OurFuture.org's Roger Hickey:  "...29 Democratic senators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), have signed a letter opposing any cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit reduction package. Leaders in the House are circulating a similar pledge. What about the other senators? What about your member of Congress? If we want to be sure Social Security will be kept off the table in any "grand bargain" negotiations after the election, we must get more senators – and lots of House members – to take an identical pledge to defend Social Security, now. Take a moment now to tell your representatives in Washington: Take the pledge. Don't bargain away Social Security. "
Paul Ryan is killing Romney with swing state seniors. TNR's Noam Scheiber:  "A month ago, Obama was down 13 points in Florida among people 65 and older; today he’s up 4. On the specific question of Medicare, Obama was down 4 points among Florida seniors in August; today he’s up 5 points."
Romney's move rightward in primaries was fatal, argues FT's Richard McGregor:  "Cursed with the label of 'moderate', Mr Romney swung to the right on immigration and played up his policy to defund Planned Parenthood, the women’s health provider that also offers abortion and contraception, helping alienate Hispanics and women who were already tilting to Mr Obama."
Republicans find voter fraud ... by their own consulting firm. McClatchy:  "The Republican National Committee on Thursday fired a firm it had hired to register voters in several battleground states after allegations of voter registration fraud. Strategic Allied Consulting was first fired in Florida after the Palm Beach County election supervisor flagged more than 100 applications turned in by the company that staff noticed had similar looking signatures and wrong birth dates."
Economic optimism is on the rise among voters. NYT:  "Despite months of disappointing-to-dismal economic reports ... a closely watched measure of consumer confidence surged to its highest level since February ... Economic experts pointed to several trends to explain how Americans were feeling better about the economy even though growth in jobs and the overall economy had weakened. First, the election is having a strong effect on economic perceptions. Second, though the recovery is weak, it has persisted, with employment and wages rising and some households feeling more secure."
"New Data Show Obama Net Positive For Job Creation Since He Took Office" reports ThinkProgress:  "According to new revisions released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy created 386,000 more jobs between March 2011 and March 2012 than shown by previous estimates. As economist Justin Wolfers noted, this means that President Obama is now net positive for job creation over his term in office, even taking into account the massive losses in January 2009 ... Obama’s net private sector job creation total is now 868,000. Government jobs, meanwhile, shrank by an additional 67,000."
Obama not doing a good job of redistributing the wealth. Bloomberg:  "...since Obama took office in January 2009, wealthy Americans have continued to pull away from the rest of society. In the aftermath of the recession, income inequality in the U.S. reached a new high in 2011 ... The campaign duel over the fairness of the American system obscures the broad popular support for redistribution, which was built into the U.S. tax and entitlement system over several decades. In surveys, the public rejects explicit calls to share or redistribute wealth even while supporting policies that do so, including raising taxes on the wealthy or maintaining programs such as Social Security."
Greece forges austerity agreement as protest continue. NYT:  "The government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras must now present the proposed actions — $15 billion in cuts to pensions, salaries and state spending, and at least $2.6 billion in new taxes — for further discussion with the foreign lenders, who have demanded them in return for releasing the next portion of aid ... The government did not release specifics of the agreement, though it is said to call for a rise in the retirement age to 67 from 65."
Spain proposes deep spending cuts. Reuters:  "Spain announced a crisis budget for 2013 based mostly on spending cuts on Thursday in what many see as an effort to pre-empt the likely conditions of an international bailout ... Beset by anti-austerity protests and threats of secession by the wealthy northwestern region of Catalonia, Rajoy is resisting market and diplomatic pressure to apply for a rescue, partly out of concern for national sovereignty but also because European Union paymaster Germany insists Spain doesn't need help ... Newspaper pictures of Rajoy enjoying a cigar on Sixth Avenue in New York on Wednesday while protesters gathered in Madrid fuelled criticism of his detached attitude toward Spain's mounting problems."