A New Breed of Oddsmakers Invades the World of Politics

Even if you’re not a political junkie, you’re probably aware of the all-out partisan fight for control of the U.S. Senate and House and statehouses across the nation. But you may not know about another hard-fought election contest that’s likely to be decided on Nov. 4. It has to do with the growing influence of a new breed of political prognosticators who use highly complex models to forecast the outcome of elections before most voters even cast their ballots. >> …

Senate Candidates Put Their Parents in TV Ads

Running for office? Better hope that you can at least count on your parents to stand by you. This year, several candidates for the U.S. Senate are citing their parents in campaign literature or TV ads — especially in voicing their commitment to support Social Security and Medicare. In two contests, a candidate features a parent in a 30-second broadcast spot. >> AARP Voter Education Guide In one of her campaign ads, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is seated next to her well-known …

Social Security Takes Center Stage in Alaska Senate Campaign

Social Security has become a hot issue in the Alaska Senate race, one of the battleground contests that will determine which political party controls the Senate. “Both of Alaska’s candidates for U.S. Senate know that the country’s Social Security system needs reform … but differ sharply on how they’d solve the problem,” Alaska Dispatch, on online news site, said in a Sept. 22 story. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has introduced legislation that would …

Congressional Candidates Step Up Appeals to Older Voters

Just weeks before the midterm elections, congressional candidates across the nation are stepping up their efforts to woo older voters by zeroing in on the issues of Social Security and Medicare, especially in their campaign advertising, the New York Times reports. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter “The number of television ads mentioning Social Security and Medicare in places with close congressional races testifies to the battle for retirement-age voters,” its story says, noting that older voters make …

Supreme Court Voids Overall Campaign Donor Limits

By Mark Sherman, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court further loosened the reins on political giving Wednesday, ruling that big campaign donors can dole out money to as many candidates and political committees as they want as long as they abide by limits on contributions to each individual campaign. In a 5-4 vote won by conservative justices, the court struck down limits in federal law on the total amount of money a contributor can give to candidates, political …

Next States to Vote Are Ground Zero of Housing Crisis

Welcome to the front lines of the housing crisis. Florida and three of the next states to vote in the GOP presidential contest are among the 10 worst foreclosure states in the nation. And there’s not much light at the end of the tunnel: The four states have the highest percentage of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Nevada, which votes Feb. 4, had the worst foreclosure rate in the country in 2011, for …