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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Early Word: Swings


In Today's Times:

  • Mitt Romney is getting better marks on leadership after his dominant performance last week at the Denver presidential debate, while President Obama is benefiting from improvements in the economy, according to the latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll. Michael D. Shear and Megan Thee-Brennan write that surveys of likely voters in three swing states - Colorado, Virginia and Wisconsin - showed Mr. Obama holding a slim advantage in Virginia and Wisconsin, but tied with Mr. Romney in Colorado.
  • Capitalizing on Mr. Romney's breakout performance at the debate, his campaign has revved up efforts to soften his conservative edges and showcase him in bipar tisan and personal ways. Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker write that aides believe their strategy - to “defy the perceptions that have dogged him throughout the race” - is their best shot at victory, but it risks raising questions about Mr. Romney's authenticity.
  • The tight race between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney has created some uncertainty in the health care field, where providers and insurers are putting off long-term planning until voters decide who will occupy the White House for the next four years. Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear outline the stark differences between the president and his Republican rival's visions for the future of the American health care system.
  • The Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a case challenging the use of race in public college admissions. Adam Liptak writes that the court's ideological center has shifted rightward since it last heard a similar case nine years ago, and with Justice Anthony M. Ke nnedy - who has never voted to uphold an affirmative action program - at the center, there is reason to believe the court could overturn its earlier decision.
  • Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will face Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, in a debate tonight. Trip Gabriel writes that Mr. Ryan's budget proposal, the “fiscal cliff” and foreign policy are among the issues that will loom large in the debate..
  • Looking back at vice-presidential debates past, John Harwood writes that although those confrontations rarely have an impact on the outcome of the elections, experts opine that they can “increase momentum for a ticket considered to have won the first debate of the presidential nominees, or serve as ‘a circuit breaker' for the ticket that lost.”

    Happening in Washington:

  • Economic reports expected today include international trade for August and weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m., followed by weekly mortgage rates at 10.
  • At 9:15 a.m., Mike Hammer, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs, will answer questions about American foreign policy in a Spanish-language Twitter briefing.