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News from the Votemaster

Swing State Economies Are Weak

New unemployment numbers for swing states are out and could prove troublesome for President Obama. Nevada, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico, and Indiana all lost jobs from May to June. Jobs in Florida increased, but not by much. Mitt Romney might have pounded on these statistics, but he is traveling abroad for a week and his focus will no doubt be on foreign policy.

Has Citizens United Changed the Game?

An opinion article in the New York Times Magazine argues that Citizens United has not changed the game as much as some people say. In 2008, millionaires could give unlimited donations to 527 groups; now they give them to superPACs. There are some minor differences on what these two kinds of groups can do. The real difference, however, is the donors to 527s have to be reported but superPAC donors can be anonymous. That is perhaps a crucial difference but it is hard to tell really.

Beer and the Presidency

During a campaign, reporters focus on every tiny detail, no matter now stupid and irrelevant. When President Obama stopped at a bar in Ohio recently, the news report was about which brand of beer he had (a Miller Lite and later a Bud Light). By choosing beers popular with the white working class, Obama no doubt hopes to pick up a few votes. Aren't there more important things to discuss? For example, the fact at Bud Light is made by a Belgian company, Anheuser-Busch Inbev and that Miller Lite is made by a company that is half Canadian, Molson Coors Brewing.

Mitt Romney is spared having to choose between a cheap domestic beer and an expensive imported one because modern Mormons are not supposed to consume any alcohol or coffee or use tobacco, despite their ancestors using these products. So when offered a beer, Romney can politely decline and ask for an orange juice instead (which is a twofer: it demonstrates that he is religious and shows support for the economy of Florida, a key swing state.)