New Jobs Numbers Estimate – Applications for jobless benefits fell 9,000 to 363,000 in the week ending on Oct. 27, the fewest in three weeks. According to the Labor Department, economists forecast 370,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A Labor Department report tomorrow may show employers took on 125,000 workers in October, not enough to keep the jobless rate from rising to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, according to the Bloomberg survey median.
* The unemployment number will still be released at 8:30 a.m. Friday, despite concern that the closure of federal offices could impede the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Election Countdown – 5 Days! According to a new WSJ/NBC/Marist poll, President Obama is ahead in 3 key swing states. Obama holds a 49-46% lead in Wisconsin, half of what it was two weeks ago, and a 49-47% lead in New Hampshire, down from 7 points in September. In Iowa, however, the race looks out of reach for Romney: Obama leads 50-44% among likely voters.
* An update from Gallup polling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Romney’s Path to Victory – (via Karl Rove, Wall Street Journal) “It comes down to numbers. And in the final days of this presidential race, from polling data to early voting, they favor Mitt Romney. He maintains a small but persistent polling edge. As of yesterday afternoon, there had been 31 national surveys in the previous seven days. Mr. Romney led in 19, President Obama in seven, and five were tied. Mr. Romney averaged 48.4%; Mr. Obama, 47.2%. The GOP challenger was at or above 50% in 10 polls, Mr. Obama in none. The number that may matter the most is Mr. Obama's 47.2% share. As the incumbent, he's likely to find that number going into Election Day is a percentage point or so below what he gets. For example, in 2004 President George W. Bush had 49% in the final Gallup likely-voter track; he received 50.7% on Election Day. In 1996, President Clinton was at 48% in the last Gallup; he got 49.2% at the polls. And in 1992, President George H.W. Bush was at 37% in the closing Gallup; he collected 37.5% in the balloting.”
Things You Didn’t Know About Obama or Romney – (courtesy of People, via Politico) 1) “How are you spending Election Day?" Obama: "Playing a pickup basketball game. I didn't play before the New Hampshire primary in 2008 and lost. I'm not going to make that mistake again!" Romney: "I'll spend my time with Ann and our family." 2) "What's your pump-it-up song if elected?" Obama: "We Take Care of Our Own," by Bruce Springsteen ... Romney: "Born Free," by Kid Rock. 3) "Favorite comfort food?" Obama: "Five Guys burger and fries" ... Romney: "Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots" 4) "Favorite TV show?" Obama: "Homeland" ... Romney: "Modern Family."
How They’re Spending Their Last Days – Obama is in Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado today. Eva Longoria joins him for a “grassroots event” in North Las Vegas, then he flies to Denver for a 7 p.m. MT rally in Boulder, Colo. Romney holds three rallies in Virgina: 10 a.m. ET in Roanoke, 2:15 p.m. in Doswell and 7:05 p.m. in Virginia Beach.
Top PolicyMic Stories – I Was An Intern For Todd Akin, And I Know All Too Well That He is Too Radical For Missouri (Jeff Bloodworth) A young intern from Southwest Missouri, working under Todd Akin at the state legislature, knew even then that Akin's conservatism is too radical for Missouri.
We Could See Romney as President, and Joe Biden as VP: Here's How (Douglas Goodman)With the election as close as it is, there is the potential for a 269 – 269 tie vote in the Electoral College. The impact on our political landscape would be monumental.
Romney Would Solve the Political Gridlock Problem in Washington (John Giokaris) Partisan politics in Washington isn't new. The problem isn't lack of common ground, it's lack of leadership. The records show that Romney has reached across the aisle while Obama is too far left.
Romney’s No Good, Very Bad Day (Mark Kogan) “Mittmentum” is waning as swing state polls and bungled campaign events combine to hurt Romney in must-win states in advance of Tuesday.
The Scariest Thing This Halloween: The Tea Party Launches a “News” Network (Danielle Gram) On Halloween evening, news is out that the Tea Party has launched a new media network. Be afraid, be very afraid!
When These Three Leading Republicans Are Endorsing Obama, You Know Romney is Screwed (Benjamin Feinblum) Ever notice how Republicans who work with President Obama seem to all of a sudden change their tone and praise his leadership?
Israel Spy Master Efraim Halevy on War With Iran: His Half Baked Thoughts Concerning Israel Policy (Joseph Sarkisian) A quick foray into the legendary spymaker’s thought process makes you understand why Israel’s foreign policy prerogatives have been so out of line with the undeniable realism of international relations.
What We’re Reading – Sandy aftermath: The absurd Brooklyn-Manhattan bus line(Instagram); Sandy has exposed NYC’s “hideous inequality” (Democracy Now); The case for Obama vs. The case for Rommey (TIME); Electing the future or the past? (Washington Post, tip-off: Josh Nuni); A foreign policy to-do list for Romney or Obama (Foreign Policy); How Romney turned flip-flopping into a virtue (Slate); The first poll of 2012 that actually asks the hard questions (Upworthy); 5 things you don’t know about President Obama (US Weekly); How I lost faith in the “pro-life” movement (Patheos); Open internet red alert: blacklist law takes effect in Russia (Cheezburger); Predicting what Twitter topics will trend (MIT).