A new Pew Research Center poll finds the race between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney "dead even," although a Battleground tracking poll gives a slight edge to Obama in swing states. Meanwhile, as Obama focused on Mega-Storm Sandy, former President Bill Clinton carried the campaign message to Florida, highlighting key parts of the health law.
Los Angeles Times: Poll Finds 2012 Race Dead Even, Forsees Relatively High Turnout
With only one week left in the 2012 campaign, a major new Pew Research Center poll is projecting a relatively high level of voter turnout in the dead-even presidential contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The national opinion survey, released Monday, shows the president and the former Massachusetts governor each drawing support from 47% of likely voters. … Beyond the national opinion surveys, most state polls show that Obama is clinging to a tiny edge in enough battlegrounds to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. But the Pew poll underscores the enormous potential for a late opinion swing to shift the race either way in the days leading up to next week's election.(West, 10/29).
Politico: Battleground Tracking Poll: President Obama Retakes Lead
With eight days to go until the election, President Barack Obama has recaptured a narrow national lead over Mitt Romney, riding increased support from women and an edge in early voting. A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll of 1,000 likely voters — taken from last Monday through Thursday — shows Obama ahead of Romney by 1 percentage point, 49 percent to 48 percent. That represents a 3-point swing in Obama's direction from a week ago but reflects a race that remains statistically tied (Hohmann, 10/29).
The New York Times' The Caucus: With Obama Tending To Storm, Clinton Campaigns For Him In Florida
With Hurricane Sandy barreling toward the Northeast on Monday, former President Bill Clinton played stand-in for President Obama at a campaign rally here at the University of Central Florida. … One of the biggest cheers from Obama supporters came when Mr. Clinton praised the president's health care law and its provision allowing children to remain on their parents' insurance policies until age 26 (Perez, 10/29).
Los Angeles Times: Clinton Touts Obama's Economic Record
Clinton was originally scheduled to introduce Obama, but early Monday morning, as storm conditions from Hurricane Sandy worsened along the Mid-Atlantic coast, White House officials decided to get the president back to Washington, leaving his Democratic predecessor to appear solo. … Clinton stressed two issues that Democrats hope will be particularly attractive to Latino voters -- Obama's healthcare law and his reforms of the student loan program. He reminded the crowd, which included a large percentage of students, that under the healthcare law, people up to age 26 can stay on their parents' insurance plans. Romney says he supports that part of the law but argues the private sector would maintain the coverage if the law is repealed (Lauter, 10/29).
CBS examines some of the key health care stakes in play on Election Day, while NPR explores what steps Romney could take to dismantle the health law -
CBS: Five Groups With A Serious Stake On Election Day
Potential Medicaid recipients: Mr. Obama and Romney have profoundly different aims for Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health care coverage for more than 55 million Americans with low incomes and disabilities, including more than 4.6 million low-income seniors and more than 31 million children... People with pre-existing conditions who lack health care: Mr. Obama's Affordable Care Act included a rule, slated to go into effect in 2014, barring insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. It's one of the most popular aspects of the contentious health care reform bill. Romney has said that he intends to keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions -- as long as they maintain continuous coverage. In other words, when a person switches jobs, their new insurer cannot deny them coverage. There's already a 1996 law on the books, though, that offers that protection (Condon, 10/30).
NPR: Can Mitt Romney Really Repeal Obamacare?
Mitt Romney says he'll grant a waiver to all 50 states on Day 1 of his presidency so that they don't have to comply with the Affordable Care Act. But even his supporters question whether he would have the legal authority to do that. He's also promising to repeal it — a process that could take months, at a minimum — and he may not be able to totally repeal the law.
And, in other campaign trail talk, President Obama suggested he could work out a Medicare deal in a second term -
Politico Pro: Obama: Cost Control Key To Medicare, Deficit Reduction
President Barack Obama is suggesting he can work on a Medicare deal in a second term by returning to a familiar theme: Reduce health care costs, and you can make a big dent in the national debt. "Anybody realistically looks at it and says, if we're spending 17 percent of our GDP on health care and every other country is spending 11 percent and their outcomes are better, that difference of 6 percent, that's our deficit and our debt," Obama told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in an interview that aired Monday morning on "Morning Joe." The interview took place in New Hampshire on Saturday (Smith, 10/29).