Has Pennsylvania Lost Its Swing-State Status?

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s victory in Pennsylvania marks the sixth straight presidential election in which state voters have picked the Democrat.

Which raises the question: Has Pennsylvania finally lost its swing-state status?

The battleground status of the historically competitive state was the subject of political scrutiny for much of 2012.  Even when the Republicans made a brisk, last-minute attempt to wrest it away when some polls showed the race tightening, Obama still won without breaking much of a sweat.

If Pennsylvania was shaded blue on a dry erase board after previous elections, this year it might be colored in with a permanent marker.  Pundits and politicians interviewed this week offered differing takes.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/local/elections/mc-pa-swing-state-status-lost-20121108,0,2981343.story

Where Obama Did Better — And Where He Did Worse

Editor’s note:  Very interesting election analysis regardless of which side you are on.  Shows the differences between McCain and Romney’s efforts in their respective run for President again Obama.

President Obama carried fewer states than he did four years ago.  He won a second term by dominating the nation’s large urban areas — although mostly by smaller margins compared to his 2008 vote totals.

To view interactive maps for each state, by county, for 2008 and 2012 click here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/obama-better-or-worse/?hpid=z3

Not Chris Christie’s Fault Mitt Romney Lost To Barack Obama

English: US_Attorney_Chris_Christie.jpg‎ cropp...

English: US_Attorney_Chris_Christie.jpg‎ cropped as square headshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Interesting opinion piece from the Trentonian on Chris Christie.

Hey Dick Morris:  You live up to your first name.

The political commentator lives up to his name not because he predicted a Mitt Romney electoral college romp, although that’s probably reason enough.  But nope.  Reason is because of his blog post about why he was so miserably wrong in his prediction.

“I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama,” Morris wrote.  “Not to mention Christie’s fawning promotion of Obama’s presidential leadership.  It made all the difference.”

To recap: Morris blames Romney’s loss on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  Many Republicans are also starting to believe this line of reasoning.

Read more: http://www.trentonian.com/article/20121108/OPINION03/121109650/not-chris-christie-s-fault-mitt-romney-lost-to-barack-obama

Economy Remains Issue That Will Occupy U.S. Lawmakers, Several Observers Note

A nasty election season that ends with close results is not going to clear the muddy waters of American political discourse.

Many people likely thought that on Wednesday as the nation once again focused on serious yet divisive problems like the national debt and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The election gave President Barack Obama a second term but left control of the Senate and the House divided between Democrats and Republicans.

“The public re-upped on divided government,” said Glenn W. Richardson Jr., an associate professor of political science at Kutztown University.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=426030

Sharp Exchanges Mark Foreign Policy Presidential Debate

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is s...

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009.  VIRIN: 090120-F-3961R-919 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – President Barack Obama sharply

Congressman Poe and Governor Mitt Romney

Governor Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

challenged Mitt Romney on foreign policy in their final campaign debate Monday night, saying, “Every time you’ve offered an opinion you’ve been wrong.”

The Republican coolly responded, “Attacking me is not an agenda” for dealing with a dangerous world.

Romney took the offensive, too. When Obama said the U.S. and its allies have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran to halt nuclear weapons development, the Republican challenger responded that the U.S. should have done more.

He declared repeatedly, “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=422747

Americans Will Feel Paycheck Pinch As Payroll Tax Break Ends In January

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama isn’t talking about it and neither is Mitt Romney. But come January, 163 million workers can expect to feel the pinch of a big tax increase regardless of who wins the election.

A temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes is due to expire at the end of the year and hardly anyone in Washington is pushing to extend it. Neither Obama nor Romney has proposed an extension, and it probably wouldn’t get through Congress anyway, with lawmakers in both parties down on the idea.

Even Republicans who have sworn off tax increases have little appetite to prevent one that will cost a typical worker about $1,000 a year, and two-earner family with six-figure incomes as much as $4,500.

Why are so many politicians sour on continuing the payroll tax break?

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/10/social_security_tax.html

New Polls Show Pennsylvania A Battleground State

English: Official portrait of United States Se...

English: Official portrait of United States Senator Pat Toomey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Oh please, we knew it would be!

HARRISBURG – Tightening independent polls are giving hope to Republicans in Pennsylvania, although the presidential campaigns show no signs of bringing their candidates or TV ads back to the state.

Instead, Pennsylvania’s highest-profile politicians are finding themselves increasingly busy on the campaign trail, including Gov. Tom Corbett and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, both Republicans, and former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat.

In State College on Monday night, Toomey made time for a crowd of several dozen at a Centre County Republican Party dinner and told them that a sixth straight win for a Democrat in Pennsylvania’s presidential election is not inevitable.  After all, Pennsylvanians elected himself and Corbett just two years ago and 12 of 19 U.S. House seats are held by Republicans, he said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=421284

Voters ID Issuance Schedule Sites Western Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thursday, October 18, 2012   4:00pm-7:00pm Schwenksville Public Library (290 2nd St. Schwenksville, PA 19473)

Monday, October 22, 2012   9;30am-12:30pm Pottstown Area Senior Center, ( 724 North Adams St. ( located in YMCA), Pottstown, PA)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012   10:00am-1:00pm Upper Perk Senior Center (517 Jefferson St, East Greenville, PA 18041)

Friday, October 26, 2012   10:00am-1:00pm Sunnybrook Ballroom (Flu Clinic) (50 Sunnybrook Rd, Pottstown, PA)

In order to receive the identification issued through Montgomery County, the applicant will have to:

Sign an affidavit that confirms the applicant’s status as a citizen of the United States, a resident of Montgomery County, and registered to vote in the county.

Additionally, those seeking identification will have to provide one of seven approved types of identification: Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Non-photo ID issued by the government, Firearm permit, Current utility bill, Current bank statement, Paycheck or Government check.  Once the affidavit is signed and approved and identification shown, the applicant will have a headshot taken and the ID card will be printed at the location in approximately one minute.

Lack Of Presidential Ads Signals Pennsylvania Less Of A Swinger

Not so long ago, Pennsylvania stood unquestionably as a swing state, one presidential candidates of both major parties thought they could win.

Democratic candidates knew they had to win the state to get elected. Republican candidates knew that if they won it, they would likely be president.

Maybe Republican nominee Mitt Romney still really believes he can win Pennsylvania, but with the decision by the presidential campaigns and their affiliated super PACs to stop advertising on television in Pennsylvania after Labor Day, the state is President Barack Obama’s to lose.

As a result, the Keystone State is second-tier in importance behind states such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and even Wisconsin, which hasn’t voted for a Republican for president in even longer (1984) than Pennsylvania (1988).

Read more:

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/lack-of-presidential-ads-signals-pa-less-of-a-swinger-1.1374266

Social Security Worth Higher Tax, Most In Poll Say

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Seal of the United States Social Security Administration. It appears on Social Security cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON – Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations.  And raise the retirement age, if you have to.

Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them.

Those are the findings of a new Associated Press-GfK poll on public attitudes toward the nation’s largest federal program.

Social Security is facing serious long-term financial problems.  When given a choice on how to fix them, 53 percent of adults said they would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations, according to the poll.  Just 36 percent said they would cut benefits instead.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=411559

Unemployment Stuck At 8.2% As Hiring Lags In June

Non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts

U.S. employers hired at a dismal pace in June, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to do more to boost the economy and further imperiling President Barack Obama‘s chances of reelection in November.

The Labor Department said on Friday non-farm payrolls expanded by just 80,000 jobs in June, falling short of forecasts though a tad higher than a revised May reading of 77,000.

Job creation during the month wasn’t enough to bring down the country’s lofty 8.2 percent unemployment rate. The report appeared sure to fuel concerns that Europe’s debt crisis is shifting the U.S. economy into low gear.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/chi-june-unemployment-20120706,0,6588228.story

Feeble U.S. Job Growth Stokes Fears of Global Slowdown

For a third year, the economic recovery in the United States is floundering, stoking fears of a global slowdown as the European crisis escalates.

Last month, the nation’s employers added the fewest jobs in a year and the unemployment rate actually rose, the Labor Department reported Friday. May was not a fluke either. It was the third consecutive month of disappointing results.

The weakening recovery is a serious vulnerability for President Obama as he faces re-election and it provides traction to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, who says the administration has not done enough to strengthen the economy. Because Washington remains deeply divided over how best to stimulate growth, the report increases the  pressure on the Federal Reserve to take further action on its own.

The United States gained a net 69,000 jobs in May, for an average of 96,000 over each of the last three months. That is down from a 245,000 gain on average from December through February. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 in April, though largely because more people began looking for work. And there was more bad news: job gains that had been reported in March and April were revised downward.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/02/business/economy/us-added-69000-jobs-in-may-jobless-rate-at-8-2.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper