Let Me Start: Abortion politics

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President Obama appeared on 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno on Wednesday night.
President Obama appeared on 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno on Wednesday night.

President Obama keeps the Richard Mourdock story alive, telling Jay Leno that “rape is rape” and that distinctions about rape “don’t make any sense” to him. The president also took on yesterday’s ridiculous stunt by Donald Trump, who left virtually everyone questioning once again whether he’s a serious person.

What gender gap? The polls have been all over the place this campaign, and now a new AP poll shows Mitt Romney running even with President Obama among women, while the president has largely erased Romney’s advantage among men. Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at a crucial subset of women that is at the crux of this election.

Obama’s Silver State bullet: Harry Reid’s political machine in Nevada won him re-election two years ago in a race he looked destined to lose. And now it is providing the muscle for President Obama’s campaign, which needs to keep Nevada in its column.

The Romney campaign is upbeat, but the Electoral College math still favors President Obama, who’s kicking off an eight-state campaign swing. And the Obama campaign announced the president will spend the final days campaigning alongside Bill Clinton.

Matt Bai of the New York Times takes on the conventional wisdom and argues that Bill Clinton may actually have hurt President Obama’s re-election chances.

Four years ago, this was big news: former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed President Obama, saying America is on the rebound. Powell, who served under George W. Bush, told CBS News ““I think, generally, we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude.” In 2008, Powell’s endorsement was a bi-partisan stamp of approval that helped Obama win.

Sarah Palin is defending her use of the racially-tinged phrase “shuck and jive” to describe President Obama on Libya.

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Let Me Start: Abortion politics

Updated