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Polls show a nation almost evenly divided between the Red and the Blue, and the next President is likely to be chosen by a narrow majority.  The success or failure of an Obama or Romney presidency could hinge on which party wins control of the Senate.  We look at the prospects for Democrats and Republicans in close races—and the variety of factors that could make a difference. Also, a lukewarm jobs report in the campaign's final days. On Reporter's Notebook, instead of climate change, the President and his challenger are talking "energy independence." What does that mean in a global economy, and what are the consequences for global warming?

Banner image: scecon/flickr

Making News Lukewarm Jobs Report in the Campaign's Final Days 7 MIN, 23 SEC

The last report before the Presidential election shows more new jobs than had been expected in October, but an increase in unemployment. Mitt Romney made the most of that in a speech in Wisconsin, saying that the President's promise of lowering unemployment had fallen short by 9 million jobs. Today, President Obama responded during a speech in Ohio, saying that Romney ads about auto manufacturing jobs being shipped to China were untrue. Jim Tankersley is economics correspondent for the National Journal.

Jim Tankersley, New York Times (@jimtankersley)

Main Topic Which Party Will Control the Senate? 33 MIN, 53 SEC

There's no doubt the Republicans will still run the House after next week's election, but control of the Senate has both parties biting their nails. With Mitt Romney in the White House, his party would run two branches of government, bolstered by a sympathetic Supreme Court. If Barack Obama is re-elected, a Democratic Senate might be a buffer against the Congress, with a chance of making the Court less conservative. Razor-thin, increasingly nasty campaigns are being fought out over abortion, the role of government, party loyalty and bipartisanship. We hear about crucial races still too close to call.

Reid Wilson, The Hill (@PoliticsReid)
Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times (@Noahbierman)
Carrie Ritchie, Indianapolis Star (@CarrieRitchie)
George Connor, Missouri State University
Paul Landow, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Reporter's Notebook Energy and the Election 9 MIN, 22 SEC

The Power of One Election and America's Energy FutureNew technology for developing fossil fuels has led both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to claim that the US could be "energy independent." What would that mean in a global economy? What about climate change? Veteran public radio host and journalist Alex Chadwick is host of BURN: An Energy Journal, for the Public Radio Energy Project.  His latest special on energy and the election is available at BurnAnEnergyJournal.com.

Alex Chadwick, Independent Producer (@alexinterviews)

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