POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 2/28
Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign “is actively seeking the support of Democrats in Tuesday’s Michigan primary, running a robocall that sounds oddly like one that would be run by an organized labor group,” the Washington Post reports.
TPM: “Michigan’s primary rules allow Dems to vote in the state’s GOP primaries. The liberal site DailyKos and other progressive partners have been trying to drum up enthusiasm for ‘Operation Hilarity’ — an effort to get Democrats to vote in the GOP primary and tilt the vote against Mitt Romney. The Santorum campaign evidently decided they’d take votes from any legitimate source.”
Harry Enten notes that three Michigan polls from last Thursday found Mitt Romney leading Rick Santorum by an average of 5.7 points. However, Romney’s average lead in polls taken over the weekend is down to just 1 point.
Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling survey in the field tonight is already picking up on “encouraging things for Santorum.” The full poll results will be out late tonight.
If true, it could be a late night tomorrow waiting for primary results to come in.
Jonathan Chait: “The modern GOP — the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes — is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of impending tyranny express, in hyperbolic form, well-grounded dread: that conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency.”
Mitt Romney recalled childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, noting he was “probably 4 or something like that” the day of the Golden Jubilee, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American automobile, the Toronto Star reports.
Said Romney: “My dad had a job being the grandmaster. They painted Woodward Ave. with gold paint.”
Unfortunately, the event took place June 1, 1946 — fully nine months before Romney was born.
“You know, it’s sort of a touching response to a $1.2 trillion deficit, isn’t it, that somehow the American people will just all send in checks and take care of it.”
— Warren Buffett, in an interview with CNBC, responding to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) who told him he should “write a check and shut up” if he’s so intent on raising taxes on wealthy Americans in order to reduce the deficit.
After a rough election cycle for Democratic chairmen of House committees in 2010, The Hillprovides a rundown of the Republican chairmen facing difficult reelection battles, including a few primary challenges.
Nate Silver‘s latest forecast shows Romney still has the advantage in the Michigan GOP primary tomorrow “but it is more tenuous than the one we released overnight. The model gives him a 64 percent chance of winning the state, down from 77 percent in the previous forecast.”
The reason? Five new polls are out today with three showing Romney in the lead and two putting Santorum ahead.
Steve Kornacki: “The familiar Romney campaign formula — wait for conservative rival to emerge, beat back conservative rival with attack ads and strong debate performance, prevail in do-or-die primary test, wait for next conservative rival to emerge — may be in the process of repeating itself in Michigan. But the final polling in advance of tomorrow’s primary contains some serious hints of trouble for Romney.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) will not challenge any signatures by Monday’s deadline in an attempt to stop a recall election against him, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
“That leaves only a review by state elections officials standing between the Republican governor and only the third recall election for a governor is U.S. history.”
Joshua Spivak has an excellent look at what to expect next.
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) “appears to be flirting — once again — with the prospect of running for U.S. Senate,” the Omaha World Herald reports.
“He met earlier this morning with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, setting off speculations that Kerrey is in the race. Kerrey has had talks with his former campaign manager, Paul Johnson, about a prospective run.”
The Washington Post reports Kerrey will run.
Brad Phillips: “Mr. Romney finds himself in the worst of two worlds. On one hand, he’s a rich guy whose privileged life keeps slipping out through obliviously tone-deaf gaffes. On the other hand, he’s pretending to be a populist who personally relates to the financial struggles of ordinary Americans.”
“I understand why Mr. Romney’s advisers didn’t want him to run as a ‘rich guy’ candidate. With income inequality at record-high levels and Romney’s image as a corporate raider, his wealth could easily be viewed as a campaign-killing liability. But Mr. Romney’s chronic gaffes have rendered that strategy impossible. It’s time for Romney to start running as the person he really is: a rich guy.”
ThinkProgress reviewed the 20 Republican presidential debates and found that Ron Paul has not once attacked Mitt Romney.
While Paul has ripped the other presidential contenders 39 times, he has never harshly criticized Romney or singled him out in any way for criticism. It’s particularly striking given that Paul and Romney “do not agree on virtually any policy positions.”
Rick Pearlstein argues that Republicans “plant their flag in an uncompromising position, and wait for the world to come around – which, quite often, it eventually does. This is because in a media environment based on the ideology of ‘balance,’ in which anything one of the parties insists upon must be given equal weight to whatever the other party says back, the party that plants its ideological flag further from the center makes the center move. And that is how America changes. You set the stage for future changes by shifting the rhetoric of the present.”
AFSCME is up with a tough new ad in Ohio that blasts Mitt Romney’s rejection of the auto industry bailout.
Greg Sargent: “It’s unclear whether this message will have resonance among GOP primary voters. But the ad represents a bet that the GOP primary has forced Romney so far to the right on the auto-bailout — requiring him to go through comical contortions to pretend it wasn’t a big success — that it’s worth branding him hard with it now, among swing voters in states other than Michigan.”
Jill Lawrence: “First came Mitt Romney’s dismissive remarks about President Obama’s ‘faculty lounge’ pals. Now Rick Santorum is calling Obama snobby for urging people to go to college — and defending that view in a series of TV appearances.”
“I’m not going to go armchair quarterback it. I think there are alternative scenarios that could have worked also, but the point is, is that it’s history, and the important part is it was successful, we’re moving along, creating jobs.”
— Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), quoted by The Hill, defending President Obama’s bailout of the U.S. auto industry. The entire Republican presidential field has come out against the bailout.
Massimo Calabresi argues that Rick Santorum’s declining poll numbers and lost momentum are a result of his gloomy message on the campaign trail.
“At first Santorum’s moral doom-saying just sounds like a slightly wacky play to the extreme wing of the GOP… But eventually it becomes clear that Santorum believes America’s lax morals are leading to that kind of future. First you teach teenagers about contraception; the next thing you know you are voting in favor of warehouses of fetuses, grown for the benefit of mankind… On paper, Santorum might be a viable alternative to Romney. In a series of difficult Senate terms, Santorum was more successful than most in reaching across the aisle even as he rose in the GOP hierarchy. But Santorum sees a looming moral apocalypse, abetted by what are now mainstream positions in America. That’s not a message that’s going to win, even in a GOP primary.”
Rick Santorum will receive Secret Service protection this week, CNN reports.
So far, Mitt Romney is the only GOP presidential candidate granted protection. USA Todayreports Newt Gingrich requested Secret Service protection last week and is awaiting word on whether he will receive the security.
Though a Public Policy Polling survey released late last night showed Mitt Romney regaining the lead over Rick Santorum in the Michigan GOP primary, 39% to 37%, a newMitchell Research/Rosetta Stone poll shows Santorum taking over the lead back from Romney, 37% to 35%.
A new We Ask America poll shows Romney ahead 37% to 33%.
A new American Research Group survey shows Santorum just ahead, 36% to 35%.
A new Rasmussen survey shows Romney leading, 38% to 36%.
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Arizona shows Mitt Romney is headed for an overwhelming victory in Arizona’s primary on Tuesday. He leads Rick Santorum, 43% to 26%, with Newt Gingrich at 18% and Ron Paul at 11%.
Key finding: “Almost half of those planning to vote have already cast their ballots, and Romney has a 48-25 advantage over Santorum with those folks. That lead makes it nearly impossible for Santorum to make up the difference on election day, and Romney has a 39-27 advantage with those planning to vote on Tuesday anyway.”
A new We Ask America poll shows Romney leading Santorum, 43% to 27%.
A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows Rick Santorum leading the GOP presidential field with 36% of likely Republican primary voters, followed by Mitt Romney at 29%, Newt Gingrich at 17% and Ron Paul at 11%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “A week out, Sen. Rick Santorum remains seven points ahead among Ohio’s likely Republican primary voters. While almost half the voters say they might change their mind, Santorum supporters seem a little surer of their vote. What happens in Michigan tomorrow night might have an impact on voters in Ohio’s Republican primary.”
A new Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll “reveals the prolonged nominating battle is taking a toll on the GOP candidates and finds the president’s standing significantly improved from late last year.”
“President Obama’s approval rating is 53%, up 9 percentage points in four months. Matched up against his Republican opponents, he leads Mitt Romney by 10 points (53-43) and Rick Santorum by 11 (53-42). Even against a generic, unnamed Republican untarnished by attacks, Obama is up 5 percentage points. In November, he was tied.”
However, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Obama lags his two leading Republican rivals in the 12 swing states likely to determine the outcome of a close race in November.
First Read: “Either Gallup is seeing something that no one else is seeing right now (NBC/WSJ, WaPo/ABC, NYT/CBS), or its methodology is understating Obama’s support and inflating the GOP’s. This isn’t the first time this cycle where Gallup has looked different from the other major national polls.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics