Large majorities of voters say they do not like the direction the country is headed and want change. This may be one of the biggest challenges for President Barack Obama, who is offering voters a continuation of his policies rather than a new agenda for the next four years.
Obama's rival Republican Mitt Romney as well as some pundits have argued that Obama does not have an agenda for his second term. Not so, says liberal Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne.
Obama has been clear, Dionne notes, on what he wants in a budget deal (both spending cuts and tax increases), which is the same budget deal he proposed during the Summer of 2011 debt ceiling negotiations. more >>
A new poll released on Monday from Public Religion Research Institute finds that Americans who are unaffiliated in their religious views or who are less religious are less likely to head to the polls this election season. If the findings from this survey hold true, it could spell troubling news for the Obama campaign since voters who are less religious are more likely to support the president.
Americans who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated are the fastest growing segment in America's religious landscape. The annual PRRI survey found that 19 percent of Americans consider themselves part of this group. However, only 7 percent say they were raised in a religiously unaffiliated household.
Interestingly, President Obama, who has said he is a Christian, has a substantial lead among the religiously unaffiliated with 73 percent of those polled, while only 23 percent of that group say they support Mitt Romney, who is Mormon. more >>
In what may have been a response to complaints from liberals and the Obama campaign, Gallup changed some of its sampling methods. Even with that change, supposedly in President Barack Obama's favor, the latest tracking poll shows Mitt Romney with a seven percentage point lead, the largest lead for Romney of any recent national poll.
Mark Blumenthal, senior polling editor for The Huffington Post and editor of Pollster.com, has been one of those criticizing Gallup's methods. In a June column for The Huffington Post, for instance, he argued that the Gallup polls were skewed in favor of Mitt Romney. The reason, he said, is that Gallup did not properly weight their sample in a way that would appropriately represent the proportion of nonwhites in the population.
On Oct. 10, Gallup announced changes to its survey methods that appear to be a response to some of those criticisms. Among the changes, Gallup will now include more cell phones in its surveys, from 40 to 50 percent of the sample, will add a weight for population density to, apparently, give greater weight to urban voters, and will make slight changes to the question wording used to determine the most likely voters. more >>
Mormon Voices, a leading organization working to shed light on questions surrounding the LDS Church in the media, has blasted the nation's largest atheist organization, American Atheists, for releasing a new billboard campaign targeting the Church for its treatment of black and gay people.
"Despite a history of never having segregated congregations and numerous ordinations of black males to the priesthood from its earliest days until the 1950's, like virtually all other identifiable groups (including atheists), the LDS Church has not been perfect in its treatment of blacks," John Lynch, Managing Director of Mormon Voices, explained in an email to The Christian Post on Monday.
"MormonVoices condemns divisive political grandstanding, as is evidenced by these mobile billboards, which serve only to prevent progress in the Church's relationships with African Americans and members of the gay community," he added. more >>
For the second time a federal appeals court has ruled the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, ruling it violated the Equal Protection Clause by barring same-sex couples from legally marrying. While legal scholars, along with pro-gay activists, are celebrating their success, they are also concerned that the ruling may be too favorable and not be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case the Second Circuit ruled on involved the deceased partner of a lesbian couple who was married in Canada in 2007 but lived in New York. The state did recognize their marriage as a legal union. When one of the women, Thea Spyer, died in 2009, her "wife," Edith Windsor, now 83, was prevented under Section 3 of DOMA from claiming an exemption for the federal estate tax available for surviving spouses because only couples of the opposite sex could qualify for the exemption.
The appeal court's ruling in essence said that Congress gave no good legal reason why homosexual couples should be treated any differently than heterosexual couples. It was Section 3 that the appeals court overturned. more >>
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has secured newspaper endorsements in the major swing states of Ohio and Florida. Newspapers in other states have also announced their support for the former Massachusetts governor.
The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio and The Tampa Tribune in Florida on Sunday recommended voting for Romney.
The Dispatch endorsed Romney a day after Ohio's Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper threw its support behind President Barack Obama. Dealer had endorsed Obama also in 2008. Akron Beacon Journal also backed Obama. more >>