Here we are in week six of our Campaign Calculus series, which juxtaposes snapshots of the presidential campaign with Nate Silver’s daily prediction numbers from his FiveThirtyEight blog at The New York Times.
Last week, the third and final presidential debate on foreign policy was held in Boca Raton, Fla. Mitt Mitt Romney reversed course from the previous debate by agreeing with Obama on most substantive points. He criticized President Obama for a lack of leadership, but offered little in the way of contrast to the president's foreign policy when it came to issues like Syria, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and ending the war in Afghanistan.
The second part of the week was dominated by comments on rape made by Indiana senate hopeful Richard Mourdock. "The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother," Mourdock said in a debate. "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen"
Romney declined to call on Mourdock to pull down an ad in remove which the presidential nominee endorsed the Senate hopeful.
The week ended with former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing President Obama, as he did in 2008.
"We were in real trouble," said Powell this time around, referring to the country's condition in 2008. "The auto industry was collapsing, the housing was start[ing] to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising."