Essential Reads

Essential Reads is your one-stop source for the top stories of the day as reported by your favorite Washington Week panelists. It's a simple way to save time and stay informed about the news you need to know. Check it out every day!

Nov 01, 2012

  • Romney forces see Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota ripe for turning red

    By Dan Balz, Jerry Markon and Paul Kane, The Washington Post

    After a season dominated by talk of Ohio, Virginia and Florida, Campaign 2012 suddenly shifted focus to a new trio of states Wednesday amid a new verbal battle about which candidate is better positioned to win on Tuesday.

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  • Obama leads Romney in three swing states: NBC/WSJ poll

    By John Harwood, CNBC

    President Obama narrowly leads Mitt Romney in three battleground states less than a week before the election, according to new NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls.

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  • Everything you need to know about the fiscal cliff

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

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  • Romney's jobs math doesn't add up

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Mitt Romney’s plan to create 12 million jobs in his first term relies on two kinds of policies: ones that are politically improbable, bordering on the impossible, and ones that will be in place no matter who wins next week’s presidential election.

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  • Storm prompts shifts in voting procedures

    By Naftali Bendavid and Michael Crittenden, Wall Street Journal

    Elections officials across the Northeast scrambled Tuesday to figure out how to proceed with voting next week given widespread flooding, damaged roads and power outages.

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Oct 31, 2012

  • Storm provides Obama with a commander-in-chief moment

    By Karen Tumulty and David Nakamura, The Washington Post

    For a day at least, Hurricane Sandy appears to have done for President Obama what he has not been able to do for himself. In a campaign notable mostly for its negativity, the historic storm provided Obama with a commander-in-chief moment a week before Election Day.

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  • Obama and Romney in exceedingly close race, poll finds

    By Jeff Zeleny and Marjorie Connelly, The New York Times

    President Obama and Mitt Romney enter the closing week of the campaign in an exceedingly narrow race, according to the latest poll by The New York Times and CBS News, with more voters now viewing Mr. Romney as a stronger leader on the economy and Mr. Obama as a better guardian of the middle class.

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  • Storm response dominates Obama's agenda

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    With a death toll of at least 50 and losses that could top $45 billion, "super-storm" Sandy put President Obama, East Coast governors, local officials and tens of millions of people to the test Tuesday.

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  • Ohio's deluge of spin

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Be glad you don't live in Ohio. It's a fine old state with pretty towns, friendly people and a fairly healthy economy. But over the last six months, its citizens have endured a volume of political advertising unequaled in the history of Western civilization.

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  • Sandy won’t blow the recovery away

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Hurricane Sandy looks on track to wreak a lot of economic damage on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s almost impossible, as of early Monday, to predict how expensive that damage will be in the short term. But most economists expect the overall effect on the U.S. economy to be minimal over the next several months.

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Oct 30, 2012

  • Early Voters, and a Hurricane, Change the Rhythm of the Campaign

    By Michael Cooper and Jeff Zeleny, The New York TImes

    With more than one in three votes likely to be cast before Election Day this year, Republicans are stepping up their efforts to chip away at what has been a Democratic advantage in early voting in vital battlegrounds like Ohio and North Carolina.

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  • Obama, Romney respond to Hurricane Sandy, as it upends campaign plans

    By Jerry Markon and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    Hurricane Sandy upended the closely fought presidential campaign Monday, canceling some early voting and disrupting campaign events in battleground states a week before Election Day.

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  • Mother Nature Plays Politics

    by John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Hurricane Sandy has interrupted the campaign, which makes her the most important woman in the swing states.

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  • Obama, Romney Focus on Sandy: Election? What Election?

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Hurricane Sandy is injecting a tropical storm-sized dose of volatility into an already unpredictable presidential race, potentially crimping Republican Mitt Romney’s post-debate momentum and President Obama’s much-hyped early-vote operation.

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  • Obama hopes Nevada turnout team trumps bad economy

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    It's people like Paul Prekop who make Nevada a maddeningly difficult state for President Barack Obama to lock down, and who give Republican Mitt Romney hope that there's a route to the White House even if he loses the big prize of Ohio.

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Oct 29, 2012

  • In middle of a messy election, a nightmare makes landfall

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    In the dark of night, when they get what little sleep they get these days, the people running the campaigns for president have more than enough fodder for nightmares. Worse, come daybreak, they realize their worst fears may yet come true.

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  • Will Sandy add another twist to tight race?

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama, plowing into the final week of what he calls his last campaign, cannot realistically gauge how Hurricane Sandy might change his fortunes in a election so close it could shift in a breeze, let alone a gale.

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  • Ohio, the Bull’s-eye State: Obama, Romney aim full arsenals at vital electoral prize

    By Dan Balz and Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Post

    Kathy Wade was out mowing her lawn on a raw and rainy Friday when Doyle and Jane Peyton, volunteer canvassers for Mitt Romney’s campaign, stopped at the curb in her suburban neighborhood 20 miles from Columbus. Doyle asked her: Had she decided how she would vote in the presidential election?

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  • Romney hides positions from U.S. voters, Plouffe says

    By Julianna Goldman and Julie Bykowicz, Bloomberg News

    White House senior adviser David Plouffe said Republican Mitt Romney is “disingenuously” hiding his positions from voters as polls show the U.S. presidential contest deadlocked in the campaign’s final days.

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Oct 26, 2012

  • On a frenetic day, Obama votes and Romney is for change

    By Peter Baker and Michael Barbaro, The New York Times

    Mitt Romney adopted the mantra that fueled his opponent’s victory four year ago, casting himself as the candidate of “big change” on Thursday in Ohio as he began to outline a closing argument in the state that could decide the race.

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