This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
In this final weekend before Election Day, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney are both looking for an edge as they make their final arguments to voters in a handful of battleground states.
For more, Mara Liasson, NPR's national political correspondent joins us. Mara, welcome.
Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 9:08 am
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: I'm Ari Shapiro, traveling with the Romney campaign. And here's a summary of Romney's final sprint: a rally in New Hampshire, a flight to Iowa for another rally, a flight to Colorado, two rallies there with a long bus drive in between then back to Iowa for a few hours' sleep in Des Moines. And that was just yesterday. Romney means it when he says:
MITT ROMNEY: We've had some long days and some very short nights.
SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: And I'm Sarah McCammon in Des Moines, where Republicans are fighting hard to get out the vote for Mitt Romney.
NATALIE LIEDMAN: Hi, Darlene. This is Natalie from the Republican Party. And I was just wondering if Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republican ticket can count on your support in this November's election?
Republicans are hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate. The path toward victory had Indiana solidly on their side. That was, until Indiana's treasurer Richard Mourdock beat longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary.
Then, during a debate on Oct. 23, Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Donnelly, were asked about abortion and contraception. Like Donnelly, Mourdock said he was against abortion.
In a country of dreamers and achievers, we seem surprisingly content in the middle.
The term "middle class" is at once useful for political purposes and practically useless as an economic descriptor. Without a consensus on an economic definition, nearly half of the country self-identifies as being in the middle class.
That gives politicians an opportunity to make far-reaching appeals to voters, speaking to Americans with incomes of $30,000 and $100,000 in the same breath.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 7:44 am
It may be too little, too late for Rep. Todd Akin.
The Republican candidate for Senate from Missouri is seeing an influx of money in the closing days of his campaign. Still, it would come as a surprise to seasoned observers in the state if Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill went down to defeat.
Unidentified Afghan civilians broadcast a radio program from the radio studio at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar province, south of Kabul. The U.S. military is training Afghans to disseminate anti-insurgent messages via local radio.
From the outside, this white metal container looks like all the other mobile structures at Forward Operating Base Shank, the main NATO base in Afghanistan's Logar province. But rather than housing soldiers, offices or latrines, the building contains a fully functioning — if spartan — radio studio.
A man crosses a flooded street in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Thursday in Little Ferry, N.J. Surprise coastal surge floods caused by the storm battered Little Ferry, Moonachie and some other towns along the Hackensack River in Bergen County, all areas unaccustomed to flooding.
Superstorm Sandy capped what's been a pretty impressive couple of years for U.S. natural disasters. There have been wildfires, tornadoes, floods and derechos. And insurance companies are on the hook to pay billions in related claims.
"We're seeing more of everything, and what we're doing is trying to factor that in going forward as we work with others to have a better sense of what the future holds," says State Farm spokesman David Beigie.
Both campaigns want to claim momentum heading into the final days of the campaign. This is especially true in battleground states like Iowa, where enthusiasm and voter turnout can make all the difference.
It's a common political metaphor — momentum — but is it a good one?