The Message Machine
Nov 5, 2012 — At the polls Sunday, reporter Karen Kasler encountered a carnival-like atmosphere — including dancing people dressed in Sesame Street costumes, a Lincoln impersonator, mimes and food trucks.
Nov 1, 2012 — We've reshaped the United States based on where superPACs and other outside groups spent their money to air political ads aimed at influencing the presidential election. The result? One weirdly telling map.
Oct 30, 2012 — Superstorm Sandy has become the main focus of both candidates, but what politicking does remain has Toledo, Ohio, and its Jeep plant at its center. The campaigns are fighting over Mitt Romney's claim that all Jeep jobs are heading to China. Chrysler and the Obama campaign say that's not true.
Oct 26, 2012 — Democrats and Republicans are on track to spend about $1 billion each on TV advertising in the presidential race — most of it negative and almost all in battleground states. There's little evidence the ads sway voters, but the campaigns are happy to settle for low odds, given the lingering memories of the close 2000 election.
Oct 25, 2012 — Since June, more than 915,000 presidential ads alone have aired on broadcast and cable TV. So what's it like to watch the local news in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia?
Oct 25, 2012 — The Obama campaign is trying to link Republican Mitt Romney to controversial moves by the New Hampshire state Legislature on women's health. But Romney has a strong advocate in Sen. Kelly Ayotte in a state that could potentially have a female governor and an all-female congressional delegation next year.
Oct 24, 2012 — How do you reach an audience of more than 200,000 people a day in an important swing state without buying an expensive TV ad? If you're Mitt Romney supporter Sid Overton, you build a blimp and fly it alongside one of Colorado's busiest freeways.
Oct 21, 2012 — Republican candidates — from presidential nominee Mitt Romney on down the ticket — have been attacking the estate tax as harmful to family farmers who want to pass on land to their children. But experts say that concern may be overblown.
Oct 15, 2012 — Most of the TV ads supporting Mitt Romney have come from outside groups, not from Romney's own campaign. And those groups raised more than half of their money from secret donors, a much higher proportion than the secret donors backing President Obama, according to a new analysis.
Oct 3, 2012 — The nonpartisan group Free Press is calling on stations to do just that. At the very least, the group says, stations should fact check more. A new study by the group found that stations almost never reject third-party and superPAC ads — and few of them were engaging in serious fact checking.