Ari Shapiro

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Governor Romney went straight to Nevada this morning and is now in Henderson for a campaign event. NPR's Ari Shapiro is there and joins us now. Hi there, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

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For all the attention paid to women in this race, there's another gender gap — with white men.

The Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigned in northeastern Florida on Friday, where thousands of men had descended on Daytona Beach for the annual motorcycle festival Biketoberfest.

A bunch of them were at Willie's Tropical Tattoo smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and listening to music.

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The Republican ticket met up in Lancaster, Ohio today. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan took the stage together as the sun set over the historic downtown. NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us from there now. And, Ari, what was the mood as Romney and Ryan took the stage together tonight?

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This week in Iowa, the Des Moines Register asked Mitt Romney about abortion. Romney replied: There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda.

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One week ago today, Mitt Romney walked into the first presidential debate as a candidate on the ropes. Now he appears to be in his strongest position yet.

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Let's follow up now on a story that prompted some debate among our listeners when it first aired. Here's NPR's Ari Shapiro, who stumbled upon this postscript.

During the Republican National Convention last month, I traveled with Mitt Romney's campaign from Tampa, Fla., to the American Legion conference in Indianapolis.

Romney delivered a speech about foreign affairs and national security. Among the thousands of attendees from around the country, I interviewed one woman from Virginia whose quote sparked a conversation among NPR's audience and staff.

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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And I'm David Greene. Renee Montagne is talking with voters in Colorado this morning for our series First and Main.

Second of a two-part series

The presidential race is a national contest in name only. In reality, it's being fought in eight or nine swing states around the country.

Campaigns and outside groups have already poured $400 million into TV ads in hopes of winning over the few remaining undecided voters. With six weeks to go, some swing states have already seen twice as much ad spending as in the entire 2008 cycle.

First of a two-part series

President Obama kicked off the week in the battleground state of Ohio, where he spent much of the time Monday talking about China.

His administration filed a new trade complaint against China with the World Trade Organization on Monday. The White House is challenging Chinese subsidies for auto parts.

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And the attacks in Libya and elsewhere in the Arab world come in the midst of a presidential campaign. It became, in effect, a test of leadership for both the president and his Republican challenger. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

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Mitt Romney's rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country's national anthem."

This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling:

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