Story of the Day
The End of Retail Politics?
From the New York Times:
"In what is shaping up as a profound change in American politics, the living room stops and the cafe visits where candidates offer handshakes and make appeals for support are creeping toward extinction. The onetime fixtures of the campaign trail are giving way to the Fox News studio and televised debates. It has been five decades since television began to transform presidential races, but never before have the effects of cable television been so apparent in the early stages of a campaign."
Obama’s Silver Demographic Linings
From the National Journal:
From 30,000 feet, President Obama’s prospects for reelection look bleak. A majority of voters do not approve of the job he’s doing and even more disapprove of his signature legislation, while a teetering Europe threatens to plunge the economy back into recession. But the news isn’t all bad. The electoral map, coupled with demographic changes that will help Democrats, means Obama’s team has a wide path toward the 270 electoral votes he needs. In short, Obama will play on a field much bigger than Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts did in 2004, when Democrats focused on only a few states. All of Kerry’s chips were on just a few bets; Obama’s will be spread across the table. Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008, taking prizes in both traditional swing states like Ohio and Florida and newer battlegrounds such as North Carolina and Virginia. Recent history suggests Obama starts his reelection bid with at least 196 electoral votes in 15 blue states and the District of Columbia, while the eventual GOP nominee likely can count on 180 votes from 22 red states.
Democrats' Chances Improve in Senate Races
From the UVA Center for Politics:
Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball looks at next year's U.S. Senate races and moves Florida to a "toss-up" (from leans Democrat) and adjusts Massachusetts to a "toss-up" as well (down from leans Republican).
Democrats chances were also upgraded in four other races: Minnesota (safe Democrat), Arizona (leans Rrepublican), West Virginia (likely Democrat) and New Jersey (likely Democrat). That said, Republicans are still favored to take the Senate: "While we still favor Republicans to take the four seats they need to win control of the upper chamber, we can also see a conceivable if unlikely path for the Democrats to retain control if the breaks go their way, especially if President Obama picks up steam in his reelection bid."
6 Central Banks Act to Buy Time in Europe Crisis
From the New York Times:
The Federal Reserve and other major central banks moved on Wednesday to help foreign banks more easily borrow and lend money, seeking to forestall a breakdown of global financial markets and giving Europe more time to wrestle with its debts. The latest round of interventions by central banks, including the expansion of an existing Fed program that lets foreign banks borrow dollars at a low interest rate, reflects growing concerns that Europe’s financial problems are hampering growth.