The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday October 2, 2012

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

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin, Amanda VanAllen and Ben Waldron


ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Romney Says Debates About 'Something Bigger' Than Who Scores the Punches" Emerging from days of debate prep, Mitt Romney tonight arrived in Colorado and told a crowd of thousands that he's "delighted" about the upcoming debates. "Now you know that you're going to get some visitors this week," Romney said. LINK

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: " In '02, Mitt Romney capitalized on debates" About six weeks before a crucial election, and shortly after he had secured the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney was trailing badly. Voters had unfavorable views of him. They didn't think he cared for people like them. Women overwhelmingly favored his opponent. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Gerald F. Seib: " President's 'No Drama' Style Is a Debate Asset" President Barack Obama has an important asset going into Wednesday night's presidential debate, and it's pretty easy to describe: His debating style happens to be almost perfectly suited for his mission in this debate. A review of the highlights of Mr. Obama's 2008 debates against Sen. John McCain shows that the famous description of the president's personal style-that he is no-drama Obama-precisely fits the candidate who comes through on a debate stage. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " Obama calls debate prep 'a drag'" President Obama played some hookey from his intense debate preparation early this week in Las Vegas, visiting a campaign field office in nearby Henderson and chatting with volunteers for his re-election effort. "It's very nice. Although basically they'rekeeping me indoors all the time. It's a drag. They're making me do my homework," Obama joked with volunteer Andrea Stinger. LINK

Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer and Margaret Talev: " Romney Seeks to Burnish Image as Man of Vision in Debate" When the presidential candidates meet tomorrow for their first debate, Mitt Romney will have the most to prove.Trailing in national polls and in states that could determine the outcome of the race, the Republican nominee will have one of his last opportunities to shift the dynamics of the Nov. 6 election at the event at the University of Denver in Colorado. LINK

The New York Times' Jeremy W. Peters: " Playing Roles of Referee and, Increasingly, Target During Debates."When Jim Lehrer takes the stage in Denver on Wednesday night, the tens of millions of people watching will see the same imperturbable voice of reason they have come to know in his quarter century as the country's go-to referee for the presidential debates. LINK


The Los Angeles Times' Hector Becerra: " Latino vote: About 24 million eligible, but small turnout likely "Nearly 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote, bolstering claims about the group's potential impact in the 2012 presidential election. But if history is any teacher, their turnout in November could lag far behind other groups, including whites and blacks." LINK

The Washington Times' Luke Rosiak: " Politics stifles federal election agency" Despite a setup that fills its six commissioners' posts with three Republicans and three Democrats, it used to have little trouble conducting oversight and sanctioning dirty campaigns without ending up with the tie votes that have recently hamstrung the agency, leading to an anything-goes atmosphere for candidates and outside groups. LINK


The Washington Post's David A. Fahrenthold: " Selling votes is common type of election fraud" The price of one bona fide, registered American vote varies from place to place. But it is rarely more than a tank of gas. Indeed, as a rising furor over voter fraud has prodded some states to mount extensive efforts against illegal voters, election-fraud cases more often involve citizens who sell their votes, usually remarkably cheaply. In West Virginia over the past decade, the cost was as low as $10. Last year in West Memphis, Ark., a statehouse candidate used $2 half-pints of vodka. LINK


Politico's Glenn Thrush: " 2012 Small-dollar donors pack a punch for Obama, Romney " That's all Barack Obama and Mitt Romney want from you today, knowing full well that wresting that paltry sum from your wallet could convert you into a larger-dollar donor, likely voter and potential swing-state volunteer, offering up your time and labor for nothing. Hence both candidates' relentless late-in-the-game plays for small-dollar donations, blasting out incessant emails, staging nonstop meet-the-candidate contests and peppering their campaign advertisements with pitches to contribute $10 via text message. LINK

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