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Inside Politics: Obama to downsize election-night venue

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Win or lose, President Obama will spend election night in his hometown of Chicago and will speak at a smaller venue than the large park where he held his victory speech four years ago, a source told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.

Mr. Obama will deliver his remarks at McCormick Place, Chicago’s convention center, according to the source with knowledge of the matter.

Situated on Lake Michigan, McCormick Place was the venue for May’s NATO summit and is located some two miles from the city’s Grant Park, where Mr. Obama addressed a crowd of 240,000 on Nov. 4, 2008. The choice seems to suggest that the Obama campaign does not expect as large a turnout this time around.

OHIO

Ryan: Obama lacked solutions during debate

BEREA — Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan says President Obama didn't offer any new ideas to turn around the economy during Tuesday night's debate.

Mr. Ryan campaigned in swing state Ohio on Wednesday, where he told supporters in the Cleveland area that Mitt Romney followed up a strong first debate with another winning performance.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined up with Mr. Ryan on the campaign trail, telling voters that the past four years have been tough on working people.

ELECTIONS

Many strict voter-ID laws blocked or delayed this year

MIAMI — Tough new election laws aimed at forcing voters in many states to show photo identification at polling places have been either blocked or delayed.

And that's delighting opponents who claim the laws were among a variety of partisan attempts to keep minorities from voting.

Nevertheless, supporters of the measures predict they will prevail in the long run. And court battles are continuing in some states even as the Nov. 6 election date draws near.

INTERNET

Tuesday debate a hit on Twitter, Facebook

NEW YORK — Tuesday's presidential debate was a big hit on social media.

The 90-minute nationally televised exchange between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney generated 12.24 million comments on Twitter and Facebook, according to Bluefin Labs, an analytics firm.

The debate was the top political event of all time in social media and placed third among the top social-media events of any kind, bested only by this year's Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. The first presidential debate, on Oct. 3, placed fifth.

MEDIA

Talk-show host King to host 3rd-party debate

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Larry King, the celebrated talk show host accustomed to A-list interview guests, has agreed to moderate a debate featuring a squad of minor-party presidential candidates.

The former CNN giant will guide next Tuesday's debate in Chicago, which will be broadcast on the Internet. The candidates taking part are the Libertarian Party's Gary E. Johnson, the Green Party's Jill Stein, the Constitution Party's Virgil H. Goode Jr. and the Justice Party's Rocky Anderson.

CONNECTICUT

Murphy narrowly leads McMahon in Senate poll

Democratic Rep. Christopher S. Murphy is ahead in the Connecticut Senate race — but only by a hair, and well within the margin of error of a new poll released Wednesday.

He led his Republican opponent, Linda McMahon, by 46 percent to 44 percent in a Siena College survey, which has a 4.2 percent margin of error. That's a smaller lead than most other polls have given the Democratic congressman, indicating Mrs. McMahon may be narrowing the gap in the final weeks before Election Day.

WISCONSIN

Poll has Thomson, Baldwin deadlocked in Senate race

The U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin has tightened to a virtual tie with less than three weeks left before Election Day, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Marquette University Law School poll found that Republican candidate, former Gov. Tommy G. Thompson, now leads Democratic opponent Rep. Tammy Baldwin, 46 percent to 45 percent.

The result is much closer than those in polls since early September, which have consistently shown Ms. Baldwin as the favorite to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl. A Marquette poll from late September had her with a 4-percentage-point lead.

NEBRASKA

Senate rivals roll out big-gun endorsements

Both candidates for the Senate seat from Nebraska on Wednesday got a boost from Washington heavyweights.

Republican state Sen. Deb Fischer, who remains ahead in the polls, was endorsed by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the party's presidential candidate in 2008. Thirty minutes later, Democrat Bob Kerrey, the state's former governor and two-term senator, rolled out a high-profile endorsement of his own from Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Mr. McCain touted Mrs. Fischer's commitment to trim the federal budget as one of the prime reasons he's backing her in the hotly contested race.

The Nebraska contest is a key component of Republican hopes to recapture control of the Senate. Moderate Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson is retiring at the end of this term, and Republicans see the conservative state as a golden opportunity to pick up a Senate seat.

NEVADA

Las Vegas ranked No. 1 in nation for political ads

Sick to death of political ads on TV? Here's hoping you don't live in Las Vegas, where more such spots have hit the airwaves than any other city in the country, according to a government watchdog.

More than 2,300 political advertisements have been filed to run in Las Vegas since August — far outpacing Norfolk, Va., and Orlando, Fla., the No. 2 and 3 ranked markets, according to a Sunlight Foundation analysis of Federal Election Commission records.

Sin City tops the list of all types of ads filed with the exception of Senate races. That No. 1 spot goes to Pennsylvania, where Democratic Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. is locked in a re-election challenge from Republican Tom Smith.

IMMIGRATION

Legal travel from Cuba: Easier, still complicated

Cuba's surprise decision to make it easier for citizens to leave the country doesn't mean Cubans can book tickets on commercial planes and head for Miami.

Would-be immigrants and tourists still need permission from the U.S. government to enter America legally. With a multiyear wait for a visa, the average Cuban may not be leaving home any time soon.

"This may end up being ado about nothing," said a Cuban-immigration expert, Jose Azel of the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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