Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:21 pm
By Dante Chinni
Credit Alan Diaz / AP
Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.
President Barack Obama has pulled ahead of Governor Romney in another battleground state - Virginia. That's according to recent polls. This past week, we drove west from Washington, D.C. to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to talk to voters about the presidential election. On the way, we stopped at an apple barn to see some of the other choices Virginians face.
Both presidential campaigns are focusing on just a few swing states, and the relatively few remaining undecided voters. One of those states is Virginia, where a key swing constituency is military veterans.
Troops and veterans have long been considered a natural part of the Republican base. But President Obama is pushing hard for the veterans' vote to help him in a state he captured in 2008.
Plans that would allow John Hinckley to leave a mental institution and go live with his mother are on hold. His doctors say the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is well enough to deserve more freedom.
But a key part of the treatment plan is now up in the air.
Therapists in Virginia, near the home of John Hinckley's elderly mother, say they want to withdraw from a plan to treat him several days a week.
Hinckley's longtime defense lawyers say they want to quit too, because they're not getting paid any more.