Arkansas Senate Candidates Brawl Over Medicare, Social Security

In their final scheduled debate, Arkansas’ two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate vigorously slashed each other on Social Security and Medicare issues. “The game plans for both men were plain as day — [Rep. Tom] Cotton repeatedly tied [Sen. Mark] Pryor to President Obama, while Pryor said Cotton was beholden to big-money interests who didn’t share the same goals as Arkansans,” a visiting newspaper columnist wrote of the Oct. 14 exchange in Fayetteville. In contrast to recent Senate debates in other …

Virginia Senate Candidates Spar Over Social Security, Medicare

In their final scheduled debate before Election Day, Virginia’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate sparred over their records on Social Security and Medicare while voicing similar views on steps needed to address their long-term financing. The debate, held in Richmond on Oct. 13 and televised statewide, was cosponsored by AARP Virginia, whose president, Bob Blancato, asked the candidates how they would protect the programs. “If you are 47 years old or younger … you are looking at getting …

W.Va. Senate Candidates Call for Lifting Social Security Salary Cap

West Virginia’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate support raising the Social Security wage base limit from its current level of $117,000, and in an Oct. 7 debate both voiced concern over the long-term financing of the program. “I am supportive of raising the cap to $240,000” or in that vicinity, said West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat. “I would be willing to raise the cap over $200,000,” said U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, her Republican opponent. …

Poll: In Close Senate Races, Older Voters Lean Slightly to GOP

In 12 states with competitive Senate races, older voters lean slightly more Republican than younger voters, according to a poll for National Public Radio. But the margins are narrower than those in nationwide polls conducted a few weeks ago. In the NPR poll, likely voters ages 50 to 64 split 50 percent for Republicans and 45 percent for Democrats — and among those 65 and older, the split was 50 percent to 43 percent. Overall, voters in the 12 states …

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 …