POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/17
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Florida shows Mit Romney with a big 15 point lead in the GOP presidential race.
Romney has 41%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 26%, Rick Santorum at 11%, Ron Paul at 10%, Rick Perry at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 1% rounding out the field.
Key findings: “It’s not just a splintered conservative vote that has him ahead in Florida. And even if most of his opponents were to drop out before the primary, Romney would still be in good shape. In hypothetical head to head match ups he leads Gingrich 50-38, Santorum 59-29, Perry 69-21, and Paul 76-17.”
Rick Santorum and his wife Karen both oppose birth control as well as abortion, even in cases of rape. But Newsweek reports Mrs. Santorum wasn’t always as committed to the anti-abortion cause.
“In fact, her live-in partner through most of her 20s was Tom Allen, a Pittsburgh obstetrician and abortion provider 40 years older than she, who remains an outspoken crusader for reproductive rights and liberal ideals. Dr. Allen has known Mrs. Santorum, born Karen Garver, her entire life: he delivered her in 1960.”
Rick Santorum rips Mitt Romney in a brutal new ad running in South Carolina.
Mark Halperin: “Amazing to think about what would have happened if this ad had been run in Iowa for all of December with real money behind it. Boston will surely note that Santorum is launching this spot the very day he spent the morning going after Romney and his Super PAC for their campaign efforts. There are more hot-button issues packed in here than there are Romney sons. The unflattering photographs of Obama and Romney are classics of the genre. And, with the exception of the Kennedy line, the claims are rock-solid factual. Will we see some of these same lines in robo-calls, emails and radio spots? As Sarah Palin, who would share some of the ad’s sentiments, would say, you betcha.”
The U.S. Congress reconvenes Tuesday with its lowest approval rating on record in polls dating back nearly 40 years: a new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds just 13% of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job, while 84% disapprove.
“Why would you want to nominate the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama?”
— Newt Gingrich, quoted by Politico, making the case against Mitt Romney by comparing him to Sen. John McCain.
Though Mitt Romney has only officially won a handful of delegates, Nate Silver says history suggests he’s got the Republican presidential nomination locked up.
“On average, Mr. Romney has 35 percent of the vote in an average of four national polls completed since New Hampshire, giving him a 19-point lead over Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Just how safe is a 19-point lead at this point in the campaign? Based on historical precedent, it is enough to all but assure that Mr. Romney will be the Republican nominee.”
John Heilemann: “If Huntsman does plan to make a future White House bid, however, there are lessons aplenty to be learned from his failed effort this time around. The problems with his campaign have been amply and ably documented over the past months: the dearth of money, the lack of rationale, the strange and self-defeating refusal during his announcement tour to identify himself as a conservative…”
“Yet beyond all that, there was a more basic problem: a candidate who seemed to think of himself as superior to the process, love it or hate it, by which we select presidential nominees and elect presidents. As I wrote in a cover story on him and Romney six months ago, Huntsman entered the race sounding more like a diplomat than a politician and acting as if presenting a glittering résumé were enough to claim the big prize. But it isn’t. Hopefully Huntsman understands that now — for it would be a shame for such a smart man to stroll out of the room no wiser than when he ambled into it.”
Meanwhile, Gawker takes a “dreary look back” at Huntsman’s campaign.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign “has been notably slow to promote Jon Huntsman’s endorsement, a sign they don’t see it as much of an asset in a Republican primary,” The Hill reports.
“Romney did not join Huntsman to receive his endorsement this morning, and his campaign took hours to mention Huntsman at all on Monday, first promoting an endorsement from Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) and sending out an alert about a South Carolina campaign stop. Romney’s eventual email on Huntsman was a terse email and tweet that barely mentioned the endorsement.”
A new American Research Group poll in Florida shows Mitt Romney has jumped into a wide lead in the state’s Republican presidential primary.
Romney leads with 42%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 25%, Rick Santorum at 9%, and Ron Paul at 8%.
A new Fox News poll shows 29% of Republican voters think Newt Gingrich has run the most negative campaign, leading his rivals.
In contrast, 27% say Mitt Romney has waged the most positive campaign among the GOP candidates.
A new Fox News poll shows Mitt Romney moving out to a large national lead over his Republican presidential rivals.
Romney now leads with 40%, followed by Rick Santorum at 15%, Newt Gingrich at 14%, Ron Paul at 13%, Rick Perry at 6% and Jon Huntsman at 5%.
The results are similar to the Gallup daily tracking poll which shows Romney at 37%, Santorum at 14%, Gingrich at 13%, Paul at 12%, Perry at 5% and Hunstman at 3%.
A new Magellan Strategies (R) poll looks at the strength of former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE), who is mulling a U.S. Senate run.
Kerrey’s high water mark of support is 40% and he trails both Jon Bruning (R) and Don Stenberg (R).
Key finding: 43% of Nebraskan voters have a favorable opinion of Kerrey, while 43% have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 11% have no opinion.
First Read: “Despite the attention his candidacy received from the Chattering Class and despite the help from a Super PAC financed in part by his wealthy father, Huntsman never took off. A big reason was tone. He was the only GOP presidential candidate who never adopted the Tea Party’s rhetoric. Besides Ron Paul, he was the only one calling for the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan. And he was the only one calling for civility in politics.”
Ben Smith: “The party Huntsman imagined — modernizing, reforming, and youthful — could still be born. That might be the reaction to a second smashing defeat at Obama’s hands, or that might be where President Romney takes his re-election campaign. But it’s now hard to see Huntsman leading that change. He bet, too early, on a fantasy, and ran for the nomination of a party that doesn’t exist, at least not yet.”
“He was simply unwillingly to make the Faustian bargains with the Right that Romney has so willingly made.”
— David Axelrod, quoted by BuzzFeed, offering Democratic spin on why Jon Huntsman’s Republican campaign never caught fire.
A new InsiderAdvantage poll in South Carolina shows Mitt Romney with a double digit lead over his GOP rivals.
Romney leads with 32%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 21%, Ron Paul at 14%, Rick Santorum at 13%, Jon Huntsman at 6% and Rick Perry at 5%.
A new We Ask America poll shows Romney at 31%, Gingrich at 18%, Paul at 12%, Santorum at 9%, Paul at 8%, Perry at 6% and Huntsman at 5%.
The Hotline: “What happens when you take party politics out of redistricting? Total chaos, apparently. Six members of California’s House delegation have now retired, blunting the state’s influence in Congress. (California’s delegation has the sixth-highest average seniority of any state’s in the House this year. Needless to say, it’ll be lower in 2013.) Plus, we’ve still got two more member-versus-member primaries and veteran GOP Rep. David Dreier without a home – and that’s just in Southern California. Both parties opposed the proposition empowering a citizen redistricting commission in 2010. After watching this cycle in California, you can bet that the next time a proposal like this comes up in another state, the parties (and the congressional delegation) will fight it even harder.”Candidates, National, Politics