Obama to Romney: Let’s Do Lunch, Thursday
November 28, 2012

(AP) – The White House says President Barack Obama will meet privately Thursday with his vanquished rival Mitt Romney, their first face-to-face encounter since the election.

Obama promised in his victory speech on Nov. 6 to engage with Romney and consider his ideas.

The meeting comes as Obama and congressional Republicans negotiate a way out of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts that have come to be known as the fiscal cliff.

Obama and Romney differed sharply during the campaign on how revive the economy. Obama called for higher taxes on the rich. Romney called for lower taxes on all.

The White House says the two men will meet in the White House’s private dining room. There will be no press coverage.

Irish Catholics Vote for Obama, But Like the Nation, It’s Close
November 8, 2012

Irish Central News:
Catholic voters went for Barack Obama by 50 to 48 percent, mirroring the national result according to exit polls.

Catholics have voted for the winner in every election since 1972, making them one of the most reliable swing vote barometers.

Many Catholics are Hispanic and there is no breakdown of the numbers between how Hispanic Catholics and other Catholics voted.

Catholics still voted for the incumbent despite efforts by many Catholic bishops to portray parts of Obamacare which deal with contraception as an attack on religion.

In addition, three states passed same sex marriage laws despite strong opposition from Catholic leaders. Voters in Washington, Maine and Maryland supported the marriage legislation.

Read more: Barack Obama owes victory to Hispanics, Clinton, women and blacks

Maine Catholic Bishop Richard Malone said he was “deeply disappointed” that Maine voted for gay marriage.

Malone said Catholics who support same-sex marriage are “unfaithful to Catholic doctrine.”

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori had a letter read from the altar defending traditional marriage.

In addition, several bishops denounced abortion pro-choice candidates, all Democrats, from the altar and urged their flocks not to support them.

Minnesota rejected a ballot measure to make marriage legal only between a man and a woman.

Catholics make up almost 25 percent of the voting population and both Vice Presidential candidates are Catholics.

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Catholics-vote-for-President-Barack-Obama-by-50-percent-to-48-percent-177734001.html#ixzz2BeIc8Opi

Long Lines Greet Early Morning Voters in Some Places in Missouri
November 6, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents are being warned to prepare for long lines and a lengthy ballot when they arrive at polling places.

Polls opened Tuesday at 6 a.m. across the state as voters decided not only on a president and a nationally watched U.S. Senate race but also several statewide races and ballot measures.

As polls opened in Kansas City, local television stations showed long lines of voters waiting to cast their ballots and parking lots full of cars. That’s expected to be the case across the state, with election officials predicting 72 percent of registered voters will cast ballots – more than 3 million people.

Weather conditions aren’t expected to be a factor, with dry and mostly pleasant conditions and temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s.

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Undecided Are Still Out There
November 5, 2012

Natiomnal Journal:

Many factors will shape the outcome of Tuesday’s election. One of them is whether Liz Fretz gets off the fence.
The 50-year-old information-technology consultant lives in Northern Virginia, one of the hardest-fought battlegrounds in the country, and she still hasn’t made up her mind.
“I kind of feel like the current administration hasn’t done enough and has broken promises, but I’m kind of scared of Mitt Romney because he reminds me of every evil business owner I’ve ever met,” Fretz said. “The recovery has taken way too long and been too up and down, but I’m not sure if Romney really has the people at heart.”
The seesawing Fretz represents the sliver of the electorate, probably as tiny as 4 percent, that could be the final tiebreaker in a race that’s been deadlocked for months. Like most other undecided voters,Fretz is a woman who considers herself an independent and pays only sporadic attention to politics. Her disappointment with President Obama’s economic stewardship and uneasiness with Romney on a gut level are common refrains. Whom she and other undecided voters ultimately support — or whether they vote at all — could determine the outcome in states that look particularly close, likeVirginia and Colorado, and, more broadly, determine the next occupant of the White House.
The share of the electorate without a favorite candidate has remained fairly stable, despite major events like the nominating conventions and presidential debates. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, for example, found 6 percent undecided when Obama led by 8 points in mid-September before the conventions, 6 percent undecided when Romney was up by 4 points in mid-October after the first debate, and 6 percent undecided in the last week of October. The latest score: 47 percent to 47 percent.
“I think the undecided voters could be extremely important, and their impact could matter beyond the election,” said Republican pollster David Hill. “One of the reasons our politics have become so partisan is because candidates spend so much time playing to their base. There’s not much that pollsters get excited about, but I’m excited about the prospect of independents having their say on Tuesday.”
Other political strategists argue that last-ditch efforts to persuade moderate, undecided voters may be less important than the final push by the campaigns to mobilize their more partisan supporters. “I think the undecideds stay home,” said Republican pollster Ed Goeas. “At this point, it comes down to intensity and enthusiasm.”
More: http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/undecided-voters-hold-the-key-if-they-ever-make-up-their-minds-20121104?page=1

Iowa Battleground Status: Obama Up in Final Iowa Poll
November 4, 2012

National Journal:
President Obama heads toward Election Day with a slight lead over Mitt Romney in the pivotal swing state of Iowa, according to the Iowa Poll sponsored by the Des Moines Register.
Obama had 47 percent to 42 percent for Republican Mitt Romney in the poll of 800 likely voters, conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
All four of Iowa’s major newspapers endorsed Romney last weekend. But Obama had the edge in a range of areas, including early voting. He was ahead of Romney by 22 points among the 42 percent of people who said they had already voted. Romney held an 8-point lead among those planning to vote Tuesday.
Iowa’s unemployment rate is 5.2 percent, well below the national rate of 7.9 percent, and the poll found evidence of economic optimism in Iowa. While 49 percent of likely voters said the country is on the wrong track, that’s down from 54 percent a month ago. Nearly the same number — 48 percent — said things are going well. That’s higher than the national average amid a slow recovery from recession.
The Register endorsed Romney last weekend, as did the Quad City Times, the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Sioux City Journal. Pointing to gridlock during Obama’s first term, the Register said Romney would be better able to work with Congress.