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- (Mitt Romney, in a speech to 4,000 Iowa voters in Des Moines on Sunday.)

PAPER TIGER

Thirty major newspapers that once endorsed then-candidate Barack Obama have switched to Mitt Romney — including the New York Daily News, The Tennessean, The Des Moines Register, the Orlando Sentinel, the Albuquerque Journal and the Wisconsin State Journal. Does it really matter? Well, uh, yes.

“Newspaper endorsements don’t mean as much as they used to, but they are still coveted and can influence older voters and independents,” points out National Review contributor John Fund. “The fact that so many have decided the incumbent president needs to be fired is yet another example of elite liberal disillusionment with the past four years.”

BIBLICAL EPIC

Roiling drama continues over early voting in the Lone Star State, leading to strong legal posturing and much discussion. Kay Hill, a Texas grandmother who lives in Williamson County, was told by local poll walkers last week that her “Vote the Bible” T-shirt could be “offensive” to other voters and advised she could not cast her ballot until she retired to the ladies restroom and turned her shirt inside out, thus covered up the words.

Election official have refused to back down or apologize to Ms. Hill, advising her that her shirt was considered “electioneering” within 100 feet of a polling place. Her case has been taken up by Texas Values, and Austin-based Christian interest group. “The county had an opportunity to do the right thing and apologize, but now Ms. Hill is left with no choice but to file her complaint with the secretary of state’s office,” says Jonathan Saenz, president of the organization.

“It’s politically naive to say ‘vote the Bible’ doesn’t mean to vote Republican,” Williamson County Elections Supervisor Rick Barron told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

“Electioneering only prohibits supporting or opposing a candidate, measure or political party. The Bible is not candidate or a ballot measure,” counters Mr. Saenz.

POLL DU JOUR

• 95 percent of likely voters for President Obama are enthusiastic about their choice; 94 percent of Mitt Romney supporters feel that way about him.

• 62 percent of likely voters say Mr. Romney’s performance in the debates will affect their vote Tuesday; 37 percent say it is not a factor.

• 49 percent say Mr. Obama’s handling of the Superstorm Sandy response will affect their vote; 49 percent say it is not a factor

• 50 percent say Mr. Obama best understands the economic problems Americans face; 44 percent cite Mr. Romney.

• 49 percent trust Mr. Romney the most to handle the economy; 46 percent trust Mr. Obama the most.

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