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10:55 AM ET, October 1, 2012


 Top Items: 
James Hohmann / Reuters:
Battleground Poll: Race still tight  —  The presidential race is tight enough nationally that a strong performance in Wednesday's debate by Mitt Romney could put him in the lead.  —  A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll of likely voters shows President Barack Obama ahead 49 percent …
Washington Post:
Tight race nationally as first debate approaches  —  On the eve of the first presidential debate, President Obama leads or is at parity with Mitt Romney on virtually every major issue and attribute in what remains a competitive general election, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Obama Leads on Expectations - But the Race Itself Stays Close  —  Registered voters by 2-1 think Barack Obama will win the upcoming presidential debates and go on to prevail in the November election.  But expectations aside, the race remains close, with strengths and vulnerabilities for both candidates in the campaign ahead.
Mitt Romney / Wall Street Journal:
A New Course for the Middle East  —  Restore the three sinews of American influence: our economic strength, our military strength and the strength of our values.  —  Disturbing developments are sweeping across the greater Middle East.  In Syria, tens of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered.
Glenn Thrush / Reuters:
Obama vs. Obama at debates  —  LAS VEGAS — President Barack Obama's most dangerous opponent in the trio of upcoming presidential debates isn't Mitt Romney.  —  It's himself.  —  The president has been working on blunting his barbs nearly as much as he's been trying to sharpen …
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
Obama: I'm just an ‘OK’ debater  —  Las Vegas - Barack Obama wants you to know that he's a really not so great as a debater.  —  As part of his week-long effort to lower expectations ahead of Wednesday's first Obama-Romney debate in Denver - an obligatory ritual even the campaigns find tiresome …
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Aurora survivor offers debate topic
Discussion: CNN
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Real Referendum  —  Republicans came into this campaign believing that it would be a referendum on President Obama, and that still-high unemployment would hand them victory on a silver platter.  But given the usual caveats — a month can be a long time in politics, it's not over until …
Kbh / Keith Hennessey:
The Washington Post's hatchet job on Paul Ryan
Bill Gertz / Washington Free Beacon:
White House Hack Attack  —  Hackers linked to China's government broke into one of the U.S. government's most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.
Tim Mak / Politico:   White House confirms cyberattack
Neil Munro / The Daily Caller:
White House shifts spin on Benghazi assassination, downplays focus on anti-Islam video
Discussion: Hot Air and Pirate's Cove
Mitt Romney advisers clash over Libya  —  Instead, the Republican ticket will leave calls for an investigation to Capitol Hill, where both Republicans and Democrats have complained about the briefings they have received.  “Let Congress do it: It's a bipartisan thing, and that's a better place for us to be,” a Romney adviser said.
Discussion: Guardian and blogs
Chris Wallace / Fox News:
Exclusive: Paul Ryan plays off latest poll numbers, exudes confidence ahead of debates
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and PoliticusUSA
NY Daily News:
Lindsay Lohan tussles with congressional staffer in Manhattan hotel room over cellphone photos, tells cops he choked her  —  California man Christian LaBella initially arrested and charged with assault and harassment in W Hotel Union Square scuffle, but now both of them are facing charges.
How The Economy Collapsed (As a Political Issue)  —  Republicans and Democrats no longer have the same facts.  It's the perceptual bias, stupid.  —  Via:  —  The big issue of the 2012 election — the American economy — has been settled.
Tim Cavanaugh / Hit & Run:
If Romney's Losing, Why Do the Media Act Like He's Already the President?  —  At, Joel B. Pollak makes a powerful case that the media have “treated [Republican presidential candidate Mitt] Romney as the incumbent,” in the process overlooking any responsibility President Obama may have for the current state of the country.
Discussion: Instapundit
The parallel universe where Mitt leads all polls  —  To talk with any working Republican political operative these days is to hear the same tale of woe: a grim accounting of the past few weeks, a dash of gallows humor and a measure of hope that President Obama is still beatable.
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Historian Eric Hobsbawm dies, aged 95  —  Eric Hobsbawm joined the Communist Party aged 14  —  Eric Hobsbawm, one of Britain's most eminent historians, has died at the age of 95, his family have confirmed.  —  He died in the early hours of Monday morning at the Royal Free Hospital in London …
Esther Addley / Guardian:   Eric Hobsbawm dies, aged 95
Hugh Hewitt / Washington Examiner:
Obama's poker tells  —  Obama is scheduled to be in Henderson, Nevada through Wednesday preparing for his first presidential debate against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (Photo by John Gurzinski/Getty Images)  —  President Obama has a number of …
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 More Items: 
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Moscow Court Postpones Pussy Riot Hearing
Discussion: ANIMAL and New York Magazine
Darrel Rowland / The Columbus Dispatch:
Dispatch Poll: Brown opens lead on Mandel
Discussion: Politico and The Argo Journal
Sayed Salahuddin / Washington Post:
Three NATO soldiers killed in Afghan suicide bombing
Danny Hakim / New York Times:
With New Delays, a Growing Sense That Gov. Andrew Cuomo Will Not Approve Gas Drilling
Discussion: ANIMAL, Politicker and Prairie Weather
Obama Beats Romney as Better for Middle-Income Americans
Sheldon Alberts / Ballot Box:
The Hill Poll: Voters switch, saying Obama is set to win second term
Liz Alderman / New York Times:
Right-Wing Extremists' Popularity Rising Rapidly in Greece
 Earlier Items: 
Kyle Balluck / The Hill:
What will be this year's October surprise?
Discussion: Politico
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
NBC's David Gregory Misquotes Obama, Falsely Claims President Said ‘Al Qaeda Has Been Defeated’
Discussion: PoliticusUSA and The Raw Story
Angela Couloumbis /
Pa. judge backs most of voter ID law
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The BRAD BLOG
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Philips pulls presidential debate sponsorship
Discussion: Say Anything
Helen Murphy / Reuters:
Chavez to Obama: I'd vote for you, and you for me