Texas was once the center of the movement to safeguard gun rights. Today, nearly every fight has been won in the state, and indeed around the country. While gun owners in East Texas celebrate and cherish their rights, they remain distrustful.
It can be lonely being a Democrat in the Deep South. In the reliably Republican region, even recruiting viable Democratic candidates can be a challenge. But strategists are looking to nearby states to learn how the party might start to make inroads in such red territory.
Obama's lead at this point in the race is "stronger than the last three winning presidential candidates," says Pew's president. Only Bill Clinton, running in both 1992 and 1996, had bigger leads in mid-September.
Mitt Romney's mother, Lenore, once cited her husband's childhood on welfare as a reason Michigan voters should trust the car company executive to be their governor. It's worth taking a look at now that her presidential candidate son has gotten into trouble with his "47 percent" remark.
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