Morning Examiner: Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Wisconsin

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Wednesday’s Gallup daily tracking poll showing Mitt Romney up 51 percent to 45 percent over President Obama among likely voters (and up 48 percent to 46 percent among registered voters) was terrible news for Obama. But it wasn’t even the worst polling news that broke yesterday. That honor belongs to the new Marquette Law School poll showing Obama up just one point over Romney in Wisconsin, 49 percent to 48 percent. The same poll showed Obama up by 14 points just last month.

Without Wisconsin, there is almost no way for Romney to reach 270 electoral votes if he also loses Ohio. But if Wisconsin is competitive, then Romney could split Ohio and Wisconsin with Obama, and still have a strong shot at the White House.

A key part of this new math is the concession by the Obama campaign that they face uphill climbs in Florida (where Romney is up 2.5 in the Real Clear Politics poll average), North Carolina (Romney +4.7), Colorado (Romney +.7), and Virginia (Obama +.8). Yesterday, National Journal‘s Major Garrett reported that while senior White House adviser David Plouffe was willing to name Ohio (Obama +2.4), Iowa (Obama +2.3), New Hampshire (Obama +.8), and Nevada (Obama +3) as states Obama was confident about, he did not extend the same confidence to North Carolina, Virginia, or Florida (Romney +2.5).

If Romney can take those three southern states (North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida), maintain his lead in Colorado, and achieve a split decision in Ohio and Wisconsin, then he would need to win just one out of the three remaining swing states (Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire) to reach 270.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: On gas prices, Obama dodges, weaves and changes subject
Tim Carney: Obama’s ‘war on women’ canard is not fooling women
Byron York: In second debate, rough, messy fight ends in draw
Paul Bedard: Blaming Bush still works with voters

Campaign 2012
Obama: Obama attacked Romney for his choice of office products when making personnel decisions yesterday, telling a crowd in Iowa, “I’ve got to tell you, we don’t have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women.”
Romney: The Romney campaign released a new television ad on Wednesday featuring a former Obama supporter, Sarah Minto, debunking Obama claims that Romney opposes contraception.
Iowa: Thirteen Iowa voters who say they voted for Obama in 2008 took out a full-page ad in yesterday’s Cedar Rapids Gazette to apologize for voting for him.

In Other News
The Washington Post, Obama ready to veto a bill blocking ‘fiscal cliff’ without tax hike for rich: President Obama is prepared to veto legislation to block year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, collectively known as the “fiscal cliff,” unless Republicans bow to his demand to raise tax rates for the wealthy, administration officials told The Washington Post.
The Wall Street Journal, Home Building Surges as Confidence Grows: Residential construction picked up momentum in September and now is running at its highest level in four years, a turn that could have a positive effect on the jobs market and the broader U.S. economy.
Gallup, 3.4% of U.S. Adults Identify as LGBT: The inaugural results of a new Gallup question — posed to more than 120,000 U.S. adults thus far — shows that 3.4% say “yes” when asked if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
The New York Times, Colombia Tries Again to End Drug-Fed War: For the first time in a decade, rebels and the government of Colombia came together for formal peace talks on Wednesday, with the goal of ending the longest-running war in the Western Hemisphere — nearly 50 years old and counting.
The Wall Street Journal, Syrian Rebels Get Missiles: Some Syrian rebel factions have obtained advanced portable antiaircraft weapons, according to rebels and regional officials, a development that could alter the Syrian war’s trajectory and fan U.S. concerns that such weapons could end up in the hands of anti-Western Islamist militias.

Righty Playbook
The Wall Street Journal calls Obama A President Without a Plan
At The Corner, Mark Krikorian outlines a possible path for immigration reform in a Romney administration.
The Heritage Foundation‘s James Gattuso reports that regulations did quadruple under Obama.

Lefty Playbook
The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent reports that MassGAP prepared the only binders full women Romney used to hire women when he was governor.
Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler argues that a President Romney would mean the end of Romneycare in Massachusetts.
Think Progress attacks Tagg Romney for admitting he wants to “take a swing” at Obama every time Obama calls his dad a liar.

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