CNN's GUT CHECK | for November 2, 2012 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
BREAKING: OHIO, OHIO, OHIO: OBAMA 50% – ROMNEY 47% IN NEW CNN/ORC POLL… According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday, President Barack Obama holds a three point advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney with four days to go in the contest for Ohio's 18 electoral votes. Fifty-percent of likely voters questioned in the poll say they are backing the president, with 47% supporting the former Massachusetts governor. Obama's three-point edge is within the survey's sampling error. The survey was conducted Tuesday through Thursday. The poll's release comes on the same day that the president holds three campaign events and Romney holds two in Ohio. – Paul Steinhauser
DEVELOPING: DOJ SENDS VOTING RIGHTS MONITORS, OBSERVERS TO 23 STATES… The Justice Department on Friday announced that it is dispatching more than 780 federal observers and monitors to 23 states to watch for potential problems that would violate voting rights protected by federal law. The Justice Department said it was sending observers to 51 jurisdictions in those states to help enforce federal voting rights laws which protect ballot access. – Terry Frieden
When was the last time the United States House of Representatives selected the president?
CNN’s Ali Velshi broke down the five things he thinks we need to know about the final jobs report out this morning in a refreshingly digestible way; and today here’s what caught his (@AliVelshi) eye:
1. It's a trend, not a bombshell
2. Neither candidate has a real plan
3. They're both making promises they have no way of guaranteeing they'll keep
4. Both plans are based on an average of 4% economic growth over the next term
5. Europe's the problem, not China
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Battleground Colorado - 'Everyone is on edge'
After covering seven presidential campaigns, you might think you have seen it all. But two firsts in Colorado on Thursday: drive-through voting and a presidential ballot with the option of voting for Roseanne Barr. The drive-through action was in downtown Denver, part of a Colorado early voting rush that is likely to account for more than half of the ballots cast in this presidential battleground. – John King
Leading Drudge: The Longest Weekend
The ethnic mix of this year’s electorate could decide the winner of the race between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. It’s a reality that gives both campaigns sleepless nights, since a shift of a percentage point or two in the turnout of any major racial group could swing the outcome on Nov. 6. – Niall Stanage for The Hill
Leading HuffPo: 'Rule' Won't Save Romney
President Barack Obama continues to hold narrow leads in a handful of battleground states that will likely decide the election, but some argue that Republican nominee Mitt Romney will come out on top because Obama's poll totals linger just below 50 percent. The arguments are based on what campaign pollsters used to call the "incumbent rule," the idea that when an officeholder seeks reelection, undecided voters would break decisively to challengers in the final days of the campaign. The problem is that such late shifts have become increasingly rare. They may never have been much of a factor in close presidential races and show few empirical signs of occurring among the undecided voters of 2012. – Mark Blumenthal
Leading Politico: Jobs report puts economy back in campaign spotlight
After a week consumed by Hurricane Sandy, the election’s final jobs report snapped the focus back to the economy Friday as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney rejoined their battle. In the end, the final jobs report before Election Day paints a picture of the U.S. economy that looks a lot like the 2012 campaign itself: a long, grinding march forward with little in the way of big inspiration that still slightly favors Obama. – Ben White and Patrick Reis
Leading The New York Times: Romney’s Closing Argument: ‘Look to the Record’
At the start of a frantic final weekend of campaigning, Mitt Romney on Friday urged voters to judge him on his record in government and accomplishments in the private sector, arguing in a lofty speech that he offered deeper experience and a greater commitment to bipartisanship than President Obama. – Michael Barbaro
The political bites of the day
– Spinning the jobs numbers –
MITT ROMNEY IN A WRITTEN PRESS RELEASE FROM HIS CAMPAIGN: “Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity. For four years, President Obama’s policies have crushed America’s middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better.”
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN OHIO: “Today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. And this morning we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months. … The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and housing construction is on the rise. We are less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women in uniform the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending. Al Qaeda has been decimated. Osama bin laden is dead. We have made real progress.”
– Romney forewarns about debt ceiling debate –
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN WISCONSIN: “You know that if the president is re-elected he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress. I mean he has ignored them. He has attacked them. He has blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again and shut down and default will be threatened, chilling the economy.”
– Citing Lugar’s ousting, Clinton hits GOP for lacking bipartisanship –
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN FLORIDA: “I believe the country works better when we work together instead of when we fight all the time. But the Republicans have been taken over by this tea party, this extreme wing, and their nominee, for example, in Indiana beat Senator Richard Lugar, their most important authority on foreign affairs. And he attacked Lugar for cooperating with president Obama on the nation’s security. He said, you know his happiest day was when he could impose his opinion on someone else and he wanted to bring more partisanship to Washington.”
– But in Ohio, Romney talks of one nation –
MITT ROMNEY AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN OHIO: “I will not represent one party. I will represent one nation.”
– Bloomberg on marathon: ‘there will be no diversion of resources’ –
NEW YORK MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG ADDRESSES CONTROVERSY OVER THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON AT A PRESS CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK: “There will be no diversion of resources. There will be no redistribution of our efforts, no diminution of our efforts. We have a 24-7 operation going which I am confident we are going to do. We have to do everything we can to help people and when power returns over the next day and mass transit, more people are able to go to their homes that is going to make a difference.”
What stopped us in 140 characters or less
Rebecca Katz (@RebeccaKKatz)
"Obama leads 84% to 9% among those who believe the President “will be better for the auto industry." http://bit.ly/SEhcbV via @PNAmerica:
Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller)
Biden: posed with an African-American woman wearing a light pink sweatshirt. "My name is Gorgeous." The VP responded: "Hello, Gorgeous."
Philip Klein (@philipaklein)
Seems premature for WaPo to make Indiana race "lean Dem" based on 1 poll http://wapo.st/SlntGc
John King (@JohnKingCNN)
Asking smart Ds and Rs final friday predictions. From a R: "Romney wins popular vote. Who the hell knows about the Electoral College." #CNN
David Carr (@carr2n)
Pew: ‘MSNBC was more negative in its treatment of Romney than Fox was of Obama’ http://bit.ly/SC1j4M True that: It's been relentless.
Alan Murray (@alansmurray)
Friends: I'm leaving WSJ to become President of Pew Research Center. Great institution; important mission. http://pewrsr.ch/SEdJKh
Rachel Streitfeld (@streitfeldcnn)
O/H in pool vans: "It's like a salad bar but for mashed potatoes." Yep, that pretty much sums up campaign trail eating.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Find your Voting place
The elephant in the room – what happens if President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney split the Electoral College – 269 to 269?
In short, the House of Representatives would select the president and set off a wave of political and constitutional mayhem.
The last time the House selected the presidency was in 1824, when John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William Harris Crawford and Henry Clay all ran for the White House. When the electoral votes were split up between the four men – with Andrew Jackson receiving the most at 99 – the election went to the House because a majority of electoral votes is required to win.
Clay, at the time, was speaker of the House and rumors swirled about whether he would tip the race in his favor. Though he later denied it, Clay reportedly offered his support to Adams and Jackson as long as they would make him secretary of state.
It only took the House one round of voting – Adams was elected president. Just a few days later, Clay was named secretary of state. The term “Corrupt Bargain” leapt into popular jargon and Jackson’s supporters cried foul.
GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
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Congratulations to Greg Dean (@gregdean11) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question. David Daniel (@CNNLADavid) was a close second – apparently he was “elaborating” while Greg tweeted.
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