The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, October 29, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Oct 29, 2012 3:03am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin, and Danielle Genet

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
The Hill’s Bernie Becker: “Poll: Obama stretches Ohio lead to 4 points” President Obama has stretched out a four-point lead in the crucial battleground of Ohio, Public Policy Polling (PPP) said Sunday. Obama leads Mitt Romney 51 percent to 47 among likely voters, the Democratic-leaning pollster said. PPP had found Obama with a one-point edge last week, but said the president had consolidated his support among Democrats and narrowed Romney’s lead among independents. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Mitchell Landsberg: “Newspapers weigh in on election; Obama loses support since 2008” Do newspaper endorsements for president still matter? Certainly not as much as they once did, but that doesn’t stop most newspapers (including this one) from exercising their 1st Amendment right to spout off about their choice of candidate, and it doesn’t stop the presidential campaigns from breathlessly reporting each and every endorsement as if it were handed down by the Oracle of Delphi. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Obama believers wait and wonder” Since he began campaigning for re-election more than a year ago, President Obama has worried aloud that his supporters may have lost enthusiasm because of the slow pace of the changes he promised. In 2008, Mr. Obama pledged to put Americans back to work. LINK

MITT ROMNEY:
ABC News’ Shushannah Walshe and Emily Friedman: “In Critical Ohio, Mitt Romney Urges Supporters to Persuade Democrats” Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wrapped up a three-stop bus tour of the Northwestern part of this critical state, striking a bipartisan tone with the top of the ticket urging the crowd to talk to their friends who may have cast a ballot for a Democrat in the past. “Your friends may have voted last time, perhaps in the Democratic primary, they may have voted for who knows? LINK

The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Late moderate turn carrying Mitt Romney far” Mitt Romney wrote an autobiography called “Turnaround” about his experience fixing the 2002 Winter Olympics, and he boasts on the campaign trail how he turned around companies in his business career. Now, the former Massachusetts governor has managed perhaps his most significant turnaround yet. LINK

Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker: “Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations” In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money.  Individuals who had already set up these vehicles were allowed to keep them. LINK

VOTING / POLLS:
USA Today’s Aamer Madhani and Fredreka Schouten: “Early-vote totals indicate extremely tight race” While President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns are both pointing to absentee- and early-voting data as reasons to be optimistic about their candidates’ chances, a review of election data in seven swing states offers further evidence that the race for the White House will remain extraordinarily close to the end. Already, more than 12.3 million ballots have been cast throughout the country, according to the United States Election Project at George Mason University in Virginia. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins: “Activists Pour Cash Into Voter Turnout” In a tight election where voter turnout could be crucial, a new force is sending people door to door to try to get conservatives to the polls. Conservative groups, most notably Americans for Prosperity, are spending millions of dollars to ensure that as many supporters as possible cast a ballot. LINK

The Washington Post’s Robert J. Samuelson: “Pollsters’ moment of truth” As the election approaches, it’s not only candidates who face a reckoning. Pollsters, too, confront a moment of truth. The close election could leave many calling the wrong winner. LINK

Politico’s Jonathan Allen: “5 political questions” The presidential campaigns are publicly hitting pause on East Coast electioneering as Hurricane Sandy spirals toward Atlantic beaches, but privately political professionals are starting to assess important questions about how it might affect next week’s elections up and down the ballot. For obvious reasons — namely that they don’t want to appear to make political hay out of a life-and-death act of nature — campaign officials won’t touch the prospective political aftermath of a storm that has yet to hit. LINK

RACE FOR OHIO / STORM:
ABC News’ Gary Langer: “2012 Presidential Race Is Its Own ‘Perfect Storm’” As it enters its frenetic final week the presidential race is drawing more close attention than any such contest in 28 years, a testament to a campaign that has been the closest by some measures in pre-election polls dating back even further – to 1960, or even to the early days of polling in 1936. Support for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney has averaged 48-48 percent since September, the closest in ABC/Post polls, or Gallup polls before them, in comparable periods dating back 76 years. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray and Joseph B. White: “Ohio Race Plows Ahead on Stump, Airwaves” Mitt Romney barnstormed Ohio with appeals based on bipartisanship and plans to reboot the economy, as a harsher fight played out on the airwaves about the auto bailout, which remains a live issue in this battleground state. Mr. Romney has gained ground here, a new poll found, leaving the candidates tied in the state. LINK

The New York Times’ Peter Baker: “In Middle of a Messy Election, a Nightmare Makes Landfall” In the dark of night, when they get what little sleep they get these days, the people running the campaigns for president have more than enough fodder for nightmares. Worse, come daybreak, they realize their worst fears may yet come true. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
Obama’s Weekly Address: Wall Street CrisisLINK

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