POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/31
A new Pew Research poll finds Republicans remain unimpressed with their party’s presidential field. In fact, more Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the GOP field is only fair or poor (52%) than did so in early January (44%).
By comparison, just 46% of Republican voters have positive opinions of the GOP field. At about this point four years ago, 68% of Republican and GOP-leaning voters rated the field as excellent or good.
For the first time in about two-and-a-half years, a national Rasmussen survey finds Democrats leading Republicans in the generic congressional ballot, 41% to 40%.
The Obama campaign is providing headquarters staff, field organizers and volunteers the ability to take campaign donations with their mobile phones using the Square mobile credit card reader, according to Politico.
Rick Klein predicts that the bad blood between Gingrich and Romney could have long-term consequences for the Republican party.
“Gingrich is accusing Romney not just of liberal and moderate viewpoints, but of a craven dishonesty in his attacks — the kind of dishonesty that will make it seem strained at best when and if Gingrich throws his support behind Romney for the general election. He’s using the attacks to fuel an argument that Romney simply can’t beat President Obama in November. Sarah Palin, speaking to the tea party activists and other base conservatives, is emerging as Gingrich’s chief ally in arguing for the campaign to continue. Her voice was reinforced by that of former candidate Herman Cain, whose endorsement of Gingrich Saturday puts an exclamation point on the split between the party’s establishment and anti-establishment wings.”
Walter Shapiro says Newt Gingrich may indeed be the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But it is not Reagan the governor nor Reagan the transformative president. Rather its the stubborn Reagan who bedeviled Jerry Ford all the way to the 1976 Kansas City Convention.
“None of this guarantees that political history will repeat itself as either tragedy or farce. But again and again, the largely youthful campaign press corps has sold Gingrich short. Maybe Florida is indeed the end of the line for Gingrich’s frail hopes to be the GOP nominee. But all it takes for Gingrich to prove that he is not yesterday’s man is a GOP primary electorate that remembers yesterday — and the day before.”
Newt Gingrich’s campaign has launched TalesofMitt.com, full of recent flip-flops by the Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney.
It is certain that Democratic political operatives have already been documenting many of these moments, but they have to be happy to have Republicans lay the groundwork and soften the target with slick ads using the material.
“As far as we can tell, Romney has not accurately recited the aphorism a single time during this entire campaign. Nitpicking? Sure. Romney is usually only off by one letter. Still, ‘politics ain’t bean bag’ has been repeated for over 115 years now. It’s four words long. It shouldn’t be too difficult to master.”
As Super PACs raise larger and larger sums of money to put towards operations supporting specific candidates, Politico reports that these organizations are evolving to become more like shadow campaigns, “including phone banking, field organizing, direct mail, polling, state-of-the-race memos and even surrogate operations.”
“The ambitious expansion is another example of a shift in political power away from the major parties and their candidates to deep-pocketed outsiders. But it’s left campaign operatives and even candidates grumbling about whether the super PACs are actually helping their favored candidates… With advertising, campaigns and outside groups can figure out what one another are doing by consulting spending reports with details of buys that each is required to disclose in close to real time. With on-the-ground organizing, it’s tougher to determine quickly who’s doing what, while staying within the bounds of the rules.”
Josh Putnam looks at the filing deadlines and notes that after Tuesday it will be mathematically too late for someone to enter the Republican presidential race and still be able to win the 1144 delegates needed for the nomination.
Of course, it’s still possible someone could run to deny one of the existing candidates the magic number.
A USA Today/Gallup poll in the dozen most competitive states finds President Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied while Newt Gingrich trails the president by a whopping 14 points.
The survey focuses on the nation’s most competitive battlegrounds: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The 2005 Chrysler that Barack Obama leased from 2005 to 2007 is for sale on eBay for $1 million.
First Read: “Perhaps the most important number in the NBC-Marist poll was what happens when Santorum is removed from the race. Santorum’s vote splits off evenly if he’s removed, and Romney has an even WIDER lead over Gingrich, 49% to 33%. So, Gingrich can’t make the argument that if conservatives weren’t divided he would win. The numbers just don’t bear that out. What’s really interesting — Santorum probably could argue that if GINGRICH weren’t in the race, he’d have a better chance against Romney. Santorum’s image is as good as it’s been since the campaign began.”
With the Florida Republican presidential primary wrapping up tomorrow and likely to vote overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney, the candidates will now turn to the seven contests in February. The AP notes, however, that Romney’s campaign has been laying the groundwork in these states for months.
“Romney has consistently dominated his opponents in fundraising, reporting $19 million in his campaign account at the end of December. And his campaign distributed paid staff on the ground — months ago, in some cases — to bolster a growing network of local supporters. They include a combined 380 Republican officials across February voting states, eight members of Congress among them… While his opponents have struggled to compete in one state at a time, Romney has had paid staff in Nevada since June. He has already begun advertising there. More recently, the campaign dispatched staff to Colorado and Arizona. Top New Hampshire surrogates are headed to Maine in the coming days.”
The New York Times looks into former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) lack of an endorsement of Mitt Romney.
Troubled by Romney’s immigration rhetoric, Bush “voiced his concern directly to Mr. Romney, two people close to him said, urging him to moderate his oratory and views to avoid a collapse of support among Hispanic voters in the general election. In his conversations about an endorsement, Mr. Bush also conveyed to Mr. Romney and his allies that his double-digit defeat in the South Carolina primary did not warrant an endorsement and he needed to ‘earn’ it.”
“I think you can expect advisers to think that the work of advisers is very, very important, but frankly, I think if you’re to go back and look at where the sentiment changed, it was with the debates.”
An internal Newt Gingrich campaign memo obtained by the Daily Caller claims “this race is just getting started.”
The memo stresses that Mitt Romney currently has just 33 of the 1144 delegates needed (Gingrich has 25 of 1144).
In addition, more than 20% of the available delegates (467) will be awarded on Super Tuesday March 6, 2012, and the memo notes that, one of the Super Tuesday states is Georgia, with 76 delegates at stake. To put that in perspective, “even if Romney wins Florida on Tuesday, he will only have 83 total delegates;
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) tells The Fix that “he is buying property in his former home state of Nebraska, but that it doesn’t mean he will seek a return to the Senate in the Cornhusker State.”
“Kerrey left Nebraska after retiring from the Senate and at one point flirted with the idea of running for mayor of his new home, New York City, where he headed up the New School university.. That’s something Republicans are likely to use against him if he opts to run for retiring Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) seat. But if he does run, Kerrey will have a Nebraska address from which to do it. A senator must live in the state he or she represents.”
A Quinnipiac poll in Florida shows Mitt Romney has a 14 point lead over Newt Gingrich, 43% to 29%, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum both at 11%. Just 7% are undecided, but 24% say they might change their mind by tomorrow’s primary election.
A SurveyUSA poll finds Romney tops Gingrich by 15 points, 41% to 26%, with Santorum and Paul at 12% each.
A We Ask America poll shows Romney crushing Gingrich by 22 points, 50% to 28%, with Santorum at 12% and Paul at 11%.
A Public Policy Polling survey shows Romney leads Gingrich by seven points, 39% to 32%, with Santorum at 14% and Paul at 11%.
A InsiderAdvantage poll says the race is down to just five points with Romney leading Gingrich, 36% to 31%, followed by Santorum and Paul each at 12%.
A Suffolk University poll finds Romney ahead of Gingrich by 20 points, 47% to 27%, with Santorum at 12% and Paul at 9%.
The New York Times looks at how Mitt Romney set aside his focus on President Obama to treat Newt Gingrich “as its chief obstacle, realizing that a loss here in Florida could cripple the campaign.”
“Breaking into teams, they divided duties for a new plan to put unrelenting pressure on Mr. Gingrich, hoping to make him angry enough to throw him off track and remind voters about the most unflattering aspects of a record forgotten during a decade in which he solidified his status as a wise man in the party.”
Craig Crawford: “Romney proved something in Florida. He’s all about psychological warfare, and his team knows how to wage it. Mitt’s operatives sized up the profile of their foe, Newt Gingrich, found his hot buttons and jammed them until he squealed like a stuck pig.”
Mark Halperin: “Romney and his team have recovered in Florida by returning to attack mode and keeping the pressure on Gingrich. They have flooded the airwaves with TV and radio ads, released a phalanx of Establishment supporters to engage with the media, sent pro-Romney members of Congress to rattle Gingrich at his own campaign events, and debuted a more aggressive Romney on the stump and in the most recent debate. Even Romney’s most optimistic backers could not have anticipated how thoroughly the former Speaker would be thrown off message by their assault.”
Paul Begala: “If his predecessor cursed Obama by handing him a depression and two wars, the Good Lord has blessed him with the weakest field of opponents in memory. I stand by my early assessment: when I look at the economy, I think Obama can’t win, but when I look at the Republicans, I think he can’t lose. The economy is starting to get better; the Republicans aren’t. The president has moved to the populist center, smoothly co-opting the legitimate grievances of the Occupy Wall Street movement and ensuring that he wouldn’t face a primary challenge from the left. ‘Barack’ means blessing in Swahili. Perhaps ‘Obama’ means luckier than a dog with two tongues.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics