• With: Steve Moore, James Freeman, Dan Henninger, Kim Strassel, Collin Levy, Jason Riley, Whit Ayres

    This is a rush transcript from "Journal Editorial Report," November 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    PAUL GIGOT, HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," the presidential campaign against back on track in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Headed into the final days, we'll look at the final arguments.

    And there are 33 seats up for grabs in the Senate, but the balance of power there could hinge on a few key races. We'll tell you which ones to watch.

    Plus, a look at some other measures on ballot in states across the country, and what they could mean for taxpayers, school kids and organized labor.

    Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

    The presidential campaign kicked back into high gear late this week in the wake of Hurricane Sandy with both President Obama and Mitt Romney making their final pitches to swing state voters.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman --

    (LAUGHTER)

    -- to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly, the very same policies we've been cleaning up after for the past four years.

    MITT ROMNEY, R-FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Attacking me does not create an agenda for him.

    (SHOUTING)

    ROMNEY: And his campaign and his address is all about attacking. We actually have a plan to get this economy going.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    GIGOT: And joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan Henninger; Political Diary editor, Jason Riley; assistant editorial page editor, James Freeman; and Washington columnist, Kim Strassel.

    So, Dan, any evidence that Hurricane Sandy is going to affect this race?

    DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST, DEPUTY EDITOR: I think, yes. I think it might, in the sense that -- I think one of the big elements in the race is the level of enthusiasm on both sides. My strong sense, Paul, is that there is an enthusiasm deficit on the Democratic side.

    GIGOT: Right. All the polls show that.

    HENNINGER: All the polls show that. And I think it's a going to be a determining factor. Now, New Jersey, New Jersey, Maryland, it isn't going to decide whether -- Obama will win those states. His popular vote may be down though. I think the hurricane is going to suppress Obama's popularity vote.

    GIGOT: So dampen the intensity for Obama?

    (CROSSTALK)

    JASON RILEY, POLITICAL DIARY EDITOR: I spoke to a Democratic pollster this week, someone not working for the Obama campaign, and he agreed with Dan's sentiment that turnout was an issue for Democrats. Enthusiasm is down. But he also says that he thinks this allowed Obama -- even though he missed some days on the campaign trail, this allowed him to get out there and show some leadership, show some bipartisanship, thanks to the New Jersey Governor, Republican Chris Christie, be being at his side for a couple of days.

    GIGOT: I want to ask you, a New Jersey resident --

    JAMES FREEMAN, ASSISTANT EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR: Yes.

    GIGOT: -- and generally a fan of Governor Chris Christie, what do you make of this embrace of the governor with the president?

    FREEMAN: Well, our colleague, Peggy Noonan, says you want to keep your friends close, but your president closer.

    (LAUGHTER)

    I think certainly, Mr. Christy is dealing with an emergency and trying to get help as soon as possible. There is a sense that these kinds of situations will make people turn and embrace big government. But you're already seeing a lot of flaws in the federal response. FEMA not getting a lot of these generators that they promised online quickly. So, I don't see any kind of a national move toward bigger government as a result.

    GIGOT: Kim, the other big story this week is that the Romney campaign has been expanding the field, the electoral field, moving into Pennsylvania with a very big ad buy, much bigger than the Obama campaign, and even talking a little how the fact that Minnesota could be into play. And the president was in Wisconsin, and is going to close to campaign in Iowa, places where he should -- you think he would have locked up. Do you take this expansion of the field seriously?

    KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: Yes, and I think that this is part of the momentum argument for Romney. Now, you've had the Obama campaign desperately trying to tamp that down, saying it's not true, it's not real. The reality is what you've seen since the Denver debate is Mitt Romney pulling ahead in a lot of places. Now, that momentum has slowed down a little bit in some of these very hard-fought swing states, like Ohio and Virginia, where the president is now throwing a lot of resources. But that's the story, is that has continued in other areas, like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin. And the fact that you are going to have both Romney and Ryan on separate occasions in Pennsylvania this weekend suggests that they take this seriously. You don't go to a state and two days before an election unless you think there's potential.

    GIGOT: Let's take a President Obama ad attacking Mitt Romney in Ohio.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    AD ANNOUNCER: It's said that character is what we do when we think no one is looking.

    ROMNEY: They believe that they are victims.

    AD ANNOUNCER: Mitt Romney thought no one was looking when he attacked

    47 percent of Americans, his company shipped jobs overseas, his plan cuts millionaires taxes, but raises yours. He'll voucherize Medicare and make catastrophic cuts to education. So remember what Romney said and what his plan would do.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    GIGOT: Taking our name in vein again there on that ad.

    (LAUGHTER)