2012 Elections

presidential debate
6:32 am
Mon October 22, 2012

5 debate-worthy facts about China

Workers scramble on a scaffold at a construction site in Hefei, central China's Anhui province, last month. China has approved a massive infrastructure package worth more than $158 billion, state media said in September, as the government seeks to boost the flagging economy.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 4:26 am

If the last presidential debate was any indication, you'll be hearing a lot about China in tonight's third and final face-off between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Last week's debate was ostensibly about domestic issues, but that didn't stop China from being mentioned numerous times. Tonight's debate, focused on foreign policy, is sure to see relations with Beijing get a lot of airplay.

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2012 Elections
5:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Candidates spar over role of Attorney General

Watching television political ads, you might think the job of Washington Attorney General is to be the state's chief criminal prosecutor. It's not. Most of the work is civil, defending state agencies and laws.

Still, there's been a debate in the campaign between Republican Reagan Dunn and Democrat Bob Ferguson over the importance of criminal prosecution experience.

(To hear the story, click on the Listen button above.)

The Salt
4:51 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Out of the binder, into the kitchen: Working women and cooking

Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 1:48 pm

Mitt Romney is getting a lot of heat for his somewhat awkward comments about women in the workplace during Tuesday night's presidential debate.

The Internet's meme makers made merry with Romney's comment about the "binder full of women" that he sought out to work for him during his stint as Massachusetts governor. Cue the obligatory Ryan Gosling meme.

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2012 Elections
2:28 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Latest poll: Charter schools, same-sex marriage lead; governor race in virtual tie

The KCTS Washington Poll results were released today. More than 3.85 million ballots began to be sent to voters Wednesday.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Voters in Washington are likely to approve two ballot measures that have failed in the past. A new poll shows both charter schools and same-sex marriage are leading by healthy margins.

The KCTS 9 Washington Poll also shows a statistical tie in the Governor’s race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.  

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2012 Elections
1:34 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Seattle Times running ads in favor of McKenna and gay marriage

The Seattle Times Company is now actively working to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and gay marriage, part of a push to demonstrate the effectiveness of newspaper political advertising.

Washington state's largest newspaper began with a full-page ad Wednesday calling McKenna "a choice that will make us all proud." The newspaper's editorial board has endorsed McKenna.

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Gubernatorial Debate
10:23 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Personal attacks punctuate final McKenna, Inslee debate

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna meet in Seattle for the final gubernatorial debate before the election.
Bettina Hansen The Seattle Times

The fifth and final debate between Washington’s candidates for governor was punctuated by personal attacks. Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna met in Seattle Tuesday night. The format encouraged them to engage each other.

One of the most personal exchanges came when the candidates had a chance to pose a question of each other. Republican McKenna asked Inslee to explain why the Democratic candidate has yet to pick up a single daily newspaper endorsement.

Inslee responded that he doesn’t work for the newspapers.

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Presidential Debate
8:27 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

The heat was on: Obama, Romney have sharp debate

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 3:23 am

  • Listen To The Debate
  • Listen To NPR's Analysis Of The Debate

In a town hall-style debate that saw the candidates constantly challenge each other on issues ranging from the economy to the handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney got up close and personal at times Tuesday night.

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Election 2012
4:41 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Once brash Washington Home Builders now behind the scenes

Before the recession, the Building Industry Association of Washington had a reputation for reputation for not pulling any punches. Photo by Steven Lee via Flickr

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:51 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The airwaves in Washington are chock-a-block with campaign ads. But one group’s missing from the fray despite its reputation for not pulling any punches. We’re talking about Washington home builders.

In June of 2008, a political action committee funded by the Building Industry Association of Washington hit the airwaves with this attack ad.

BIAW Ad: “Governor Gregoire signed the largest gas tax increase in state history.”

The “It’s Time for a Change” PAC would go on to spend more than $7 million in 2008. Even so, Gregoire won a second term.

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Presidential Debate
10:55 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Town Hall Format Could Make Things Tough On Obama

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 11:46 am

It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.

Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.

However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.

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Presidential Debate
10:53 am
Tue October 16, 2012

In the second presidential debate, it's all about the counterpunch

Banners hang inside the media center amid preparations for tonight's presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 11:46 am

Tonight's presidential debate in New York is shaping up like an episode of the old game show To Tell the Truth: Will the real Barack Obama/Mitt Romney please stand up?

There are a lot of questions about what personas and strategies the two candidates will choose to adopt. Partisans on both sides argue that their man's opponent is a shape-shifter.

Democrats are convinced that part of the reason Romney won their first debate earlier this month is that he shamelessly lied about his own positions in tacking to the center.

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Presidential Debate
10:53 am
Tue October 16, 2012

5 Questions 'Real' People Might Ask At The Debate

An audience member holds up his hand at a Mitt Romney town hall meeting in Dayton, Ohio, in March. Audience members will be allowed to ask questions at the second presidential debate, being held Tuesday night in Hempstead, N.Y.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:30 am

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

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Election 2012
8:22 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Poll: Romney Has Large Lead In Rural Swing Counties

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns in Gilbert, S.C., earlier this year.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:16 pm

As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.

The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey's respondents. Obama's support is now down to 37 percent among rural battleground voters, a plunge of 10 points from the actual rural vote in those states four years ago.

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Marijuana Legalization
5:00 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Feds silent so far on marijuana ballot measures

Marijuana activists rally in support of Measure 80 in front of the Oregon state capitol Monday.
Virginia Alvino N3

Two years ago, US Attorney General Eric Holder opposed a California initiative to legalize marijuana. But this year, the Justice Department has been silent on similar measures before voters in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Monday, a group of former federal drug officials urged the Obama administration to weigh in.

Former Drug Enforcement Administration chief Peter Bensinger says if voters approve the marijuana legalization measures, they’ll put their residents at odds with federal drug laws.

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Washington Gubernatorial Race
4:17 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

McKenna, Inslee vow no new taxes with caveats

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Ballots are about to go out in Washington. In the race for governor, both candidates are pledging to veto tax hikes. But Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee also leave themselves some wiggle room.

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Presidential Debates
12:32 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

The not-so-great communicator: Is Obama overrated as a speaker?

President Obama speaks to supporters last month during a campaign stop in Las Vegas.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:41 am

For a man who was elected president partly on his ability to give a great speech, Barack Obama has been at times a surprisingly poor communicator in office and on the campaign trail.

That may have been most evident earlier this month during the first presidential debate. But Obama generally hasn't been as impressive at getting his message across in his four years in the White House as he was during the campaign that put him there.

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