The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, November 1, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Nov 1, 2012 3:01am

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, and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA / CHRIS CHRISTIE:
The New York Daily News’ Thomas Defrank: “President Obama joins forces with NJ Gov. Chris Christie in aftermath of storm” alk about an October Surprise. Just six days before the election, the nation saw President Obama joining with a fierce critic, Republican Gov. Chris Christie, to inspect the coastal carnage caused by Hurricane Sandy along the Jersey Shore. With the presidential election drum tight, images of the Democratic President doing the people’s business alongside one of Mitt Romney’s superstar supporters presented a picture of bipartisanship Obama’s handlers back in Chicago couldn’t have choreographed in their wildest dreams. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Obama’s endgame: Hard Sell of record, ridicule of rival” In the homestretch of his final campaign, President Obama has ditched the language of lower expectations once prominent in his stump speech, focusing instead on a repackaged jobs plan and adding a heavy dose of ridicule for Republican rival Mitt Romney. LINK

The New York Times’ Mark Landler and Michael Barbaro: “An Unlikely Political Pair, United by a Disaster” President Obama toured the storm-tossed boardwalks of New Jersey’s ravaged coastline on Wednesday, in a vivid display of big-government muscle and bipartisan harmony that confronted Mitt Romney with a vexing challenge just as he returned to the campaign trail in Florida. LINK

Politico’s Reid J. Epstein and Josh Gerstein: “Obama and Christie: A Sandy love story” It was like Valentine’s Day on Halloween. President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie cemented their new-found mutual admiration society on Wednesday, as the men gushed with praise for one another while touring damage from Hurricane Sandy on the devastated Jersey Shore. LINK

MITT ROMNEY:
The Washington Post’s Dan Belz, Jerry Markon and Paul Kane: “Romney forces see Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota ripe for turning red” After a season dominated by talk of Ohio, Virginia and Florida, Campaign 2012 suddenly shifted focus to a new trio of states Wednesday amid a new verbal battle about which candidate is better positioned to win on Tuesday. The new geographic front in the political war focuses on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, three states that have backed Democrats dating back at least to 1988 but which Republicans say are ripe for GOP nominee Mitt Romney in his challenge to President Obama.  LINK

POLLS:
ABC News’ Gary Langer: “Storm Response Earns Obama Praise Amid the Election’s Deadlock Drama” Likely voters of all political stripes give broadly positive ratings to Barack Obama’s response to the devastating storm that smashed the East Coast this week. Whether it makes a difference in the long-deadlocked presidential election is another question. Initially, the latest ABC News/Washington Post daily tracking poll finds essentially no change: Likely voters are back to exactly an even split in preferences, 49-49 percent between Obama and Mitt Romney – within a point or two of where the race has been all along. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr.: “Polls: Obama Ahead in 3 Key States” President Barack Obama holds narrow leads over Mitt Romney in the battleground states of Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa as the candidates enter the campaign’s final days, new polling shows. In Wisconsin and New Hampshire, Mr. Romney remains well within striking distance, despite signs that opinions are hardening and the pool of undecided voters remains small, according to new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll surveys. LINK

FINAL PUSH / OTHER:
The Hill’s Justin Sink: “Obama, Romney begin final push” President Obama and Mitt Romney began their final campaign push on Wednesday, preparing to launch a last blitz of swing state visits and dispatching senior aides to make the case their candidate will win. Polls show the race is virtually deadlocked with less than a week to go before Election Day, but that didn’t stop both sides from arguing they have the upper hand. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Mitchell Landsberg: “Election experts say a lot could go wrong” Peg Rosenfield has been monitoring elections for the League of Women Voters in Ohio for almost 40 years and has seen just about every voting glitch imaginable. She says there’s a saying among election workers: “Please, God, make it a landslide.” In a landslide, there is no quibbling over hanging chads or provisional ballots or registration requirements or rigged voting machines or whether ballots were cast by the dead. A winner is declared, a loser concedes — election over. LINK

Bloomberg’s John McCormick and Lisa Lerer: “Tight U.S. Presidential Race Makes Split Vote Outcome Possible” The presidential race resumes today with frenetic candidate schedules as polls show the most costly contest in U.S. history could yield a split decision. Some national polls give Republican Mitt Romney a slight edge in the popular vote — although well within the margin of error — while surveys show President Barack Obama ahead in a number of the most competitive states, which would hand him an Electoral College victory and a second term in the White House. LINK

USA Today’s Susan Davis and Richard Wolf: “Election winner gets … a mess” Confrontations abroad. A divided Congress at home. A budget stalemate on the horizon that threatens another recession. Come Nov. 7, President Obama or President-elect Mitt Romney might be forgiven if he pines for the good old days of campaign rallies and negative ads. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Mitt Romney Campaigns in Florida LINK

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