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Elections

The Takeaway

Ballot Designs Across the Country Ten Years After 'Hanging Chads'

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ballot design has been a hot button issue every election year since the controversial 2000 elections, which saw George W. Bush narrowly win the presidency. That year, many voters in Palm Beach, Florida said they voted for Al Gore, when in actuality their votes wound up counted for someone else, due to the confusing design of the butterfly ballots used there.

Now, ten years later, with the help of Jessica Friedman Hewitt, we'll look at the problems that still exist with today's ballots and how they can still be improved.

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The Takeaway

Polling Trends Leading to Election Day

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pollster describe elections like a horse race for a good reason: leads shrink, grow, and change hands, until at the very end, someone crosses the finish line first, and a winner is crowned.

John Zogby, president and CEO of polling firm Zogby International has been monitoring these changes in the final days leading up to Election Day.

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The Takeaway

The Plan for Hearings if Republicans Take House

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

If Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, as they are expected to, Democrats' policies may not be the only thing they attack.

A Republican-controlled House is expected to begin investigations and hearings into the Obama White House in what might hark back to the days of the Clinton administration.

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The Takeaway

Sanity Checking Last Minute Political Ads

Monday, November 01, 2010

Tomorrow is election day and candidates on both sides of the ballot are throwing their final pitch to voters. But are candidates trying to get away with throwing curve balls? We do a sanity check on various last-ditch ad campaigns with PolitiFact editor Bill Adair.

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The Takeaway

Outside Groups Spend Big as Elections Approach

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

These mid-term elections are seeing massive amounts of money being raised and spent both left and right, from party committees to outside independent groups — much, much more money than the last mid-term elections in 2006. Over $260 million has been spent by outside groups, who have been able to remain largely anonymous since the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, earlier this year. 

But what are contributors expecting in return for their millions of dollars? 

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WNYC News

Political Campaign Messages Created Just for You

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An industry of data collectors and data interpreters that has emerged around elections and the millions of dollars of business they generate every year. Politicians want this information because they're trying to figure out who you are and how you view the world, so they can do a better job winning you over.

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The Takeaway

Districts in Play: What is the Forecast for the Sunshine State?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Voters in Florida have been party to two unusual races this election season. The Senate race has the incumbent Republican Governor Charlie Crist is in a three-way race as an independent against Tea Party-supported Marco Rubio and Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek.

Vying for the governor's office are Republican candidate Rick Scott, running head to head against the state's chief financial officer, Alex Sink, the only Democrat to come this close to the office in decades, in a race that has the candidates accusing one another of fraud.

This against a backdrop of a state in dire straits. Florida's unemployment is fourth highest in the country at 11.9 percent, the foreclosure rate is second highest in the country. More than 20 percent of the state's residents are uninsured.

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The Takeaway

GOTV Operations in High Gear as Election Day Nears

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Tuesday, and just seven days remain until mid-term elections. Republicans are looking to take control of the House, Democrats are desperately fighting to hold the Senate, and The Tea Party is looking to increase its political clout — and everyone is out on the ground trying to get out every last vote.

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The Takeaway

Young Voters Less Excited This Year

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two years ago, Barack Obama won the presidency in part by having inspired young people to come out and vote in record numbers. Early indicators say young voters aren't as excited about turning out this year. We hear from students from the University of Pennsylvania on how (and if) they plan to vote.

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It's A Free Country ®

A Very Special Election: City Council District 28

Monday, October 25, 2010

On the national and state level, this political season has been rich enough in terms of outlier candidates and weird political shenanigans, but the local race in City Council District 28 (Queens) also has a cast of characters worth noting. They're all running in the non-partisian special election for City Council Member on November 2, due to the death of Councilman Thomas White, Jr. this August.

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The Takeaway

Will Oskosh Outsider Johnson Oust Incumbent Feingold in Wisconsin?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Russ Feingold has represented Wisconsin in Congress over the last three decades, and has been the Badger State's senator since 1993. Known as a highly principled politician, Feingold has broken with his fellow Democrats by voting against legislation like financial reform and being the lone vote against the USA PATRIOT Act. But perhaps he's best known for a campaign finance reform law that bares his name, McCain-Feingold. That law, which banned "soft money," or unregulated contributions, from elections was struck down earlier this year by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.

But this fall, this longtime incumbent faces the toughest re-election bid of his career. Feingold has been overtaken in the polls by the self-funded political newcomer and millionaire, Ron Johnson.

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The Takeaway

The Fate of Democrats and Nancy Pelosi

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If Democrats are able to hold a majority in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi will have to decide if she will run for House Speaker again. However, many Democrats are already saying that they would not support her if she does run.

The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has the details of this developing story.

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The Takeaway

Districts in Play: Michigan and the 7th District

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

With two weeks to go until the mid-term elections, we continue our coverage of tight congressional and gubernatorial races from around the country with a look at races in Michigan. 

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The Takeaway

Campaign Finance: The Battle Between Small Donors and Big Business

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It has been illegal for corporations to donate directly to a political campaign since 1907, when Teddy Roosevelt pushed for that era’s big campaign finance overhaul. And even in the last forty years we’ve seen one new version of this reform attempted after another, as politicians have found ways to circumvent the old laws.

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WNYC News

Immigrant Advocacy Groups Work to 'Get Out the Vote'

Monday, October 18, 2010

As Election Day draws closer, immigrant advocacy organizations are ramping up their "get out the vote" campaigns.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Elections, Health Care, and Pakistan

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mid-term elections are just two weeks away, and a frenzy of campaigning from President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and the Tea Party express is about to get underway.

Takeaway managing producer, Noel King, and Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, explore what's ahead this week as we get close to election day.

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It's A Free Country ®

Not Like Mike: Michael McMahon and Michael Grimm Campaign on Differences in Staten Island Congressional Race

Monday, October 18, 2010

McMahon is a freshman Democrat, but he projects the aura of an experienced politician. In New York's 13th Congressional district, which includes all of Staten Island and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend, he's cast himself as a centrist. But conservative challenger Michael Grimm, a political newcomer, says McMahon's politics and Washington record don't fit with this historically conservative constituency.

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Digesting Politics Podcast

Countdown to the Elections

Friday, October 15, 2010

With just 17 days left before Election Day, WNYC's Andrea Bernstein, Bob Hennelly and Azi Paybarah catch up on the various statewide races.

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It's A Free Country ®

The Election Mood in Changeable Ohio

Friday, October 15, 2010

WNYC

WNYC's Andrea Bernstein continues her reporting from swing counties this election season with a stop in Canton, Ohio. The Rust Belt community has taken some hard knocks in the recession, and after going for Obama in 2008, voters here are tired, frustrated, and once again, getting barraged with negative political ads. 

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It's A Free Country ®

Half Polish & Catholic: AG Candidate Wants NY Polish Community to Know His Background

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dan Donovan, 53, the Republican candidate for New York attorney general, may have an Irish last name, but according to his 84-year-old mother he looks Polish and his gray eyes and pale complexion are a proof of his ancestry. Mrs. Donovan’s maiden name is ‘Bolewicz’ and she is the third generation in a Polish-American family that settled on Staten Island. Today there is a growing Polish-American community in the borough and Donovan hopes for its support in November.

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