POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/26

Which States Will Gain Power After Census?

“For most of the past decade, the allure of space, affordable housing and economic opportunity — not to mention warmer weather — has brought people to the West and South, often at the expense of their northern and midwestern counterparts,” CBS News reports.

“The next round of redistricting following the census will re-allocate congressional districts and electoral votes among the states. Once again the South and West will gain some political clout while some districts in the north will vanish, taking influence along with them. If geography is indeed destiny, then America’s future will be increasingly determined by the Sun Belt.”

The big winners: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Arizona.

They Scorn Socialism but Want Government to Create Jobs

A new Bloomberg Poll finds that more than 90% of Tea Party backers say the United States “is verging more toward socialism than capitalism, the federal government is trying to control too many aspects of private life and more decisions should be made at the state level.”

At the same time, 70% of those who sympathize with the Tea Party “want a federal government that fosters job creation.”

Said pollster Ann Selzer: “The ideas that find nearly universal agreement among Tea Party supporters are rather vague. You would think any idea that involves more government action would be anathema, and that is just not the case.”

The Vanishing President?

Smart Politics chronicles President Obama’s declining public appearances, illustrated recently by his failure to deliver any remarks before or after his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his barring of journalists from the signing of his executive order on abortion this week.

The analysis finds that of the more than 600 appearances in which Obama has delivered verbal remarks since Inauguration Day, Obama’s appearances have dropped 30 percent from 2009 to 2010, from an average of 1.53 per day to 1.08 per day.

This translates to a decrease from approximately 45 verbal statements per month in 2009 to just 32 per month in 2010.

Moore Will Seek Her Husband’s Seat

Stephene Moore (D) will run to succeed her husband, retiring Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS), Kansas City Star reports.

CQ Politics notes Moore’s decision makes her a heavy favorite to win the Aug. 3 primary, though Republicans are targeting the politically competitive district in and around Kansas City.

Showdown in Searchlight

Up to 10,000 Tea Party activists will gather in Searchlight, Nevada this weekend– the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) — to protest what some in the movement see “as simple irresponsible spending and others as out-and-out socialism,” the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

Sarah Palin is the featured attraction and her keynote speech guarantees national media coverage.

“For the scrum of 12 Republicans vying for the chance to take on Reid in November, the opportunity to share the stage with tea party favorite Palin is key. None have extremely strong name recognition and polls show conservative voters are still unsettled with little more than two months left in the race.”

McCain and Palin Together Again

Sarah Palin will be in Arizona today to campaign for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in his Republican U.S. Senate primary race against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R), theArizona Republic reports.

“The political reunion is the first meeting for McCain and Palin since their 2008 presidential campaign. It figures to bring the national spotlight back to McCain in a way few endorsements can. It’s also expected to help solidify McCain’s conservative credentials.”

The Wall Street Journal notes that bringing in Palin “is a slightly awkward move by the McCain camp. Since the presidential campaign ended, McCain aides have aired a lot of criticisms of the former running mate, and in Going Rogue, Ms. Palin called the McCain campaign disorganized and slow to focus on the economy.”

Sex Tape Survives Courthouse Blaze

A sex tape allegedly showing former Sen. John Edwards survived a fire that torched a North Carolina courthouse yesterday, CNN reports.

Obama Gets Small Health Care Bounce

The latest DailyKos/Research 2000 weekly tracking poll shows President Obama receiving a slight bounce in his favorability rating — up five points — since signing a health care reform bill earlier this week.

For comparison, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is up three points while House Minority Leader John Boehner is down five points. Congressional Democrats are up three points while Congressional Republicans are down seven points.

Paterson Play Key Role in Abuse Case

How involved was New York Gov. David Paterson (D) in trying to prevent a woman from pressing abuse charges against a confidant?

The New York Times reports Paterson “personally helped draft a statement last month that he hoped would be endorsed by a woman involved in a domestic dispute with one of his top aides.”

Quinn Settles on Running Mate

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) “made an about-face on his choice for a running mate and plans to unveil Sheila Simon, the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, as his preferred candidate for lieutenant governor,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

Scott Lee Cohen (D) originally won the Democratic party’s nomination for lieutenant governor but his candidacy imploded following troubling revelations about his personal life and he dropped out.

Frum Says Donors Forced Him Out

David Frum told Mike Allen last night that “he believes his axing from his $100,000-a-year ‘resident scholar’ gig at the conservative American Enterprise Institute was related to donor pressure following his viral blog post arguing Republicans had suffered a devastating, generational ‘Waterloo’ in their loss to President Obama on health reform.”

Said Frum: “There’s a lot about the story I don’t really understand. But the core of the story is the kind of economic pressure that intellectual conservatives are under… the elite isn’t leading anymore. It’s trapped. Partly because of the desperate economic situation in the country, what were once the leading institutions of conservatism are constrained.”

GOP Senator Says Republicans Made Mistake

According to Politico, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) conceded that the Republican party had made a “major strategic error” by refusing to back bipartisan negotiations before a financial services reform bill passed out of committee.

He also suggested that Democrats “are right to think they have the political advantage on the issue.”

Bennett Could Be in Trouble

Sen. Bob Bennett’s (R-UT) re-election bid “could be in serious trouble, based on reports of widespread opposition to the incumbent at Tuesday’s Republican caucuses,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“Over the next six weeks, Bennett and his challengers will fan out to solidify support from the newly elected crop of 3,500 delegates. Bennett would need to get support from 60 percent of the field to avoid a June primary and more than 40 percent to avoid being bounced at convention.”

The New York Times notes Bennett’s own polling shows him in third place, trailing “Anybody-but-Bennett and Undecided.”

A More Powerful Sebelius

With the signing of the new health care reform law, Politico notes that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “became vastly more powerful, with huge responsibility — and leeway — as the bill’s massive changes are implemented.”

Said Sebelius: “I’m now going to be working 24/7 to try and make sure that the promise of this historic legislation is really delivered a step at a time and in a very confident way.”

Obama Tied with Unnamed Challenger

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll indicates that if the 2012 presidential election were held today, President Obama would receive the support of 47% of registered voters while an equal amount would back an unnamed Republican challenger.

Said pollster Keating Holland: “That may sound like a bad position to start from, but note that Bill Clinton was down 15 points to an unnamed Republican in March of 1994, and wound up winning the election two years later.”

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