For our weekend political readers:

RACE MATTERS
That’s according to the New York Times’ Nate Silver with fivethirtyeight, especially for the Republican party.

One recurring theme in the states we have profiled so far has been the exodus of Southern whites from the Democratic Party, yielding a striking transformation. The Solid South β€” so named for the regional hegemony of Democrats β€” has been reversed, and states that were once Democratic from top to bottom are becoming (or already are) equally Republican.

Arkansas is part of the transformation along with other southeastern and Delta states.

Go to this link for full analysis details and some interesting statistical number-crunching.

OH, OHIO
It’s important. It’s so important that the delegate count for Ohio could swing the presidential race and change the course of history.

It’s important to remember a very simple electoral fact: Ohio matters more than the other swing states.

That’s according the Washington Post, which says it’s a “must have” for Romney.

With Ohio in the fold, President Obama is within 15 electoral votes of the 270 he needs for victory while Romney is 64 electoral votes away β€” even if you give him the swing(ish) state of North Carolina, which we currently rate as leaning toward him.

For the full analysis, plus graphs and charts of the latest electoral projections, go to this link.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
With this past week’s vice presidential candidate debate complete, there are two more presidential debates scheduled, with the next on October 16 centering on foreign and domestic policy.

Marketplace dives in to how a “town hall” audience of undecided voters is selected. In short, Gallup pollsters are in charge of the recruiting, which is a fascinating process.

Click here for a preview of the next clash between the candidates at a very different “town hall” type setting at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

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