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Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Early Word: Women

In Today's Times

  • The heightened rivalry between President Obama and Mitt Romney on display at Tuesday's debate suggests that the presidential campaign has come down to a tooth-and-nail fight for undecided women. Jim Rutenberg and Jeremy W. Peters explain that Mr. Romney's goal is to chip into the president's lead among women by reframing Mr. Romney's positions on reproductive rights and health care issues, while Democrats are seeking to give the president a greater edge by highlighting his policies and portraying Mr. Romney's views as extremist.
  • The sparring in the three debates so far has done little to clarify for voters what the next four years would look like under an Obama or Romney administration. Peter Baker writes that the retrospective bent of the debates has left voters to extrapolate what each candidate's agenda is.
  • On Wednesday, the candidates returned to the campaign trail ahead of their next and final debate on Mon day. Mark Landler and Richard A. Oppel Jr. write that while Mr. Obama tried to woo early voters in Iowa and Mr. Romney talked to voters in Virginia, the pair exchanged jabs mocking each other's performance at Tuesday's debate.
  • The rising cost of college and education financing is blunting President Obama's efforts to make education more affordable and feeding a debate over the government's role in college financing. Richard Pérez-Peña writes that while the factors contributing to rising costs are myriad and complex, conservatives say that Mr. Obama's investments hurt where they are intended to help, with Mr. Romney arguing that the president's policies are unsustainable.
  • A poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics suggests that Mr. Romney has missed an opportunity to draw young voters disenchanted with Mr. Obama. Susan Saulny explains that the poll, taken before the first presidential debate, did not reflect Mr. Romney's lift from that per formance. It also suggests that Mr. Obama has missed a chance to connect with young Hispanics.

Happening in Washington

  • Economic reports expected today include weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m., followed by September's leading economic indicators and weekly mortgage rates at 10.
  • At 10:18, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct the Great Shakeout, the agency's annual earthquake drill.
  • At 11, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will discuss their winter weather outlook.