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Obama agenda: First since Ike to win 51% back to back

“Barack Obama is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the national popular vote twice, according to a revised vote count in New York eight weeks after the Nov. 6 election,” Bloomberg writes, adding, “The president nationally won 65.9 million votes -- or 51.1 percent -- against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who took 60.9 million votes and 47.2 percent of the total cast, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Obama is the first president to achieve the 51 percent mark in two elections since Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, who did it in 1952 and 1956, and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four consecutive White House races. Roosevelt received 53.4 percent of the vote -- his lowest -- in his last race in 1944.”

Bloomberg: “Fresh from a budget fight so raw that the Republican speaker of the U.S. House cursed the Democratic leader of the Senate outside the Oval Office, President Barack Obama and Congress are heading for an even bigger confrontation over raising the nation’s debt limit. U.S. Treasury bond investors -- who most directly bear the risk of a government default -- aren’t alarmed. In a sign of the disconnect between Washington and Wall Street, investors remain confident the two sides will compromise rather than inflict what Obama called ‘catastrophic’ consequences. Yields on long-term U.S. debt are near record lows.”

“The federal government conditionally approved eight additional states to run health exchanges Thursday, bringing the total to 20 states that will have the programs that were authorized by the 2010 federal health care law,” USA Today writes, adding, “Although states with Republican governors have fought the law, such as Texas, four of them -- Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah -- have created the exchanges.”

More: “To show their disapproval of the health care law, the majority of Republican-run states have not created exchanges. Some conservative groups, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, say the exchanges forces the states to give up insurance regulation and advise states to rebel against the law by refusing to take federal money to create the exchanges. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said residents of all 50 states would have access to a new marketplace in 10 months. Those who live in areas without a state-run exchange will be able to use the federal exchange.”