POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/17
The Maine Republican Party “is reviewing its numbers from the presidential caucuses as pressure grows for a recount,” the Portland Press Herald reports.
“An email sent to county and town chairman this afternoon asks the local officials to resubmit vote totals to the state headquarters… The email does not say when, or whether, state GOP officials will publicly correct or update the results that have been posted on the party’s website since Saturday, when Mitt Romney was declared the winner over Ron Paul by less than 200 votes. Those official results were inaccurate because several communities that submitted vote totals were left out.”
A new Democracy Corps (D) survey finds the Republican brand “is in a state of collapse — over 50 percent of voters give the Republican Party a cool, negative rating. The presidential race and the congressional battles are interacting with each other to drive down their lead candidate, the party, and perceptions of the congressional Republicans.”
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney “may be on the edge of political death. The shift against him is one of the biggest in the polls and he now competes with Republicans in Congress for unpopularity. In the summer of 1996, Bob Dole essentially was disqualified in voters’ eyes and never really recovered his footing.”
Most interesting: Voters who gave Democrats their victories in 2006 and 2008 “have returned in a big way” led by “a resurgence and re-engagement of unmarried women.”
It gives a glimpse into how hard it may be for Kennedy’s Republican challenger.
“Back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
Said Chan: “I am deeply sorry for any pain that the character I portrayed brought to my communities. I feel horrible about my participation and I am determined to resolve my actions.”
Jim Galloway is hearing that Mitt Romney may skip the pre-Super Tuesday debate to be broadcast by CNN in Atlanta on March 1.
“One interpretation: This may be an indication of what he thinks his current chances are in both Georgia and Ohio, whose GOP organizations are sponsoring the event. Another interpretation: Romney is the candidate with the cash, and this could be his way of denying free media to his rivals on the eve of the biggest election day of the primary so far. They have the two largest caches of delegates in play on March 6.”
Update: CBS News/National Journal confirms Romney will skip the debate.
Update II: CNN says it will cancel the debate after both Romney and Ron Paul said they would not attend.
A Republican supermajority “has muscled two of the most restrictive anti-abortion bills in years through the Virginia House, including one that would all but outlaw the procedure in the state by declaring that the rights of persons apply from the moment sperm and egg unite,” the AP reports.
The bill also requires women to have a “transvaginal ultrasound” before undergoing abortions.
Rick Perry sent a request to the Federal Election Commission asking if he could turn his presidential campaign into a political action committee or even possibly a so-called super PAC, the Washington Post reports.
“If Perry were to turn his campaign into a PAC, he could accept contributions of up to $5,000 from one person to donate directly to other candidates or run his own advertising supporting them. If he decides to create a super PAC instead, he could raise unlimited amounts from individuals or corporations but could only spend the money without coordinating with the candidates he was helping.”
Bloomberg: “Americans filed the fewest claims for jobless benefits since 2008, surprising forecasters and signaling that an improving labor market will give the world’s largest economy a boost.”
Reuters: “New claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to a near four-year low, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting the labor market was finally strengthening.”
A new Rasmussen survey in Ohio finds Rick Santorum crushing Mitt Romney, 42% to 24%. They are followed by Newt Gingrich at 13% and Ron Paul at 10%.
The Ohio primary is on March 6.
“It is going to be a very close, very hard fought race. But if you look at the numbers, it shouldn’t be close. No president’s ever been re-elected in the modern era with numbers this low a year out.”
— Karl Rove, quoted by the Daily Orange, speaking to students at Syracuse University.
Mike Murphy: “The political terrain has changed in ways Romney never planned for. A year ago, the recession’s sharp pain promised to drive an angry electorate to fire President Obama and replace him with an economic repairman. And who better to fix the economy than Romney, a highly successful businessman? Unfortunately for Romney, Republican-primary voters look at Washington and do not want a skilled repairman. They want a TNT- wielding demolition team.”
“He should drop the biography-based message. Nobody wants a well-intentioned accountant in charge when the house is on fire. For the first time in his professional life, Romney needs to stop thinking and calculating and get stupid. The race now is about his heart… And while the cerebral Romney may recoil at the psychological striptease this requires, it is how people pick their President in modern America. Romney must fill that vacuum or else others will maliciously fill it for him.”
“Congressional negotiators working on a deal to extend jobless benefits and a payroll-tax cut say they have come to a deal, paving the way for a vote before the policies expire at the end of the month,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
New York Times: “After fighting until the very final hour over how to pay for parts of a $150 billion plan that would also extend unemployment benefits and prevent a pay cut for doctors who accept Medicare, leaders of both parties put together a bill that the majority of the committee could support.”
ABC News reports Rick Santorum’s lean presidential campaign doesn’t even have a headquarters.
“Santorum has rejected many of the trappings of a traditional presidential candidate, particularly one who is now running neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney in national polls. And it’s not just that Santorum doesn’t have an official campaign headquarters.”
“Santorum travels light. He does not keep a large contingent of advisers in tow as he crisscrosses the country, and he still has no paid advance staff to ensure events run smoothly. There’s no one to scout locations, to test audio equipment or to come up with a Plan B when rain starts falling on the candidate, the audience and the press.”
“That won’t happen.”
— Mitt Romney, when asked by the Grand Rapids Press if he could lose in Michigan to Rick Santorum.
The Fix suggests Newt Gingrich may be the most unpopular person in American politics right now.
A CNN/Opinion Research poll finds 63% of all Americans viewed Gingrich unfavorably, compared to just 25% who saw him in a positive light. And a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows a similar split: 54% view Gingrich unfavorably, compared to 16% who say they feel positively predisposed towards him.
“Those 38-point spreads between his favorable and unfavorable ratings are a new high for Gingrich in the 2012 campaign and tie his worst numbers from 1997, when he faced ethics troubles and a GOP revolt during his time as speaker of the House.”
A Detroit News poll in Michigan shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney, 34% to 30%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 12% and Ron Paul 9%.
Said pollster Richard Czuba: “Right now Michigan is not Mitt Romney’s firewall. He’s fighting for his political life in this state.”
Santorum has leads in each of the last five Michigan polls.
Sarah Palin told Fox Business that a brokered Republican presidential convention was a possibility and that if it happened she “would do whatever I could to help.”
Said Palin: “If one of the nominees, one of the GOPers, doesn’t get enough delegates, it could go to a brokered convention. If it does get to that, and someone said, ‘Governor, would you be interested,’ would you be interested? For one, I think that it could get to that… If it had to be closed up today, the whole nominating process, then we could be looking at a brokered convention… Nobody is quite there yet, so I think that months from now, if that is the case, all bets are off as to who it will be, willing to offer up themselves up in their name in service to their country.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced his endorsement of Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination in an op-ed piece in the Detroit News:
“Let’s start with one important fact. Our country has never elected a president born and raised in Michigan. Mitt Romney was born in Detroit. His father served with distinction as governor. Before that, he was president of American Motors. Mitt grew up with the prospects of the auto industry and of Michigan discussed around the dinner table. He has deep ties to our state. Mitt understands the challenges confronting Michigan as few Americans do.”
Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “When the remaining playing field is surveyed in its entirety, it is possible to conclude that Romney could be in better shape to win the nomination than he looks right now. While he is bound to take more losses over the next few months, particularly in Southern or Border states, Romney can go a long way toward becoming the GOP’s standard-bearer within the next month by winning Michigan and Ohio. Both will be major hurdles and neither will be easy — but then, for Romney, what really has been this year?”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics