The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* A new CNN poll finds Obama leading overwhelmingly among likely Latino voters, 70-26, which could limit Mitt Romney’s western gains and increase pressure on him to run up huge margins among whites.

* The debate question Andrew Sullivan wants asked of Mitt Romney:

What are the main differences between your domestic and foreign policies and those of the last Republican president, George W. Bush?

* Ed Kilgore on why that question would be so hard for Romney to answer.

* David Gergen sums up the challenge Romney faces at tomorrow’s debate:

In the space of 90 minutes, he has to convince voters for the first time that he has a better plan for the economy, make the case that Obama doesn’t and prove much more likable than ever before.

The key here is that with only five weeks to go, Romney still has not persuaded people he’d do better on the economy than Obama’s doing.

* Blake Zeff games out what will happen if Romney doesn’t deliver a race-altering performance tomorrow — a downward spiral of increasing recriminations and fundraisers start directing their cash elsewhere.

* Map of the day: Ari Berman details all the GOP voter suppression efforts nationwide that have been stymied in the courts, which suggest opponents of voting restrictions are winning, if only in the short term.

* Nate Silver warns: Expect the polls to tighten between now and election day.

* An important point from Nate Cohn about the tightening that may or may not be happening now in the polls:

Even if Obama’s lead has shrunk in recent polls, it’s important to emphasize that Obama retains 49 or 50 percent in every recent survey. Instead, the tightening is mainly due to latent Romney supporters returning to his column, leaving him with about 47 percent in the most recent polls, and that should not be interpreted as evidence of a fundamental shift in his direction.

* The Obama campaign releases a new Web video hitting Romney over the New York Times story detailing how offshore arrangements and Bain tax avoidance strategies may have “enhanced” Romney’s income.

With time running out, Dems will hit Romney on topics like this one every day, to muddy up Romney’s closing message about the economy.

* A rough story for Josh Mandel, who is challenging Senator Sherrod Brown: Mandel’s explanation for why he physically grabbed a tracker is at odds with videotape evidence and an eyewitness account.

* Good point from Ezra Klein: Romney is now dribbling out a few specifics about his tax plan, but this may be just about giving Romney something specific-sounding to say at the debate tomorrow.

* AFSCME releases a new video featuring the man who picks up Romney’s garbage — a member of the freeloading 47 percent.

* And a nice find by Ryan Grim: Video of Paul Ryan a few months ago saying...

“Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state. Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers.”

Only 30? Not quite as impressive as Romney’s freeloading 47 percent, is it? As Grim notes, “there is only 17 percentage points of distance between Ryan and Romney’s assessment of the American people.”

What else?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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