Pennsylvania has been mostly leaning in President Barack Obama's direction during the presidential campaign. Recent polls, though, show the race within the margin of error for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Hurricane Sandy may have thrown an additional twist into the state's 20 Electoral College votes. The part of the state most impacted by the hurricane also happens to be one part where Obama gets much of his votes.
Pennsylvania, shaped like a rectangle, is favorable to Republicans in what is known as the "big T" -- across the top and down the middle; and, is favorable to Democrats in the two bottom corners -- the urban areas of Philadelphia to the east and Pittsburgh to the west.
Obama is leading in all the recent Pennsylvania polls, but within the margin of error. The Real Clear Politics average of five recent polls shows Obama leading by 4.6 percentage points, placing it in "toss up" category. The Philadelphia Inquirer shows Obama with the largest lead at six percentage points. Gravis Marketing shows Obama's smallest lead at three percentage points. more >>
A top Romney surrogate told a gathering of primarily Jewish voters in Beachwood, Ohio, on Monday that if the former Massachusetts governor is elected, that Roe v. Wade will most likely not be overturned during a Romney presidency.
Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who is also Jewish and is pro-life, was answering a question pertaining to the influence of Christian evangelicals in the Republican Party according to a video of Coleman's remarks by FeatureStory News.
"The reality is that choice is an issue for a lot of people, a very important issue," said Coleman. "President Bush was president eight years; Roe v. Wade wasn't reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks; Roe v. Wade wasn't reversed. It's not going to be reversed." Like several states have recently attempted to do, Romney made reference during the GOP primary to eliminating government funds from Planned Parenthood, who is the nation's largest abortion provider. He has also talked of appointing conservative judges to the Supreme Court. more >>
I was in Europe when I first heard of Billy Graham's "endorsement" of Mitt Romney. I was skeptical of this report because I knew that Graham was not in the habit of endorsing a particular candidate for any political office. When I saw a copy of Billy Graham's statement, it made a lot more sense. This is what he said:
On November 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.
Some have decried Graham's turning "political" in an election year. Others have claimed that the great evangelist in his senescence is a mere puppet of his son Franklin – a baseless claim that smacks of brazen ageism. That Graham met with Romney is no more surprising than the fact that he met with President Obama in 2010, another election year. Billy Graham is a national treasure and has met with every president since Harry Truman. Although he is a lifelong Democrat, Graham's relationships have always transcended politics. He preached the funeral of President Lyndon B. Johnson, and he led President George W. Bush to personal faith in Jesus Christ. more >>
Obama Chief Campaign Strategist David Axelrod and campaign manager Jim Messina told reporters on a Monday conference call that Mitt Romney has no momentum in swing states "from North Carolina to Nevada," and in essence the presidential election is all sewn up.
Messina and Axelrod held a press briefing with reporters on Monday morning and then released a statement on Tuesday highlighting their confidence that Romney has no clear path to the White House.
"Three things are now absolutely clear in this race – we have a significant early vote advantage in states from North Carolina to Nevada, there is no Romney momentum in the battleground states, and the Romney campaign has found itself with a tremendously narrow and improbable path to 270 electoral votes," said Messina in the statement. more >>
Despite early voting already in process in several states and Election Day just a short eight days away, both presidential candidates briefly suspended campaign activities as Hurricane Sandy came crashing into the Northeast coast on Monday. But now in the wake of Sandy, will Romney find it an uphill battle to re-engage voters and make his case on why he should be in the White House?
"Any forward momentum Romney had has now been halted. And President Obama's greatest campaign tool, Air Force One, has been grounded for the last two days," Republican strategist Scott Reed told Politico. Reed suggested the center of campaign activity would move to the Midwest and West in the final stretch, "Be prepared for non-stop campaigning the last four or five days."
Since President Obama's disastrous performance in the first presidential debate, Romney's campaign has been on an upward trajectory with only minor diversions, such as his 47 percent gaffe, which didn't slow his momentum much. The most recent Pew Forum poll showed Romney in a virtual dead-heat with President Obama in the most important of all swing states: Ohio. more >>
One of the more common strategies any candidate or campaign seeks to employ is to use the endorsement of high profile individuals who are willing to lend their name and personal support to a candidate with the intention of influencing others to do the same. But the issue gets a bit sticky when those endorsing are connected to a church or a major religious organization.
But perhaps before answering whether they should, the first question to ask is can they legally endorse political candidates?
Under the 501 (c) (3) section of the Internal Revenue Service Code, it states that churches may engage in some "legislative activity" and still qualify for favored tax status, as long as such activity is not more than an "insubstantial" part of its overall activity in terms of time and money (e.g., worship service, Sunday school programs, etc.). more >>