As election day approaches, Kaiser Health News' Sarah Barr samples news coverage each week from swing states around the country – how health policy developments, and other political issues, are playing in this year's vote.
For instance, the Philadelphia Inquirer takes a close look at the changing political dynamics at work in Pennsylvania during this election season -
Philadelphia Inquirer: Penna.'s Elusive Political Landscape
Since the last time Barack Obama had to face a Republican opponent in Pennsylvania, the political battleground of the nation's sixth-largest state has changed a bit. Unemployment is up; jobs are down. The voting-age population may be slightly older, with more baby boomers in or near retirement. And Republicans have slightly narrowed the Democrats' voter-registration advantage. Some of the changes are subtle, and they don't all favor one party or the other (Infield, 9/24).
Also, news organizations in Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio detail local polls related to the presidential race -
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Obama Posting Leads In Pa., Other Key States, Polls Reveal
President Barack Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 48 percent to 40 percent in the race for Pennsylvania's electoral votes, according to a new survey from the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics. While at least one poll survey found Mr. Romney and the president neck-and-neck, the Mercyhurst University findings were in line with a succession of other surveys depicting a wider lead for the president in a state that's received relatively scant campaigning and advertising attention from the two candidates in recent weeks (O’Toole, 9/25).
Tampa Bay Times: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney Essentially Tied In Florida, New Times/Herald/Bay News 9 Poll Shows
It's Florida, after all, so what would you expect? After a constant stream of Sunshine State visits by President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, after many millions spent on TV ads, and even after a Republican National Convention in Tampa, Obama and Romney are essentially tied in America's ultimate battleground state. A new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll finds 48 percent of likely Florida voters backing Obama, 47 percent supporting Romney, 1 percent with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and just 4 percent undecided (Smith, 9/23).
Cleveland Plain Dealer: President Barack Obama Leads Mitt Romney By 5 Percentage Points In Ohio Newspaper Poll
President Barack Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney in the race for battleground Ohio, a poll commissioned by The Plain Dealer and the state's other major newspapers shows. In a survey of 861 likely voters, 51 percent backed the Democratic incumbent, 46 percent the Republican challenger. The Ohio Newspaper Poll found Obama has more trust on the economy, always a key consideration in a combative election year. A plurality -- 49 percent -- believe the president is better able to improve economic conditions in Ohio, compared with 44 percent for Romney (Gomez, 9/24).
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Observer reports on how Medicare is part of the campaign buzz in the race for the 8th District congressional seat -
Charlotte Observer: Kissell, Hudson Spar Over Medicare, Social Security In 8th District Debate
In the latest faceoff for one of the most competitive congressional seats in the country, the 8th District candidates sparred Monday over Medicare, Social Security and other issues crucial to senior citizens. Democratic U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell said he opposes any changes to those two programs, while Republican Richard Hudson said he’d favor offering retirement “choices” to those now his age (40) and younger. The candidates answered questions, including some from an audience of retirees, during an AARP-sponsored forum at Wingate University (Funk, 9/25).