With Election Day hours away, polls show deadlocked race

The last round of polls shows the contest between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney virtually tied. Meanwhile, news outlets report on how health issues are motivating some voters and what policies the winner might put in place.

The Wall Street Journal: Obama And Romney Deadlocked, Polls Show
The dueling assertions of success came as a new national Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of likely voters found the two men caught in a dead heat. Mr. Obama led his rival by a whisker, 48% to 47%-;a difference of seven voters among a pool of 1,475 surveyed. The poll has a margin of error is plus or minus 2.55 percentage points. Polls in many battleground states, from Virginia and Ohio to New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and even Michigan, also portrayed a race that is tightening down the home stretch (King and Meckler, 11/5).

USA Today: Final Swing States Poll: Fired-Up Voters Split, 48% to 48%
Voters in the nation's key battlegrounds have become as enthusiastic and engaged in the 2012 presidential election as they were in the historic contest four years ago, and they finally have made up their minds about President Obama and Mitt Romney (Page, 11/5).

Politico: Seniors Still Out Of Obama's Reach
Democrats hoped President Barack Obama would make inroads with seniors this year. ... for the most part, they just don't seem willing to give Obama a chance -; despite their distrust of Ryan's budget and Medicare reforms. ... the president's health care reforms have made things even more difficult, pollsters say. There's an inherent distrust of any changes to the existing system, and continuing resistance to the underlying idea of universal health care, which many seniors fear will cut into their benefits (Tau, 11/4).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Romney Pledges Bipartisanship In Final Push – And To Repeal Democrats' Priorities
In campaign stops in Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Romney reminded voters that on Day One, he would begin to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care law. He also wants to weaken labor unions and overturn Democrat-backed legislation that overhauled the nation's financial system. But the polarizing priorities are not his focus at swelling rallies in the presidential contest's final hours (11/4).

The Wall Street Journal: In Its Final Lap, The President's Team Turns Nostalgic
Over the weekend, Mr. Obama sounded some of his successful themes from 2008, saying he would work with anybody from any party who is willing to move the nation forward. But he made clear there were lines he wouldn't cross, such as deep cuts to student aid and Medicaid. Along for the ride in the home stretch are many of Mr. Obama's senior advisers and closest friends, the people who helped engineer his rapid rise from state senator to president. His original speechwriting team, traveling with him aboard Air Force One, has employed a dose of superstition by vowing to not shave their beards until Election Day (Meckler, 11/4).

The New York Times' The Caucus: Ryan Says Obama Policies Threaten 'Judeo-Christian' Values
Representative Paul D. Ryan on Sunday accused President Obama of taking the country down a path that compromises Judeo-Christian values and the traditions of Western civilization. Mr. Ryan has previously criticized the Affordable Care Act for requiring church-run charities and institutions to include contraception in insurance plans for employees, a criticism widely echoed by conservatives. But this was the first time Mr. Ryan had used such strong language on the issue (Gabriel, 11/5).

The New York Times: Ryan, Quiet for Now, Is Said To Be Planning For An Active Role
Representative Paul D. Ryan may have largely disappeared from the national spotlight down the campaign homestretch, ceding attention to Mitt Romney. But if the Republican ticket prevails, Mr. Ryan plans to come back roaring, establishing an activist vice presidency that he said would look like Dick Cheney's under President George W. Bush.  Mr. Ryan would dedicate most evenings to dinners with senators and House members of both parties, aides said, as he steps into the role Mr. Romney promised: architect of a Romney administration's drive to enact a budget that shrinks the government and overhauls programs like Medicare (Gabriel, 11/3).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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