Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.
The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The big headline out of the U.N. general assembly has been about the speech by the Israeli prime minister who warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. Other speakers didn't get nearly as much attention.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The assembly will hear an address by his Excellency Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
MARTIN: Hamid Karzai's address made little news, despite highlighting efforts to bring the Taliban back into mainstream Afghan society.
President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both barnstormed Ohio this week, holding rallies just miles apart in the state's northwest. Obama's event was smack in the middle of Wood County, with Romney's just north.
The county may have a population of only 125,000, but it has an outsized importance in presidential elections.
"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."
Lorie Miller bends over her grandparents' grave in north Philadelphia. She holds a two-inch brass square she's going to attach next to the headstone's names and dates.
Printed onto that square is a QR code — that square digital bar code you can scan with a smartphone. Miller peels off the back of her square to expose the adhesive and pushes it into place. The headstone, which otherwise looks the same as many others around it, has just jumped into the modern age.
Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote isbecomes tricky.