to the same degree they have in past elections. The total percent of voters in each ethnic group who turned out is not included. Census data on voter turnout will be released in May.

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Why Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment was so bad

Why Mitt Romney's '47 percent' comment was so bad

In an interview with Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace, Mitt Romney acknowledged just how much his "47 percent" comments -- in which he all but wrote off the votes of half the country -- had negatively impacted his chances of being president: "That hurt. There's no question that hurt and did real damage to my campaign."

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Six House freshmen that are making an early (media) impact

Six House freshmen that are making an early (media) impact

You should expect to hear plenty about these six freshman members of the House in the years to come: Reps. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), Steve Stockman (R-Tex.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

That's the takeaway from a new study by the University of Minnesota's (the old alma mater!) Smart Politics team, which looked at the number of early media impressions from the Class of 2012.

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The GOP launches its big electoral vote gambit

The GOP launches its big electoral vote gambit

We wrote last week about a growing movement in the Republican Party to change how key states award their electoral votes — changes that could have a dramatic impact on how presidential elections are decided. This week, we had our first official movement on that front, with a subcommittee in the Virginia state Senate advancing a bill that would award the state's electoral votes by congressional district rather than on a winner-take-all basis. In light of this, we are reposting our item from last week, with a few updates:

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The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus voiced support over the weekend for an effort to reform how some states award their electoral votes.

And the effect of the movement should not be underestimated.

Below, we take you through the particulars of the effort, what it would mean, and why it will or won't happen.

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The biggest turning points of the 2012 election

The biggest turning points of the 2012 election

The 2012 election cycle served as a reminder that campaigns are unpredictable. In fact, some of the most pivotal points of the past two years were unforeseen events that quickly shaped the political landscape.

Today, we look back at the biggest turning points of the 2012 cycle in the battles for the White House, the Senate and the House. These are the most significant moments that left broad marks extending well beyond a single candidate or race.

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The top 10 political quotes of 2012

The top 10 political quotes of 2012

The year 2012 is in the rearview mirror, and 2013 is just around the corner.

What better time to look at the soundbites that defined the year that was -- politically speaking, of course.

Below, we recap the top 10 political quotes of the year, with special deference for quotes that defined the election in some way, shape or form.

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Republicans race to be rebuilder-in-chief

Republicans race to be rebuilder-in-chief

It didn't take long after the 2012 election for Republicans to decide they needed a new way forward. Now, several high-profile GOP figures likely to give a 2016 presidential campaign a close look are jockeying for a position at the forefront of the party reboot.

After the disappointment of 2012, leading Republicans sought to swiftly part ways with the rhetoric they believe brought them down in November. A week and a half after Election Day, high-profile governors quickly denounced Mitt Romney's remark that President Obama won reelection by bestowing "gifts" on certain parts of the electorate. The Republican National Committee this week launched an effort to figure out what went wrong this cycle.

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Latinos didn't cost Mitt Romney the election

Republicans have a major Latino problem, but it didn't cost them the 2012 election.

According to a Fix review of election results, Mitt Romney would have needed to carry as much as 51 percent of the Hispanic vote in order to win the Electoral College -- a number no Republican presidential candidate on record has been able to attain and isn't really within the realm of possibility these days.

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The Fix's nastiest campaign of 2012

The Fix's nastiest campaign of 2012

Campaigns can be nasty. Really nasty. A sharp debate jab here, an opposition research hit there, and all of a sudden even the most cordial contests can turn ugly.

Today, we look back at the 2012 campaigns with the most combative tones and searing attacks as we award the Fixy the coveted political awards that we, well, made up — for the nastiest contest of 2012.

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Both Romney and Obama ran $1 billion campaigns

Both Romney and Obama ran $1 billion campaigns

The Obama campaign got a lot of things right in the 2012 election. One thing they didn't get right: that it wouldn't be a billion-dollar campaign.

The Obama and Romney campaigns and allied committees both cracked $1 billion in reports filed late Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, making 2012 the most expensive presidential race on record.

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Republican National Committee finished 2012 cycle debt-free

Republican National Committee finished 2012 cycle debt-free

Make sure to sign up to receive "Afternoon Fix" every day in your e-mail inbox by 5(ish) p.m.!

FIRST ON THE FIX:

* The Republican National Committee will release a report later tonight showing zero debt and $3 million cash on hand after the 2012 election cycle, a committee source tells The Fix. The committee outraised its Democratic counterpart $293 million to $181 million this year, and the DNC ended the election with more than $20 million in debt and $9.7 million cash on hand, according to its report. It's normal for committees to go into debt at the end of the election; the question is usually how much. The RNC had $25 million in debt at the start of Chairman Reince Priebus's tenure in 2011.

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Why Obama won the 2012 election (in one chart)

The conservative polling group Resurgent Republic is out with a great new graphic this morning breaking down turnout among key demographic groups in the 2012 election.

The chart, better than about anything else we've seen, shows why President Obama won reelection so handily.

And in the face of what appeared to be a Democratic enthusiasm gap, no less.

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Tom Cole: Freeze middle class tax rates, but White House fiscal cliff' pitch not a real proposal'

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) on Sunday repeated his call for Republicans to work with Democrats to freeze tax rates for 98 percent of Americans, even as he dismissed the White House's overall plan to avert the "fiscal cliff."

Cole said that House Republicans should agree to freeze tax rates on middle class Americans as Democrats have advocated, arguing such a move would strengthen the GOP's overall position in the "fiscal cliff" talks. He's said a fight over the tax rate for top earners can come afterward.

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Is America becoming more socially liberal?

Is America becoming more socially liberal?

Social issues worked in President Obama's favor on Election Day -- the same day that multiple states voted for the first time to legalize both gay marriage and recreational marijuana.

And that confluence has some suggesting the country is shifting to the left on social issues.

But it's really too early to say that.

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The top family feuds in politics

The top family feuds in politics

Earlier this week, we asked Fix readers to help us identify the biggest family feuds in politics. The Fix readers delivered, pointing out some great ones.

Below is our list of the top family rivalries in politics, culled from reader suggestions and our own brainstorming. Did we miss any? The comments section awaits your input.

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The Daily Show' on the Obama-Romney lunch (VIDEO)

President Obama and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney had lunch at the White House on Thursday, marking their first face-to-face meeting since the election.

Why did the lunch have to take place at the White House? wondered Comedy Central's Jon Stewart on his Thursday night program.

"Obama couldn't have met the guy at a restaurant? Had to make him come to the White House," Stewart said. "That's some cold brew. Hey, Romney, what's up man? Hey, isn't it funny? You almost lived here.'"

Check out the complete clip below.

Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre defeats Republican David Rouzer in North Carolina

Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre defeats Republican David Rouzer in North Carolina

The final unresolved 2012 House race between a Democrat and a Republican has reached its conclusion, with Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) winning reelection in North Carolina's 7th District following Republican state Sen. David Rouzer's concession.

"Now that the recount has been completed and the tally of votes is official, we can move forward satisfied that each vote was counted properly and accurately," Rouzer said in a statement released late Tuesday. "I have called Congressman McIntyre to congratulate him on a hard-fought victory, and I wish him well as he joins a new Congress that will be dealing with very difficult issues facing our country."

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Ousting a senator in a primary? Not so easy.

Ousting a senator in a primary? Not so easy.

Barely removed from the 2012 election, the 2014 chatter has already begun. In the Senate, much of it involves which incumbents might face primaries. For activists who've long opposed a senator despite belonging to the same party, the hope is that the scuttlebutt materializes into a strong challenge. But, the reality is that knocking a senator out of office in a primary is no easy feat.

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Romney's final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Romney's final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney's share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.

Romney's campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

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The best candidate of 2012

The best candidate of 2012

Campaigns are made up ofconsultants, pollsters and various other strategists, butit's the candidate thatultimatelymatters most. And the great ones make their supporting cast look very smart.

Today we are handing out The Fixy the coveted political awards that we, well, made up for the best candidate of the 2012 election. On Monday, we gave out The Fixy for the worst candidate of 2012, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). (Don't miss our picks for thebest and worst ads of the election!)

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The best of Stephen Colbert on election night and the conventions (video)

"The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" were off Monday night, but the latter posted highlight reels online of the most memorable episodes of the 2012 campaign, including those airing on election night and the day after.

"Just because Obama won these blue states up here he's thepresidentof all of them now? Look, Romney won all that red stuff. Why don't we elect ourpresidentonsquarefootage?" Colbertaskedon his show the day after the election.

Below, check out highlight reels from election night and the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Florida Rep. Allen West concedes

Florida Rep. Allen West concedes

Florida Republican Rep. Allen West conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy Tuesday morning, wrapping up one of the highest-profile and most expensive House races in the country.

"While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results, and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and this past weekend's recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election," West said in a statement.

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Nancy Pelosi's most memorable moments (VIDEO)

Nancy Pelosi's most memorable moments (VIDEO)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) announced Wednesday that she intends to remain at the headof the Democratic caucus in the next Congress. For Pelosi, it was only the latestnewsworthydevelopment in a career filled with them. Below, we look back at some of Pelosi's mostmemorablemoments. (What did we miss? The comments section awaits!)

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The Daily Show' on Obama's gifts' (VIDEO)

Mitt Romney told donors this week that the President Obama won the election by handing out "gifts" to certain parts of the electorate. What were the gifts?On his Comedy Central show Thursday night, Jon Stewart explained.

"How on earth did Mitt Romney find out about the extraordinary bag of gifts that we got?" Stewart asked, beforepullingout a bag with the Obama campaign logo.

Among the items in the bag: A "pinata filled with green cards" and a "contraception variety pack."

Watch the full clip below.

Kelly Ward tapped as next DCCC executive director

Kelly Ward tapped as next DCCC executive director

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ispromoting current political directorKellyWard to the position of executive director for the 2014 cycle, a committee official told The Fix. Current communicationsdirectorJesse Ferguson will serve as Ward's deputy while Missy Kurek will bedeputy executive director for finance.

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The Daily Show' on women voters (video)

How can Republicans reach out to single women voters? And why did married women tend to favor Mitt Romney? Jon Stewart and Kristen Schaal explored the topic on Wednesday night's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Check out the full clip below.

The Fix election prediction contest winner!

The Fix election prediction contest winner!

The 2012 election is history.

What that means -- in addition to more beauty sleep for The Fix -- is that it's time to crown a winner in our election prediction contest!

And the winner is

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Stephen Colbert on White House 2072 (video)

2016presidentialelectionbuzz is already rampingup. But why stop there?

"How is Chelsea Clinton stacking up against Tagg Romney" in 2020, asked Comedy Central'sStephenColbert on his Tuesday night show.

What about 2072, race for the White Orb?

"So far, in 2072, it lookslikeit isgoingto be amatchupbetween Robo-Cheney versus a swarm of sentient nano-hornets. Those nano-hornets aregoingto be tough to beat folks,because I hear this weekend, they are swarming an Iowapancakebreakfast," Colbert said.

Check out the full clip below.

DGA made key holds by doing more with less

DGA made key holds by doing more with less

Republicansachieveda milestone in 2012, adding a 30th governor to its rolls, a high-water mark for either party since 2000. But Democrats' ability to hold seats in the cycle's most competitive races was arguably a more remarkable feat.

How did they do it? Part of the answer is money, which at first blush may seem counter-intuitive,considering the extent to which the Republican Governors Association outpaced its Democratic counterpart in the fundraising battle.

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The GOPs demographic problem in 1 chart

The GOPs demographic problem  in 1 chart

Republican politicians and strategists continue to sift through the election results to figure out just what happened in an election where they thought they could win the White House and Senate and wound up with neither.

We've written lots about this process of self evaluation -- and we'll write plenty more about it in the days to come. (You should also check out Jonathan Martin's piece over at Politico on how the closed loop of conservative media complicates GOP efforts to regroup.)

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Saturday Night Live on Obama, post-election

Was President Obama surprised by his own reelection victory?

"Republicans, what happened? This election was yours to lose. I mean, 8 percent unemployment, five dollar gas -- I even gave you a one debate head start," said the actor portraying Obama on this past weekend's "Saturday Night Live."

Check out the full clip below.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says hes restarting immigration reform talks with Sen. Graham

Sen. Chuck Schumer says hes restarting immigration reform talks with Sen. Graham

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that he will be making a renewed push for reforms to the nation's immigration laws along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Sen. Graham and I have talked and we are resuming the talks that were broken off two years ago, Schumer said on NBC's Meet The Press.

President Obama won Hispanic voters by 44 points over Mitt Romney, according to exit polls, a margin that was wider than the Democrat's 36-point advantage over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) among Latinos in the 2008 election.

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David Axelrod: Speaker Boehners rhetoric has been encouraging

David Axelrod: Speaker Boehners rhetoric has been encouraging

Updated at 12:12 p.m.

House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) comments last week regarding the so-called fiscal cliff were encouraging, President Obama's senior campaign strategist David Axelrod said Sunday morning.

His rhetoric has been encouraging and I think we've also had an intervening election, Axelrod said on CBS's Face The Nation.

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Florida called for Obama, who wins electoral vote 332-206

Florida called for Obama, who wins electoral vote 332-206

The last state in the 2012 presidential race has been called, with the Associated Press projecting that Florida will go narrowly for President Obama.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Obama leads Romney by nearly a full point, 50.0 percent to 49.1 percent. (Full election results here.) Had the margin been within half a percentage point, it would have triggered a computer recount.

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New Hampshires Democratic wave, explained

New Hampshires Democratic wave, explained

Tuesday's election didn't shift the balance ofpoliticalpower in Washington, but in New Hampshire, it was a very different story.

Democrats made huge gains in the state House, where they won back themajority, and narrowed the GOP advantage in the state Senate.The party also snatched away both U.S. House seats from Republican hands, and held the governorship.

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Why Republicans position on immigration is a political loser in 1 chart

Why Republicans position on immigration is a political loser  in 1 chart

Widespread Hispanic support for Democrats on Tuesday, together with the inexorable shifts in demographics seem to be an impetus for a review of the strategic direction of the Republican Party. For immigration reform, the policy reevaluation appears to be happening in real time.

After all, the national exit poll showed voters still clearly on one side of the debate. By 65 to 28 percent, voters said most illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, rather than being deported.

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Stephen Colbert: Could the Nor’easter hurt Romneys momentum? (video)

Could Wednesday's nor'easter be hurting Mitt Romney politically? Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert expressed his worry on "The Colbert Report" Thursday night.

"I'm afraid that this new storm could hurt Romney'smomentum," Colbert said. "It could slow him down. I mean, he already lost the election -- that can't help him. But of course Florida is still being counted."

Watch the full clip below.

President Obama and the white vote? No problem.

President Obama and the white vote? No problem.

In the run-up to Tuesday's election, there was much talk that President Obama could be headed to a historically poor showing among white voters, a result that could jeopardize his ability to win the overall popular vote.

And, while Obama did lose white voters by 20 points to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (the widest losing margin for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1984) he still won a clear popular vote victory -- with a majority of his total vote nationwide coming from white voters.

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2012 election was chock-full of firsts

2012 election was chock-full of firsts

We saw lots of firsts in the 2012 election, with most of them having to do with the religion, sexual orientation and gender of winning candidates.

Below are the ones we have cobbled together.What did we miss? The comments section awaits. (And we will include the best ones in future updates.)

First president since Great Depression to be reelected with unemployment rate above 7.2 percent: Barack Obama

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Stephen Colbert on polling irregularities (video)

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert explained the irregularities he encountered on Election Day during his show Wednesday night.

"First of all, the East Coast got to vote three hours earlier. That can't be fair," Colbert said.

Watch the full clip below.

Democrat Steve Bullock wins Montana governors race

Democrat Steve Bullock wins Montana governors race

AttorneyGeneralSteve Bullock (D) won the Montana governor's race on Wednesday, defeating former congressman Rick Hill (R) in one of the cycle most's competitive statewide contests.

With 94 percent ofprecinctsreporting, Bullock led 49 percent to 47 percent. The Associated Press has called the race for the Democrat.

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Six rising stars elected Tuesday

Six rising stars elected Tuesday

Tuesday's Election may have produced little in the way of broad changes to Washington, with President Obama winning reelection, Democrats retaining control of the Senate and Republicans holding the House. But the vote did yield some new faces who are headed to the nation's capital in January, and could well become household names in the months and years to come. Here's a look at a few names we'll probably be hearing a lot more about:

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Republican Rick Berg concedes to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota Senate race

Republican Rick Berg concedes to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota Senate race

Republican Rep. Rick Berg has conceded the North Dakota Senate race to Democratic former state attorney general Heidi Heitkamp, completing Democrats' virtual sweep of key Senate races.

Heitkamp's win means the Democrats expanded their majority by two seats on Tuesday. There will be 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and two Independents in the next Senate. Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders has long caucused with the Democrats. Newly elected Maine Independent Angus King has not yet announced with whom he will caucus but is widely assumed to be planning to caucus with Democrats, as well, raising the Democrats effective strength to 55.

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Congressional incumbents have a very good day

Congressional incumbents have a very good day

Election Day, as it usually is, was a good day to be an incumbent.

The president was reelected, only one incumbent senator was defeated, and only about two dozen House incumbents will not be returning.

In fact, most House incumbents who lost on Tuesday lost in large part because their district boundaries were drawn in redistricting to be tougher. In fact, more than two-thirds (15 of 22) of confirmed losers in the House were drawn significantly more difficult districts and were considered top targets because of it. Four districts were bound to feature an incumbent loss because two incumbents were put into the same district.

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The biggest surprises of Election Day 2012

The biggest surprises of Election Day 2012

It's all over except for the shouting (and except where it's not over).

But did anything really surprise us on Tuesday? On the macro: Not really. Both chambers of Congress remained about as-is, and the presidency stayed with Barack Obama -- about like we had predicted.

But inside that big picture are a bunch of little Waldos that we thought were worth a closer look.

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What races still arent called after Election Day?

What races still arent called after Election Day?

Updated at 4:26 p.m. to reflect Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock's (D) gubernatorial victory.

Earlier, we updated withHeidi Heitkamp's (D) win in the North Dakota Senate race, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) holding his seat, and Rep. Allen West's (R-Fla.) campaign saying he does not plan to concede his race.

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President Obamas road to victory (VIDEO)

As President Obama said in his victory speech in Chicago last night: "A long campaign is now over."



He's got that right. The 2012 presidential campaign began in earnest more than two years ago as the Republican aspirants began organizing in early states and followed a winding path that led us through the GOP primary debate season, the vice presidential speculation, unending debate over the politics of the economy and a superstorm that put politics on the back burner.

Want to relive it all? Check out this amazing video created by the Post's A.J. Chavar (and narrated by yours truly) that allows you to do just that.

The GOPs silver lining: Holding control of the House

The GOPs silver lining: Holding control of the House

With President Obama celebrating hisreelectionvictoryTuesday night into Wednesday morning and Senate Democrats holding theirmajorityin the upper chamber, Republicans had little tocelebratein the race for the White House and upper chamber. But in the House, theirmajoritywill be safe in the next Congress.

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Big night for gay marriage and marijuana legalization

Residents in two states voted to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, while those in two other states voted to legalize gay marriage and a third state elected the first gay U.S. senator.

Maine and Maryland became the first states in which voters approved gay marriage. It had failed previously in 32 states, including Maine as recently as 2009.

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Republican Deb Fischer wins Nebraska Senate race

Republican Deb Fischer wins Nebraska Senate race

State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) won the Nebraska Senate race Tuesday and willsucceedretiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D) in the upper chamber. Fischer defeated Democrat Bob Kerrey, a former Cornhusker State senator and governor.

Fischer led Kerrey 58 percent to 42 percent, with 70 percent ofprecinctsreporting. The Associated Press has called the race for her.

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Blue Dog Democrat John Barrow survives against the odds in Georgia

Blue Dog Democrat John Barrow survives against the odds in Georgia

On a night when House Democrats' long-shot hopes of taking back control of the lower chamber were dashed early, one Democrat had something tocelebrate.

Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), the onlyremainingwhite Democrat in the House from the Deep South, wonreelectionTuesday night,turningback a toughchallengefrom Republican Lee Anderson.

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Democrats hold the Senate

Democrats have retained their Senate majority, according to AP projections.

Rep. Mazie Hirono's (D) apparent win in Hawaii means Democrats have secured 50 Senate seats with six states still outstanding Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Because most are projecting that President Obama has won reelection, that means Vice President Biden would cast any tie-breaking voters in the Senate.

Democrats have a chance to add to their majority in all six states that have yet to be called. The first four are considered tossups, while Arizona leans Republican and New Mexico leans Democratic.

Democrats have won every competitive race that has been called tonight except Nebraska. They won in Hawaii, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts.

Democrat Joe Donnelly wins Indiana Senate race

Democrat Joe Donnelly wins Indiana Senate race

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) won the Indiana Senate race Tuesday, defeating state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in the contest to replace outgoing Sen. Richard Lugar (R).

Donnelly led Mourdock 49 percent to 45 percent, with 85 percent of precincts reporting. TheWashingtonPost has called the race for Donnelly.

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In Florida, Latinos tilt for Obama while seniors tilt for Romney

In Florida, Latinos tilt for Obama while seniors tilt for Romney

Early exit polls in Florida show the Latino vote is strong for President Obama, while seniors are giving Mitt Romney a boost.

According to the exit polls, Obama is winning the Latino vote 60 percent to 32 percent after carrying it 57 percent to 42 percent in 2008. AndLatinos are also a larger share of the vote 17 percent, as compared to 15 percent four years ago.

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Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

Early exit polls show Obama-friendly electorate in Ohio

The electorate that showed up to vote today in Ohio appears similar to the one that delivered the state to President Obama in 2008 if not slightly better for the incumbent.

Early exit polls show Obama with a strong favorable rating (55 percent) among those who have voted, while Romney is underwater (45 percent favorable versus 50 percent unfavorable).

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The 7 most important counties in Election 2012

The 7 most important counties in Election 2012

Election junkies are about to get bombarded with data, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, when the first polls close in Kentucky and Indiana.

But how to follow it all?

Below, The Fix highlights seven bellwether counties in critical swing states that will give us a good idea who is about to become the next president.

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Stephen Colbert chats Election Day odds with Nate Silver (video)

New York Times blogger NateSilverprojects thatPresidentObama has a better than 90 percent chance of winning reelection. Several pundits have publicly asserted their disagreement with hisassessment during the past couple of weeks. Silver discussed his thinkingMondaynight in ahumorousinterview with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert.

"If anything the race has brokentowardPresidentObama a bit in the last 48 hours," Silver told Colbert.

"We'll edit that out," Colbert quipped.

Check out the complete interview below.

WaPo-ABC tracking poll: final weekend tally is Obama 50, Romney 47, still a margin of error contest

WaPo-ABC tracking poll: final weekend tally is Obama 50, Romney 47, still a margin of error contest

Heading into Election Day, likely voters divide 50 percent for President Obama and 47 percent for his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, according to the latest, final weekend release of the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll.

A nail-biter throughout, the presidential contest remains closely competitive through its last days, even as most voters perceive a likely win for the president.

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Final early vote numbers suggest a very close race

Final early vote numbers suggest a very close race

Early voting is now all but complete in all of the key states in the 2012 presidential race, which means it's time to figure out what it all meant.

First, a look at our trusty Early Vote Tracker, with blue-leaning Pennsylvania added for good measure:

Here's the overarching takeaway: In basically every state where we have good data available, Democrats performed worse than they did in 2008 but better than they did in 2010. And if you extrapolate the shift to the entire statewide vote, we've got a very close race in store.

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Voting issues surface in battlegrounds in advance of Election Day

Voting issues surface in battlegrounds in advance of Election Day

Even before voters head to the polls on Tuesday, issues with early and in-person absentee voting and disputes over provisionalballots and voting equipment have popped up in several key swing states.

The most recent instance came in Florida on Sunday, where voters waited in a long line in Miami-Dade County to cast in-person absentee ballots, after officials allowed extra time for voting. (Early voting technically ended on Saturday, as Gov. Rick Scott (R) had previously ended early voting on the Sunday before Election Day.)

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Saturday Night Live on Chris Christie and Michael Bloomberg (VIDEO)

The weekly comedy show parodied the reactions to Hurricane Sandy fromNew York City's mayor and New Jersey's governor.

"On Election Day, I'm voting for Mitt Romney, but if I had to pick one guy to have my back in a crisis, it would be Barack Obama," says thecast member who portrays Christie in the sketch.

Take a look below:

Ed Gillespie: The map has expanded

Ed Gillespie: The map has expanded

Mitt Romney's stretch run push in states that have appeared to favor President Obama is a reflection of an expanding electoral map, senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said Sunday.

When you look at where this map has gone, it reflects the -- the change and the direction and the momentum toward Governor Romney," Gillespie said on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos. "And the fact is that a state like Pennsylvania being in play, a poll out today showing Michigan a dead heat, you know, this -- the map has expanded,

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Haley Barbour: Hurricane Sandy broke Romneys momentum

Haley Barbour: Hurricane Sandy broke Romneys momentum

Hurricane Sandy's impact on the Northeast and the attention it received broke [Mitt] Romney's momentum in the campaign last week, former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour (R) said Sunday.

Any day that the news media is not talking about jobs and the economy, taxes and spending, deficit and debt, Obamacare and energy is a good day for Barack Obama, Barbour said on CNN's State Of The Union.

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Mitt Romneys play for Pennsylvania a desperate ploy, David Plouffe says

Mitt Romneys play for Pennsylvania a desperate ploy, David Plouffe says

Mitt Romney's late push to win Pennsylvania is a "desperate ploy," White House senior adviser David Plouffe said Sunday.

"I mean, to win Pennsylvania, Governor Romney would have to win two-thirds of the independents," Plouffe said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." "He's not going to do that anywhere, much less Pennsylvania. So the truth is, they are throwing some ads up and Governor Romney is traveling in the state he's not going to win."

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Hurricane Sandy helped Obama politically, Karl Rove says

Hurricane Sandy helped Obama politically, Karl Rove says

Hurricane Sandy's impact on the East Coast this week gave President Obama a political advantage during the final week of the campaign, Republican strategist Karl Rove said in an interview on Friday.

If you hadn't had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney's] advantage, Rove told The Washington Post.

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House Republicans may actually add to their majority on Election Day

The Fix now projects that the 2012 race for the House is likely to be close to a draw, and there is even a fair chance that Republicans will add to their biggest majority in six decades on Tuesday.

Below, The Fix is updating the ratings of 10 House races, with most of them moving in the GOP's direction.

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Donnelly leads Mourdock by 11 in Indiana Senate race, bipartisan poll shows

Donnelly leads Mourdock by 11 in Indiana Senate race, bipartisan poll shows

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) has opened up an 11-point lead over state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in the Indiana Senate race, a bipartisan poll released Friday showed.

Donnelly leads Mourdock 47 percent to 36 percent in the Howey/Depauw poll conducted by Democratic pollster Fred Yang and Republican pollster Christine Matthews. Libertarian Party candidate Andy Horning claims 6 percent support in the poll, while roughly one-in-10 voters (11 percent) remain undecided.

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Jon Stewart: Ohio voters must reconcile role as the precious (VIDEO)

With just four days left until Election Day, both President Obama and Mitt Romney are going all out to win Ohio, where voters have been inundated with a seemingly endless loop of campaign ads and stump speeches for weeks.

On Thursday's "The Daily Show," Comedy Central's Jon Stewart took a closer look at what Ohioans have had to endure the last few weeks.

And as to that famous O-H-I-O chant thecandidates have been folding into their speeches? Stewart wasn't tooimpressed.

"You yell two letters at them, and then they yell two back. And one of them is the same letter," he said.

Take a look at the segment below, in which Stewart says Ohioans "must reconcile their role as this year's the precious":

Why isn’t Oregon a slam dunk for President Obama?

Why isn’t Oregon a slam dunk for President Obama?

In typical discussions about the most competitive swing states in the presidential election, Oregon and its seven electoral votes are almost never part of the conversation. While President Obama is likely to carry the Oregon next week, the state is more competitive than most people probably think. But, why?

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Obama dodges a Sandy pitfall in Philadelphia

Obama dodges a Sandy pitfall in Philadelphia

Hurricane Sandy has wrought havoc on New Jersey and New York, leaving destruction, flooding, power outages and weeks of clean-up behind.

As for the 2012 election, though, it appears to have largely spared the states (relatively speaking, of course) that will determine the presidency — most notably, Pennsylvania.

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Stephen Colbert: Obama stole Romney’s ‘date to disaster-prom’ (video)

Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” were off the air the first two days of this week because of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the East Coast. But both programs were back on the air Wednesday, and each explored the the intersection of politics and the storm.

Stewart examined what happens when you remove politics from governing while Colbert looked at the way Mitt Romney put his campaign on hold (or did he?) and President Obama’s trip to New Jersey to survey storm damage with Gov. Chris Christie (R).

Did Obama steal Romney’s “date to disaster-prom?” Find out below.

Mitt Romney’s late-night problem

Mitt Romney’s late-night problem

It’s not just Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert that are ragging on Mitt Romney these days.

In fact, late-night comedians have devoted significantly more time to lampooning the former Massachusetts governor than President Obama this election season.

According to a study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, four top late night shows have told more than twice as many jokes about Romney as about Obama.

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Why voter turnout in 2012 is likely to be down

Why voter turnout in 2012 is likely to be down

With less than a week to go in the 2012 election, voters are less enthusiastic about casting ballots than they were in either of the last two presidential elections, according to a new Gallup poll.

The numbers suggest that there could well be a dropoff in voter turnout on Election Day.

According to Gallup’s numbers, 85 percent of poll respondents say they have given at least some thought to the election. That’s down from 90 percent in 2004 and 87 percent in 2008.

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Swing state polls show Obama up five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania

Swing state polls show Obama up five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania

President Obama continues to hold slight leads in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, while the equally critical races in Florida and Virginia are too close to call, according to a new crop of swing state polls.

CBS News/New York Times:

Florida: Obama 48, Romney 47

Ohio: Obama 50, Romney 45

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How elected officials in Sandy’s path have responded to the storm

Hurricane Sandy plowed into a large chunk of the East Coast on Monday, prompting pols in various states up and down the Eastern Seaboard to oversee preparation and relief efforts. Here’s a rundown of a few key elected officials who have been keeping a close eye on Sandy, and how they’ve reacted:

President Obama: The president canceled a Tuesday campaign trip to Wisconsin to remain in Washington to monitor the storm, and he is headed to New Jersey on Wednesday to survey damage with Gov. Chris Christie (R) and thank first-responders. Christie, who hasn’t been shy about criticizing the president, praised the Obama’s response to the storm.

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The incredibly polarized American electorate

The incredibly polarized American electorate

Americans aren’t just evenly divided in the 2012 election; they’re practically fleeing the political middle.

Towards the end of the Wisconsin recall election this year, we saw something striking happen: Not only were there very few undecided voters in the weeks before Election Day, but the vast majority of people were strongly for or strongly against Gov. Scott Walker (R), with very few people lukewarm on either side.

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Five places where Hurricane Sandy could affect the election

Five places where Hurricane Sandy could affect the election

We’re still waiting for the full impact of Hurricane Sandy. But we’ve got at least a sense for what lies ahead in the next hours and days.

The National Weather Service has issued a series of warnings up and down the East Coast.

Below, we take a geographical look at the five most politically important areas in the path of the storm:

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Brown ties Warren in new Boston Globe poll

Brown ties Warren in new Boston Globe poll

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D) are tied, according to a new Boston Globe poll released Monday. The survey stands in contrast to several other recent polls showing Warren holding a slight lead.

Brown and Warren are tied at 47 percent apiece among those likeliest to vote in Massachusetts, according the poll, which was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center from Wednesday through Sunday. In the previous survey, conducted in late September, Warren held a slight, 43 percent to 38 percent advantage

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Preschoolers reenact the 2012 presidential campaign (Video)

In which two preschoolers stage a near-flawless parody of the 2012 presidential race (and make sure you stick around for the grand finale)…

Minnesota moves from ‘solid Obama’ to ‘lean Obama’

Minnesota moves from ‘solid Obama’ to ‘lean Obama’

The Fix today is moving Minnesota, the state that hasn’t voted Republican since 1972, from “solid Obama” to “lean Obama.” The move comes in response to two major developments:

1) A new Star Tribune poll conducted by Mason-Dixon and released Sunday showed Mitt Romney within the margin of error against Obama, with Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44 percent. That’s closer than any other poll has shown.

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New Claire McCaskill ad shows clip of Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ remark

New Claire McCaskill ad shows clip of Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ remark

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is going after Rep. Todd Akin (R) in a new TV ad that includes footage of Akin’s controversial August interview, in which he argued that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy.

The new McCaskill ad includes a clip from that interview showing Akin saying: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

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Minnesota poll shows Romney within margin of error

Mitt Romney is knocking on the door of adding another state to the mix in the 2012 election, with a new poll in Minnesota showing him within the margin of error.

The new Minneapolis Star Tribune poll, conducted by pollster Mason-Dixon, shows Obama at 47 percent and Romney at 44 percent. The same pollster showed Obama leading in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by eight points last month.

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Cutter: Des Moines Register’s Romney endorsement not ‘based at all in reality’

Cutter: Des Moines Register’s Romney endorsement not ‘based at all in reality’

Top Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter said Sunday that the Des Moines Register’s endorsement of Mitt Romney “didn’t seem to be based at all in reality.”

“It was a little surprising to read that editorial, because it didn’t seem to be based at all in reality — not just in the president’s record, but in Mitt Romney’s record,” Cutter said. “It says that he’d reach across the aisle, which he’d do the exact opposite. It’s the exact opposite of what he did in Massachusetts.”

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Priebus: Democrats ‘not as good as they think they are’ on ground game

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Democrats’ ground game advantage isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Asked about Democrats’ early vote lead in states like Iowa and Ohio, Priebus said it’s not what it seems and pointed to the unsuccessful recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) earlier this year.

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Axelrod says Hurricane Sandy could hurt Obama by lowering turnout

David Axelrod, a top advisor to President Obama’s reelection campaign, said Sunday that he is concerned that Hurricane Sandy could reduce turnout and potentially hurt Obama’s campaign.

“Obviously, we want unfettered access to the polls, because we believe that the more people come out, the better we’re going to do,” Axelrod said. “And so, to the extent that it makes it harder, that’s a source of concern.”

The storm could have a wide-ranging effect on swing states from North Carolina and Virginia to even New Hampshire or Ohio.

Axelrod said that the political implications of the storm remain hard to predict and that the president will be focused on helping the victims.

Colin Powell’s former chief of staff: GOP is ‘full of racists’

Colin Powell’s former chief of staff: GOP is ‘full of racists’

Colin Powell’s former chief of staff says the Republican Party is “full of racists” who only want President Obama out of office because he’s black.

“Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists,” Col. Lawrence Wilkerson said Friday on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.” ”And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”

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GOP ahead of 2008 early vote pace, but still trailing

GOP ahead of 2008 early vote pace, but still trailing

With lots of early votes starting to roll in across several swing states, Republicans continue to trail but are now in a slightly better position among early voters than they were in 2008.

Democrats built a lead early this month among early voters — in Iowa and Ohio in particular. But Mitt Romney’s momentum in the presidential race, combined with increased voter contacts by Republicans, appear to have him on pace to perform better on the early vote than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did in 2008.

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How Hurricane Sandy could test Obamas leadership

How Hurricane Sandy could test Obamas leadership

As President Obama and Mitt Romney approach the final week of the campaign, a severe storm bearing down on the East Coast could test the presidents leadership at a crucial time in his reelection bid and shift national attention toward an unexpected event.

Hurricane Sandy, which has already claimed the lives of 29 people in the Caribbean, could make landfall on the East Coast of the United States early next week, giving both candidates an extra variable to consider as the campaign season reaches its climax.

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A premature obituary for the moderate senator

A premature obituary for the moderate senator

Richard L. Hasen over at the Election Law Blog offers a worthwhile counterpoint to our argument in Morning Fix that the government may stay largely as-is after the 2012 election.

While Hasen agrees with our point that the presidency, the House and the Senate could remain very similar when it comes to partisan breakdown the crux of the point we made he argues that even in that case, a continual loss of moderates will actually make things more intractable.

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John Sununus not-so-greatest hits (VIDEO)

John Sununus not-so-greatest hits (VIDEO)

When John H. Sununu suggested Thursday night that Colin Powell endorsed President Obama because both are African American (he later backpedaled), he stoked controversy for what seemed like the umpteenth time this election cycle.

Sununu, a former New Hampshire governor and White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush, has been one of Mitt Romneys most active surrogates. Hes embraced the role of attack dog, lambasting Obama at every turn, from cable news interviews to conference calls with reporters. Along the way, his brash, outspoken manner has gotten him into some hot water. Heres a look back at some Sununu comments that have turned heads this election season.

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Michelle Obama wakes Jimmy Kimmel with a bullhorn and discusses campaign, parenting (VIDEO)

First lady Michelle Obama sat down with ABCs Jimmy Kimmel Thursday for a discussion about politics and parenting, among other things.

The first lady also took part in an entertaining skit in which she used a bullhorn to wake Kimmel up early on Election Day to go vote.

In her interview with Kimmel, Michelle Obama discussed the campaign and her family.

Is there any part of you that wouldnt be so bummed if you didnt win? asked Kimmel, half jokingly.

Absolutelynot, replied the first lady.

Check out the clips below for more, including the first ladys take on how her daughters react to President Obamas speeches.

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Top Romney aide Sununu suggests Powell endorsed Obama because hes black

Top Romney aide Sununu suggests Powell endorsed Obama because hes black

John Sununu, a top adviser to Mitt Romneys presidential campaign, suggested Thursday that Colin Powell endorsed President Obama because both men are African American.

Asked Thursday on CNN about Powells endorsement, Sununu said the endorsement might be for reasons other than policy.

Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether thats an endorsement based on issues or whether hes got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama, Sununu said.

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DSCC slams Mourdocks comments on rape and pregnancy in new TV ad

DSCC slams Mourdocks comments on rape and pregnancy in new TV ad

Make sure to sign up to receiveAfternoon Fixevery day in your e-mail inbox by 5(ish) p.m.!

FIRST ON THE FIX:

* The Democratic super PAC House Majority PAC raised $6.7 millionduringthe first half of October. During the entire month of September, the group raised about $6 million.

EARLIER ON THE FIX:

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Massachusetts Senate race moves to ‘lean Democratic’

Massachusetts Senate race moves to ‘lean Democratic’

The Fix is moving the Massachusetts Senate race from the “tossup” category to the “lean Democratic” column, a reflection of Elizabeth Warren’s momentum in the contest.

Warren has opened up a slight and consistent lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R), recent polling shows. The Real Clear Politics average of Bay State polling shows Warren leading Brown by almost five points after the two candidates were running about even for much of the summer.

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John Barrow’s one-of-a-kind ad campaign

John Barrow’s one-of-a-kind ad campaign

If Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) doesn’t win reelection on Nov. 6, it won’t be because he didn’t try to set himself apart with a novel ad campaign.

The campaign seeks to reach voters of different political stripes and casts Barrow’s congressional tenure in a positive light, even as many other commercials across the country treat Congress like a dirty word.

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5 things we learned from watching Obama on Leno

President Obama appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Wednesday, where he weighed in on a range of issues both serious and light, from Afghanistan and the economy, to Donald Trump and exercising. Here are five things we observed when watching the interview:

* Obama is funny: This isn’t news, even to casual observers of the president. But it might have been for some undecided voters tuning in. During his tenure in the White House, Obama’s earned praise for delivering his share of punchlines. On Wednesday, he demonstrated once again a knack for good comic timing and a willingness to poke fun at himself.

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Is Mitt Romneys momentum real or fake?

Is Mitt Romneys momentum real or fake?

Theres been an active debate over the last few days in the political class about whether former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is genuinely the momentum candidate in the race, or whether he and his campaign are simply pulling the wool over gullible reporters eyes when it comes to the state of the race.

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Post-ABC tracking poll: Obama wins final debate, Romney changes minds

President Obama scored a modest win in the third presidential debate, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, but it’s Republican Mitt Romney who moved the needle among likely voters — including independents — with his debate performances.

Overall, the contest remains unchanged from Tuesday, with 49 percent of likely voters nationally backing Romney, and 48 percent supporting Obama. But as was the case after the first and second debates, more voters say they have better, not worse, opinions of the former Massachusetts governor when assessing the three debates.

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The final debate – auto-tuned (Video)

Because we will never get tired of this …

The Colbert Report examines the undecided voter (VIDEO)

With polls showing a close race for the White House with just 13 days left before Election Day, undecided voters are receiving as much attention as ever this campaign cycle. 

So, just who are these undecided voters who have yet to make up their minds? And what can President Obama and Mitt Romney to woo them? 

The Colbert Report humorously takes a closer look at the “elusive” undecided voter, to better understand what they are thinking.

Third-party presidential candidates rail against Obama and Romney at debate (VIDEO)

CHICAGO — Away from the bright lights and fanfare of the just-completed presidential debates, four third-party White House hopefuls debated Tuesday night, coming from starkly different political perspectives, but uniting in agreement that neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama can solve the nation’s biggest problems.

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Why neither Obama nor Romney will “pull out” of any swing state

Why neither Obama nor Romney will “pull out” of any swing state

For all the speculation swirling in the political world about President Obama or Mitt Romney giving up on one swing (or semi-swing) state or another, here’s the reality: Neither campaign is going to stop spending — and spending heavily — in every possible swing state between now and Nov. 6.

Why not? Because they don’t have to.

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Taking the ‘foreign policy’ out of foreign policy debate

Taking the ‘foreign policy’ out of foreign policy debate

We’ve said for a while on this blog that foreign policy quite simply isn’t a priority for the vast majority of American voters right now.

And that was definitely the case Monday night — even in a debate that was supposed to be about foreign policy. Throughout the debate, the candidates seemed anxious to return to issues of domestic policy.

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The final presidential debate, by the numbers

The final presidential debate, by the numbers

The presidential debate portion of the campaign program is now complete, after President Obama and Mitt Romney tangled for the final time Monday night during a 90-minute session in Boca Raton, Fla. From Libya to Iran, China to Afghanistan, and even the domestic economy, the candidates waded through the differences (and similarities) in their policy positions.

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The final presidential debate: 4 memorable moments (VIDEO)

The third and final presidential debate is over, after President Obama and Mitt Romney traded blows Monday night in a 90-minute set-to dedicated solely to discussing foreign policy. 

Below, we run down the debate’s top four moments, when sparks flew, and the candidates drew sharp distinctions with each other, or landed the one-liners that will be replayed over again on Tuesday. (Did we miss anything? The comments section awaits.) 

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Washington Post/ABC News poll: The good news for Obama

The Fix’s Sean Sullivan wrote a few moments ago about what’s good for Mitt Romney in the latest Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll.

Below, we look at a few reasons the poll (full results here) is good news for Obama.

1. Obama is still winning on his signature issues

The Obama campaign has been focused like a laser on taxes, Medicare and women’s issues, and they’re winning on all three issues by double digits. The president leads by 11 points on handling of taxes, 12 points on Medicare and 13 points on “addressing women’s issues.” Even as Romney has made up ground on foreign policy and continues to run strong on the economy, Obama has made the three issues above his own.

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Washington Post/ABC News poll: The good news for Romney

Washington Post/ABC News poll: The good news for Romney

President Obama and Mitt Romney head into their third and final debate Monday night running about even in the latest Washington Post/ABC News national poll, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent among those likeliest to vote.

At first glance, the numbers suggest a contest resembling the one we saw right after Labor Day. But beneath the top-lines there is some good news for the Republican nominee. (There is also good news for Obama, which The Fix’s Aaron Blake will address shortly.) Here are the reasons the GOP nominee should be optimistic about the final two weeks, based on the poll’s findings:

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Early vote tightens in swing states

We wrote last week that Democrats were seeing some strong absentee and early voting numbers in swing states in the first half of October.



Over the last week, though, there are signs that things are tightening.

The GOP is making strides in Iowa and Ohio, even as the information we have continues to suggest Democrats leading in those states.

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The newspaper endorsement battle — in one chart

The newspaper endorsement battle — in one chart

Some of the biggest newspaper endorsements in the country have been handed down in recent days, with a big chunk going to President Obama and a big chunk going to Mitt Romney.

Top endorsements for Obama include the Tampa Bay Times, the Denver Post, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Philadelphia Inquirer, while Romney has gotten the support of the Orlando Sentinel, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Columbus Dispatch.

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Mitt Romney TV ad plugs Richard Mourdock in Indiana Senate race

Mitt Romney TV ad plugs Richard Mourdock in Indiana Senate race

Mitt Romney is appearing in a TV ad for Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), marking the first time the Republican presidential nominee has made a direct appeal for a U.S. Senate candidate over the airwaves this election cycle. 

“As Senator, Richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care,” Romney says in the 30-second commercial. “Richard will help stop the liberal Reid-Pelosi agenda.”

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8 takeaways from the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll

8 takeaways from the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll

The latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll — released Sunday — has President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 47 percent among likely voters, an improvement for the former Massachusetts governor from three weeks ago.

That the national head-to-head is tied, however, isn’t huge news, as plenty of recent data has shown a Romney bump beginning around the first presidential debate that has transformed the race into a dead heat — at least nationally.

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Gary Johnson’s third-party presidential bid: A real factor or just a footnote?

Gary Johnson’s third-party presidential bid: A real factor or just a footnote?

Gary Johnson, the Republican-turned-Libertarian Party presidential candidate, won’t come close to matching the vote totals of President Obama and Mitt Romney next month. Nonetheless, he’s a variable in a handful of battleground states that could determine the outcome of the election. 

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson spoke with The Washington Post’s Brook Silva-Braga and responds to five key debate questions.

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An Electoral College tie – and what it would mean

An Electoral College tie – and what it would mean

The presidential race appears to be getting closer just two and a half weeks before voters will cast the deciding ballots.

And more and more, political analysts are suggesting that it’s a very real possibility that nobody will win on Election Day — i.e. the Electoral College vote will wind up knotted at 269.

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Unemployment rate drops in 41 states, including most swing states

Unemployment rate drops in 41 states, including most swing states

The unemployment rate dropped in 41 states in September, including many of the top swing states in the presidential race, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As we noted this a.m. in Morning Fix, the state-based unemployment numbers can actually be a better indication of how the voters that matter in the 2012 election (i.e. swing state voters) are viewing the economy than the national unemployment figures.

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Alfred E. Smith Dinner: The top 10 quips (VIDEO)

Alfred E. Smith Dinner: The top 10 quips (VIDEO)

For months, President Obama and Mitt Romney have been trading attacks on the campaign trail. But on Thursday night, they took a break to exchange a few jokes about themselves and each other at the Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York.

The Post’s Philip Rucker, Dan Balz and David Nakamura covered the Catholic Archdiocese of New York’s annual charity benefit, which wasn’t short on one-liners. The candidates cracked wise on topics ranging from Obama’s debating skills to Romney’s wealth, and even New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) political ambitions.

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Lugar’s sour grapes straining Mourdock’s Indiana Senate bid

Lugar’s sour grapes straining Mourdock’s Indiana Senate bid

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) won’t be returning to the Senate next year, but he’s not a forgotten man in the race to replace him. With 18 days left until Election Day, Lugar’s cold shoulder is complicating GOP candidate Richard Mourdock’s bid against Rep. Joe Donnelly (D).

The latest development in an ongoing saga is a direct mail piece from a super PAC supporting Mourdock. The Indiana political news Web site Howey Politics Indiana reported Wednesday that USA Super PAC sent mail pieces indicating that “Indiana’s Lugar Backs Mourdock in Senate Run.” Lugar’s office said it didn’t authorize the ads.  “It was clearly unauthorized and done without consultation with us. Lugar clearly stated on September 17 that he would not campaign for Mourdock in the general election for Senator from Indiana,” Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher told Howey Politics.

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Mitt Romney doesn’t have a woman problem — at least not yet

Mitt Romney doesn’t have a woman problem — at least not yet

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s comment in Tuesday night’s debate that he had requested  ”binders full of women” to fill cabinet posts when he was governor of Massachusetts, Democrats quickly sought to seize on the remark as yet more evidence that the GOP nominee just doesn’t get it when it comes to female voters.

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Robert Casey’s $17 million problem

Robert Casey’s $17 million problem

With 19 days left until Election Day, Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) has a real race on his hands against a well-funded Republican opponent who has blanketed the airwaves with ads propelling himself into competition. Democrats are not panicking, but for the senator with the well-known last name, it’s going to take more than family ties to pull out a win.

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Obama’s youth vote complication

Obama’s youth vote complication

President Obama enjoyed a historic advantage among young voters in 2008, but this year, he isn’t likely to win those voters by as wide a margin. What’s more, young voters’ share of the electorate could drop from where it’s been during the last four presidential elections.

A new Harvard Institute of Politics national poll of 18-to-29-year-olds likeliest to vote shows Obama leading Mitt Romney 55 percent to 36 percent. In 2008, the president won young voters by a whopping 34-point margin — 66 percent to 32 percent — over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). 

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Mitt Romney leading President Obama by six in Gallup poll

Mitt Romney leading President Obama by six in Gallup poll

Mitt Romney has taken a six-point lead over President Obama in the latest Gallup national tracking poll — his biggest lead to date and the first time he has led outside the margin of error.

The latest seven-day tracking poll of likely voters shows Romney at 51 percent and Obama at 45 percent, up from 50-46 on Tuesday and 49-47 on Monday.

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‘Binders full of women’: Liability or sideshow?

‘Binders full of women’: Liability or sideshow?

The social media and political echo chamber have spoken: Mitt Romney’s remark in Tuesday’s presidential debate about “binders full of women” is the hottest topic in the land.

Romney’s comment about gathering female applicants for his cabinet in Massachusetts was decidedly awkward. But Democrats are insisting it was more than that — indicative of the way in which Romney thinks about females.

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The second presidential debate, by the numbers

The second presidential debate, by the numbers

The second of three debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney is now history. In a spirited, 90-minute town hall, the candidates clashed over social and economic policy, domestic issues and foreign matters, and even each other’s pension. (Check out the complete transcript here and watch the debate in two minutes below.)

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Obama to Romney: My pension is ‘not as big as yours’ (VIDEO)

Tuesday night’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney took a personal turn when Obama hit Romney over the size of his pension and the Republican counter-punched by charging that Obama’s pension involves overseas investments. 

“Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in — in Chinese companies,” Romney said.

Romney then asked: “Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?”

Obama responded: “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours so it doesn’t take as long.”

Romney then charged that Obama holds investments in companies based in foreign countries

“Look at your pension,” Romney said. “You also have investments in Chinese companies. You also have investments outside the United States. You also have investments through a Cayman’s trust.”

Romney distances himself from Bush as Obama ties two together on economy (VIDEO)

President Obama and Mitt Romney fielded a question at Tuesday night’s debate about the nation’s 43rd president, with Romney drawing distinctions between himself and Bush, and Obama tying them together on economic policy.

“President Bush has a very different path for a very different time. My path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and hire people,” Romney said.

“There are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they’re not on economic policy.” said Obama, who added: “George Bush didn’t propose turning Medicare into a voucher.”

Obama: Romney’s tax plan is ‘sketchy’ (VIDEO)

President Obama and Mitt Romney sparred over taxes at Tuesday night’s town hall debate, with the president lashing the former governor’s tax plan as “sketchy.”

“Governor Romney was a very successful investor. If somebody came to you, governor, with a plan that said, here, I want to spend $7 or $8 trillion, and then we’re going to pay for it, but we can’t tell you until maybe after the election how we’re going to do it, you wouldn’t have taken such a sketchy deal and neither should you, the American people, because the math doesn’t add up,” said Obama. 

“We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in terms of how he pays for that,” Obama also said, referring to Romney’s proposed tax cuts. 

Obama sought to personalize the tax debate at one point, mentioning that Romney paid a 14 percent tax rate in 2011, noting to the audience, “a lot of you are paying much higher.”

Testy exchanges early in Obama-Romney debate (VIDEO)

Things got testy early in the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney during an exchange over energy.

“You will get your chance in a moment,” Romney said to Obama, as the two candidates were beginning to talk over one another.

“I’m used to being interrupted,” Obama said later. 

Obama: ‘What Gov. Romney said just isn’t true’ (VIDEO)

President Obama went on offense early on in Tuesday night’s town hall debate, declaring that Mitt Romney’s characterization of the auto bailout wasn’t true.

“And I know he keeps saying, you want to take Detroit bankrupt. Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did,” Romney said. 

“What Gov. Romney said just isn’t true,” Obama responded. 

The Obama campaign has repeatedly charged that Romney was not truthful in the first debate. 

Independents to presidential election: “Booooo”

Independents to presidential election: “Booooo”

A big majority of political independents say they dislike the 2012 presidential race, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, yet another reminder that those who shun party labels are no fans of political blood sport. (Perhaps President Obama and Mitt Romney will keep this in mind as they square off in their second debate Tuesday evening.)

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Crossroads GPS hits Angus King with first ad in Maine Senate race

Crossroads GPS hits Angus King with first ad in Maine Senate race

The conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofit Crossroads GPS is hitting the airwaves for the first time in the Maine Senate race, with a spot targeting independent candidate Angus King.

The airwaves have grown increasingly crowded in recent weeks, as King’s onetime firm grasp on the three-way race appears to have loosened. The Crossroads ad exclusively targets the former governor. 

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How redistricting leads to a more partisan Congress — in two charts

How redistricting leads to a more partisan Congress — in two charts

Think Congress is too partisan? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The once-in-a-decade redistricting process has taken the nation’s already-polarized congressional map and — you guessed it! — made it even more polarized, says a new study from the nonpartisan election reform group Fair Vote.

According to the group’s analysis, 89 of 435 congressional districts performed between 46 percent and 54 percent for each major political party in recent years. In other words, those were the real swing districts.

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How the Clintons are doing some heavy lifting for Obama

How the Clintons are doing some heavy lifting for Obama

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told CNN on Monday that she takes “full responsibility” for security issues in Libya leading up to the attack that claimed the lives of four Americans there last month. In doing so, she added to the already considerable impact of the Clinton name on this election. 

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What to watch for in the second presidential debate

What to watch for in the second presidential debate

President Obama and Mitt Romney will take the stage tonight at Hofstra University for their second general election debate — the most important debate since, well, their first debate 13 days ago.


VIDEO: The town hall debate you’ve already seen: We take a look back on how President Obama and Mitt Romney have responded to Americans’ questions on domestic and foreign policy issues.

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Gallup shows Romney pulling ahead in swing states

Gallup shows Romney pulling ahead in swing states

Mitt Romney has opened up a slight lead on President Obama in the 12 most competitive states in the country, according to a new poll from USA Today and Gallup.

The poll shows Romney at 51 percent among a sample of likely voters in the 12 states, while Obama is at 46 percent.

Perhaps most strikingly, the poll shows Romney running even with Obama among women, with the two candidates tied at 48 percent.

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A recent history of second presidential debates (VIDEO)

A recent history of second presidential debates (VIDEO)

All eyes in the political world will be fixed on Hofstra University in New York Tuesday night, where President Obama and Mitt Romney will debate for a second time.

Second presidential debates present unique opportunities. For the candidate coming out of the first debate with momentum (in this case, Romney), it’s a chance for an encore on a national stage. For the candidate who struggled the first time around (Obama), it’s a do-over.

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Why the early vote looks good for Democrats

Why the early vote looks good for Democrats

It’s still very early in the early voting process, but at least for now, Democrats can be optimistic that they are building a lead in the 2012 presidential race.

Absentee and early voting data from nine states that are generally viewed as competitive at the presidential level show Democrats requesting and returning more absentee ballots than they did in 2008 in Florida and Iowa. And in Iowa, where in-person early voting has already begun, those numbers are also strong for Democrats.

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Biden’s debate smiles not a problem, son Beau says

Biden’s debate smiles not a problem, son Beau says

Vice President Biden’s facial expressions and body language didn’t hinder his message at Thursday’s debate, his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said Sunday morning.

“Look, I’m happy to defend my dad,” Beau Biden said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “I don’t think he needs any defensiveness. Any time the other side — Karl Rove or folks on the far right — are going after my father for smiling too much, you know that’s a victory. My father spoke clearly to the American people about the facts, and you saw him do that for 90 minutes straight.”

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Rob Portman: Mitt Romney could ‘probably’ win without Ohio, but ‘I wouldn’t want to take the risk’

Mitt Romney does not have to win Ohio to win the presidency, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a top surrogate to the Republican presidential nominee said Sunday morning. 


Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), left, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

“Look, he can probably win the presidency without Ohio, but I wouldn’t want to take the risk,” Portman said on ABC News’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

As Portman noted, no Republican has won the presidency without carrying the state of Ohio, a prize which brings with it 18 electoral votes this year.

“We’re doing great in Ohio. If you look at the average of all the polls, it’s about dead-even in Ohio right now. And importantly, the momentum’s on our side. It’s been terrific,” Portman said.

Romney and President Obama will meet Tuesday night in their second debate. Portman has been playing the role of Obama in Romney’s debate preparation sessions. 

Stephen Colbert: Obama and Romney would govern differently, but ‘I don’t know’ how (VIDEO)

Stephen Colbert: Obama and Romney would govern differently, but ‘I don’t know’ how (VIDEO)

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert said the presidential election matters because there is a difference between the way President Obama and Mitt Romney would govern — but it’s not clear what the difference is. 

“I’m not Ralph Nader. You know what I mean? I don’t think that there’s no difference. There is a difference. I don’t know what the difference is, though,” Colbert said in an interview broadcast Sunday morning on NBC News’s “Meet The Press.” 

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David Axelrod: ‘No doubt’ Mitt Romney is ‘working hard to exploit’ Libya attack

David Axelrod: ‘No doubt’ Mitt Romney is ‘working hard to exploit’ Libya attack

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made a concerted effort to exploit the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya for political gain, David Axelrod charged Sunday morning.

There “is no doubt he is working hard to exploit this issue,” Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser to President Obama said of Romney in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

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Report: Feds investigating Jesse Jackson Jr.’s finances

Report: Feds investigating Jesse Jackson Jr.’s finances

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FIRST ON THE FIX: 

* Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) holds a slight, 42 percent to 39 percent lead over Sen. Dean Heller (R), according to a poll conducted for her Senate campaign by Mark Mellman. The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted Oct. 8-10. 

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Michele Bachmann raised $4.5 million in the third quarter

Michele Bachmann raised $4.5 million in the third quarter

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) raised $4.5 million during the third quarter of the year, her campaign announced Friday. 

Bachmann ended the July-Sept. period with $3.5 million in the bank, an uptick from the $1.7 million she had on hand at the close of the second quarter. 

Bachmann, who pursued the Republican nomination for president before ending her bid in January after a disappointing sixth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, isn’t considered to be very vulnerable in her race against Democrat Jim Graves, but the race is no gimme, either. The redistricting process helped shore up Minnesota’s 6th District for her by making it more Republican. For her part, Bachmann has been dispensing with urgent fundraising pleas

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Why Senate debates matter — and our latest rankings!

Why Senate debates matter — and our latest rankings!

Senate candidates are debating one another with increasing frequency as Election Day nears, giving voters more chances to compare their options alongside one another. While the debates have proven unique opportunities for candidates to pitch their politics, policies, and personalities, the set-tos haven’t dramatically shifted momentum to one side or the other. 

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Berman-Sherman debate turns nasty, in a House race that is already heated

Berman-Sherman debate turns nasty,                    in a House race that is already heated

There was a very heated debate Thursday, and we’re not talking about the one between Vice President Biden and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (Wis.) in Danville, Ky. 

All the way on the other side of the country, one of the cycle’s most heated member-versus-member showdowns grew ever more contentious when a candidate forum for California Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman nearly came to blows. 

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The vice presidential debate, by the numbers

The vice presidential debate, by the numbers

The one and only vice presidential debate is in the books a day after Vice President Biden and Republican challenger Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) squared off over Libya, Medicare, Iran, taxes, abortion and a host of other issues during a 90-minute sparring session in Danville, Ky.



Unlike last week’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there didn’t appear to be a clear-cut winner in the minds of viewers, as snap polls from CBS and CNN revealed a split. The post-debate wrangling over which side entered Friday morning with more momentum will rage all day, but in the meantime below is a look at a few figures from Thursday’s debate that mattered (Missed the debate? Check out the complete transcript here and watch the debate in two minutes below): 

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Biden, Ryan spar over abortion, religion (VIDEO)

The topic of abortion came up toward the end of Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate, as Vice President Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) were each asked about their Catholic faith, and how it informs their position on abortion.

Biden, who is for abortion rights, said he accepts his church’s judgment on the issue, but added: “I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here.”

Ryan made clear the Romney/Ryan ticket’s position on abortion, saying the ”policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.”

Biden to Ryan: ‘Oh, now you are Jack Kennedy?’ (VIDEO)

Lloyd Bentsen famously told Dan Quayle in a 1988 presidential debate that he was “no Jack Kennedy.” The former president’s name came up again at Thursday night’s debate between Vice President Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.).

The two candidates sparred over the Republican ticket’s plan to cut taxes. Ryan mentioned Kennedy as an example of someone who has made cuts in tax rates work.

“Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates, increased growth,” Ryan said.

“Oh, now you are Jack Kennedy?” Biden asked Ryan sarcastically.

Paul Ryan personalizes Medicare pitch at debate (VIDEO)

Vice President Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan sparred over the future of Medicare on Thursday night, with the Republican aiming to personalize his push to reform the entitlement.

”Medicare and Social Security did so much for my own family,” Ryan said.

“You are jeopardizing this program,” retorted Biden.

Paul Ryan uses Mitt Romney’s ’47 percent’ remark to jab Joe Biden (VIDEO)

Unlike the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney’s controversial “47 percent” comment came up during the first half of Thursday’s vice presidential debate. Vice President Biden was the first to bring it up, but Republican vice presdiential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) appeared to come prepared with a rebuttal of his own. 

“I think the vice president very well knows, that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way,” Ryan said. 

The reference is to Biden’s knack for gaffes. 

Biden calls Ryan’s argument on Iran ‘a bunch of stuff’ (VIDEO)

Vice President Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) clashed over the issue of Iran at Thursday night’s debate. The Republican argued that the regime in Tehran is closer to a nuclear weapon, while Biden dismissed his opponent’s charge and defended the sanctions the administration has spearheaded against the country.

Then the exchange took a colorful turn.

“This is a bunch of stuff,” Biden said, in response to Ryan’s claims.

“What does that mean?” asked moderator Martha Raddatz.

“It’s Irish,” Ryan said.

“We Irish call it malarkey,” chimed in Biden.

Biden added that Iran is “a good way away” from a nuclear weapon.

Democrats ahead or tied in four of five battleground Senate races, polls show

Democrats ahead or tied in four of five battleground Senate races, polls show

Democratic Senate contenders hold clear leads in two states their party is defending, but face tighter contests in two others Republicans are hoping to flip, a new round of polls released Thursday shows. 

In Ohio and Florida, Democratic incumbents lead by double-digits, while in Virginia and Wisconsin — both open races to replace retiring Democrats — the margins are close. Finally, a poll in Nevada, where Sen. Dean Heller (R) is trying to hold his seat, shows a close race that tilts slight toward the Republican. Here’s a complete rundown of Thursday’s Senate polls: 

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Arizona’s Jeff Flake hits rival Richard Carmona with ad alleging issues with anger, women

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) unleashed his hardest-hitting TV ad yet against his Democratic Senate opponent Richard Carmona on Thursday morning, a 30-second spot in which Carmona’s former boss sharply criticizes his temperament and interaction with women.

“Carmona is not who he seems,” former acting assistant secretary of health and human services Cristina Beato says in the commercial. “He has issues with anger, with ethics, and with women. I have testified to this under oath to Congress. Richard Carmona should never, ever be in the U.S. Senate.”

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The third Brown-Warren debate: Four takeaways

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Democrat Elizabeth Warren squared off Wednesday night in their third of four debates – a showdown which was more notable for what it didn’t contain (a discussion of Warren’s heritage, many heated exchanges, and a bounty of one-liners) than anything else. Here is our list of the four biggest takeaways from the debate in Springfield, which was sponsored by a Massachusetts media consortium:

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NRCC raises $12.4 million in September

NRCC raises $12.4 million in September

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FIRST ON THE FIX: 

* The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $12.4 million in September and has $29.5 million cash on hand, a committee aide tells The Fix. The committee spent heavily during the month — about $20 million — while it went after more than a dozen Democratic seats and attempted to define Democratic challengers early. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has yet to release its fundraising totals.

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Joe Biden’s greatest (and not-so-greatest) debate hits

Joe Biden’s greatest (and not-so-greatest) debate hits

It’s no secret that Vice President Joe Biden has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth. And looking ahead to Thursday’s debate, one of the big questions has to be whether Biden will steal the spotlight for saying something controversial.

But before looking forward, it’s worth looking back at Biden’s previous debate performances — of which there are plenty to choose from. There are moments Biden can reflect on with pride, and others he might want to forget. Below is our rundown of his five most memorable debate moments (and for more on Biden’s debate tendencies, check out this video from the Post’s Karen Tumulty): 

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Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais pressed mistress to get an abortion, report says

Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais pressed mistress to get an abortion, report says

Freshman Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), an anti-abortion rights physician, once had a relationship with a patient and tried to persuade her to get an abortion, according to a Huffington Post report published Wednesday.

The report references a transcript of a phone call in 2000 between DesJarlais and a woman with whom he had reportedly had a sexual relationship. According to the transcript, DesJarlais and the woman engaged in a back-and-forth over the prospect of her getting an abortion, with DesJarlais at one point telling the woman “you told me you’d have an abortion.”

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What Big Bird tells us about the 2012 campaign

What Big Bird tells us about the 2012 campaign

Twenty seven days before the 2012 presidential election, Big Bird is the biggest topic of debate in the political world.  



 

Even a month ago, the sentence above would have been much more likely to run in  the Onion than in mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post. And yet, here we are.

So, what does it tell us about the race and, more broadly, the state of our politics? Two things.

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The ads Senate Republicans have dreaded in Missouri are here

The ads Senate Republicans have dreaded in Missouri are here

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) campaign has unleashed a series of brutal new TV ads hitting Rep. Todd Akin (R) squarely where it hurts the most: the issue of rape.

Each spot features a woman who says she has survived a sexual assault. Two of the woman also identify as being “pro-life” on the issue of abortion. 

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Why Republicans are spending so much money to defeat Sherrod Brown

Why Republicans are spending so much money to defeat Sherrod Brown

If there’s one senator Republicans are itching to send packing more than any other in November, it’s first-term Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown.

At least that’s the conclusion one draws when looking at how much money the GOP has spent to take him down.

But when it comes to the race for the majority, there are a handful of other contests that are closer, and could arguably use the cash more. So why Ohio? Part of it has to do with the nature of the state, and part of it involves Brown.

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Who are the “undecided” voters? And what the heck are they waiting for?

“Saturday Night Live” has mocked them. Tony Kornheiser has said he “loathes” them. Partisans — and many political reporters — wonder just what the heck they are waiting for.



The “they” of course refers to that sliver of people who say they remain undecided in the 2012 presidential race. With four weeks left in the campaign, winning over these voters is a critical last piece of the electoral puzzle for both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

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The six most memorable moments in vice presidential debate history

The six most memorable moments in vice presidential debate history

Vice President Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) will square off Thursday in their one and only debate of the campaign. Vice presidential debates are opportunities for candidates to vouch for their running mates and slam the opposing ticket. For challengers in particular, the goal is also to appear capable of assuming the job of president. 

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New Obama ad stars Big Bird alongside Bernie Madoff

New Obama ad stars Big Bird alongside Bernie Madoff

President Obama’s reelection campaign is up with a new ad hitting Mitt Romney over his comments about Big Bird at last week’s debate.

The ad features images of notorious corporate villains Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay and suggests that Romney sees Big Bird as the biggest villain of all.

“Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about; it’s Sesame Street,” the narrator says.

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The post-debate campaign: What’s changed and what hasn’t

The post-debate campaign: What’s changed and what hasn’t

Many political observers have taken to dating this campaign in terms of “BD” (“before debate”) and AD (“after debate”), believing that President Obama’s lackluster performance in the first general election debate has fundamentally altered the course of the race.



And judging from new national polling from Pew and Gallup, there is some evidence to suggest that the race has shifted — with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney making up ground rapidly.

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Can Democrat Richard Carmona win the Arizona Senate race?

Can Democrat Richard Carmona win the Arizona Senate race?

It’s been almost 18 years since there was a Democrat in the Senate from Arizona. Hoping to reverse the trend in November, Richard Carmona (D) has moved himself into a close competition against Rep. Jeff Flake (R) with about four weeks left until Election Day. But he faces glaring challenges: the Republican tilt of the state, and the consistency of the GOP advantage there in recent years.

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Elizabeth Warren holds slight lead over Scott Brown, poll shows

Elizabeth Warren holds slight lead over Scott Brown, poll shows

Democrat Elizabeth Warren holds a slight lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), with about four weeks left until Election Day in the cycle’s marquee Senate showdown, according to a new survey released Sunday.

Warren leads Brown 50 percent to 45 percent among likely voters in a Western New England University poll conducted for the Springfield Republican newspaper and Masslive.com. The Democrat’s lead is mostly unchanged from an early September poll showing her leading Brown 50 percent to 44 percent. Other recent polls have mostly shown Warren with a single-digit lead over Brown.

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Robert Gibbs: Foundation of Mitt Romney’s ‘masterful performance’ at debate was ‘dishonest’

Mitt Romney’s widely praised performance at the first presidential debate was rooted in the Republican presidential nominee’s dishonesty, Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser to President Obama’s campaign said Sunday.

“Governor Romney had a masterful theatrical performance just this past week, but the underpinnings and foundations of that performance were fundamentally dishonest,” Gibbs said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “Look, he walked away from the central tenet of his economic theory by saying he had no idea what the president was talking about. “

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Reince Priebus: Presidential race ‘isn’t going to come down to money’

Seeking to downplay the importance of fundraising in the presidential campaign, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday called President Obama’s September fundraising haul “impressive” and said he doesn’t know if Romney and the RNC will match it. 

“I think we all understand this race isn’t going to come down to money,” Priebus said on CNN’s “State of The Union,” adding, “This is going to come down to work on the ground.”

Obama and the Democratic National Committee raised $181 million in September, a near-record haul and a significant uptick from August, when the president and DNC hauled in $114 million.

RNC chairman lowers expectations ahead of vice presidential debate

RNC chairman lowers expectations ahead of vice presidential debate

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, sought to lower expectations ahead of Thursday’s vice presidential debate, saying Sunday he expects Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) to do well, but noting repeatedly that Vice President Biden is a talented debater.

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The most memorable one-liners from the Bill O’Reilly-Jon Stewart debate

The most memorable one-liners from the Bill O’Reilly-Jon Stewart debate

There was no a shortage of one-liners and quips at Saturday’s night’s debate between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly. Below are ones that stood out most to us (Did we miss any? The comments section awaits.):

* “Give me back the $800 billion for the Iraq war and children’s television is on the house.” — Stewart, during a discussion of cutting the subsidy for public TV, which Mitt Romney proposed at a debate last week.

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Bill O’Reilly debates Jon Stewart: Five takeaways

Bill O’Reilly debates Jon Stewart: Five takeaways

President Obama and Mitt Romney aren’t the only ones debating this election season. Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” squared off Saturday night in Washington over many of the same issues confronting the presidential candidates.

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NRCC cancels ad reservations in four districts

NRCC cancels ad reservations in four districts

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FIRST ON THE FIX: 

* The National Republican Congressional Committee has canceled ad reservations in four districts, according to a GOP ad buyer. The NRCC has canceled the remainder of its buys in districts held by Reps. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), both of whom are favored to win reelection. The committee has also pulled reservations in two districts in Iowa — the 3rd, where Reps. Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) face one another, and in the 4th, where Rep. Steve King (R) faces former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack. Both races are competitive but also have gotten significant investments from the Congressional Leadership Fund, another Republican outside group. The NRCC has not yet canceled its reservation for the final week in King’s district.

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Why Linda McMahon has a fighting chance in Connecticut

Why Linda McMahon has a fighting chance in Connecticut

Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon has a shot at a very unlikely proposition: winning a Senate race in a blue state in a presidential year, after voters rejected her there two years ago in the midst of a GOP wave. 

So how did McMahon get to the point at which polls show a close race with Rep. Chris Murphy (D)? A confluence of factors, including increased support from women, a flawed opponent and, until recently, a dearth of paid media attacks against her. To be clear, Connecticut’s Democratic lean and President Obama’s expected double-digit victory there suggest the fundamentals still favor Murphy. But McMahon is hanging around. It’s worth looking at why.

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Simpson-Bowles and Dodd-Frank, explained

Simpson-Bowles and Dodd-Frank, explained

Alan Simpson, Erskine Bowles, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are all about to be a major part of the presidential campaign.

Google analytics show the debt-reduction bill named for Simpson and Bowles and the Wall Street reform bill spearheaded by Dodd and Frank were the fastest rising search terms during Wednesday’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

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