Republicans retain hopes of retaking control of the Senate. They lost the majority in 2006, in part because of the razor-close victory of Democratic challenger Jon Tester in Montana. Now, Tester is the incumbent facing a tough challenge of his own against the state's sole member of the House.
Both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney agree: America's tax system is too complicated. Both men have outlined changes that are broadly similar, although they have some important differences. But both candidates run for cover when asked about the tax breaks they want to eliminate.
The presidential candidates meet for the first of three debates on Wednesday. This week, we'll take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate as well as the stakes. We start with a report on Mitt Romney, who got plenty of debate practice during the primary season.
Melissa Block and Audie Cornish talk about "the expectations limbo" during this campaign season. Both presidential campaigns are trying to downplay their candidate's performance in the first presidential debate.
As political ads ramp up on TV, a newer platform is also seeing a spike in political messages. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first presidential candidate to use political advertising in a video game. This year, the Romney campaign says it is also injecting politics into gaming.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Republican challenger, John Dennis, attacks her with a weird zombie ad. In 2010, an ad of his portrayed her as the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz. That helped him get 15 percent of the vote.
NPR's Ari Shapiro spent a week in one city in a battleground state, Colorado Springs, where campaign spending has tripled since 2008. He discovered how it's changing, and the campaign strategy behind targeting specific ads for specific markets in hopes of winning over undecided voters.
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