POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 3/21
A new Magellan Strategies poll in Louisiana finds Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by 13 points in Saturday’s GOP primary, 37% to 24%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 24% and Ron Paul at 3%.
If Gingrich were not in the race, 61% of his support would go to Santorum, and only 22% to Romney. In a one-on-one contest, Santorum would defeat Romney by 21 points, 55% to 34%.
When Bob Kerrey (D) registered to vote last month and “listed his sister’s address as his home — swearing under oath that it was his residence — he fully intended to live there for some time,” the Omaha World Herald reports.
A day later, Kerrey said, he “lucked out” in finding his own place when a real estate developer offered to let him live in his guest home.
The AP reports Nebraska Republicans are going to court to challenge Kerrey’s voter registration to keep him off the U.S. Senate ballot but the U.S. Constitution requires only that senators be a resident of the state they serve by the time they’re elected.
A new FEC report will shows Newt Gingrich has more debt than cash on hand, Politicoreports.
Gingrich’s campaign will report $1.54 million in the bank but also continues to carry $1.55 million in debt and his contributions have apparently slowed significantly.
Jeff Greenfield: “If Romney has not secured the nomination by the time the delegates convene in Tampa, Fla., at the end of August, the prospects for a genuine floor fight are greater than you might imagine. The reason is that delegates who are bound or pledged to a candidate are only obligated to follow his wishes when it comes to voting for a nominee. And in most contentious conventions, it is a fight over the rules that has effectively determined the nominee.”
Roll Call notes that as hard as some publishers try, most former members of Congress aren’t interested in writing salacious memoirs.
Said former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN): “I was approached, as I guess other Members are when they’re retired, by various agents and others who wanted me to write a book about the Congress. What they really wanted was a tell-all about the nefarious activities of Members of Congress. And that really kind of turned me off. I was not interested in that at all.”
Instead, Hamilton took a much more academic approach and authored, How Congress Works and Why You Should Care.
Despite some recent polls that found Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) leading in his re-election bid, a new Public Policy Polling survey shows challenger Elizabeth Warren (D) ahead, 46% to 41%.
Key findings: “Voters are more comfortable with Warren ideologically than they are with Brown. 51% say that her views are ‘about right,’ compared to 44% for the incumbent. She’s probably also benefiting from the fact that 54% of Massachusetts voters think the Republican Party is too conservative, compared to only 41% who think the Democratic Party is too liberal.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that 68% of registered voters polled said they think that in general, it is inhumane to put the family dog on top of the car, compared with 14% who said it’s humane and 18% who weren’t sure.
That said, when told by pollsters that Mitt Romney had done so, 55% said it didn’t affect which candidate they would support, while 35% said it made them less likely to support Romney and 7% said it made them more likely to support him.
Former Rep. Mark Neumann (R), running for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, used a pig at a news conference to symbolize how he would cut “pork” from the federal budget.
Months of speculation finally ended with Maggie Brooks (R) announcing that she will challenge Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) in the newly configured 25th congressional district, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.
“Because both women are immensely popular locally, their race is presumed to be among the most competitive nationwide in the fall general election. Slaughter has handily defeated opponents since first winning election to the seat in 1986. Brooks, a former local TV news anchor who entered politics in the 1990s, has turned back every opponent in her meteoric rise through the local GOP political ranks from county legislator to county clerk, then to county executive.”
“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there.”
— Vice President Joe Biden, quoted by National Review, on the raid President Obama ordered to kill Osama bin Laden.
Rick Santorum’s campaign and affiliated super PAC have been outspent by Mitt Romney’s forces by a margin of 7 to 1 in the Illinois, Politico reports.
And in the “crucial, expensive Chicago media market,” the spending disparity is 21 to 1 in Romney’s favor.
First Read: “The earliest Mitt Romney could win the 1,144 delegates needed to capture the GOP nomination, per our count is May 29, and that’s assuming he wins every single delegate after today. If you assume that he wins a 60%-40% split of the remaining the delegates, Romney won’t get to 1,144 until June 26, when Utah holds its primary. And if Romney and Rick Santorum continue to trade victories as they’ve been doing over the past month — with Santorum winning his demographic strongholds and Romney winning his — Romney would fall about 50 delegates short of the magic number, according to our math.”
The national debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency, CBS Newsreports.
“If Mr. Obama wins re-election, and his budget projections prove accurate, the National Debt will top $20 trillion in 2016, the final year of his second term. That would mean the Debt increased by 87 percent, or $9.34 trillion, during his two terms.”
Chris Cillizza kicks off the presidential speculation game for 2016 with a “The Sweet 2016” bracket assuming that both parties have an open presidential contest.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) get the #1 seed in their respective parties.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will unveil the latest version of the House GOP budget this morning.
The Wall Street Journal notes House Republicans think they have “a potent campaign issue” by introducing a budget that “cuts tax rates and provides for two individual brackets of 10% and 25%.”
However, The Fix points out the proposal “might win him kudos from the conservative policy class, but it elicits only groans from GOP political professionals.”
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds 64% of very conservative Republicans and independents now view Mitt Romney positively, up from a February low of 43%.
However, none of the Republican presidential candidates “is above water on basic popularity among all women nationally, or among men.”
Rick Klein: “Santorum is down too far in the delegate count to win only the states he’s expected to win. Santorum needs an upset. He needs it to come in a big state, and fast, for him to change the dynamics of the race sufficiently… A win in Illinois would be a different story. It may be Santorum’s last best shot to prove that he’s a contender, not merely a potential spoiler.”
A new Quinnipiac poll in Virginia shows Tim Kaine (D) leading George Allen (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 47% to 44%.
Also interesting: President Obama leads Mitt Romney by eight points in a general election match up, 50% to 42%, and tops Rick Santorum by nine points, 49% to 40%.
Missouri supporters of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul “have forged an alliance in some of Missouri’s local caucuses,” the AP reports.
“Rick Santorum easily won Missouri’s non-binding primary last month. But he was shut out from receiving delegates at some of the local caucuses that occurred over the weekend after Romney and Paul supporters combined to advance their own slate of delegates.”
Daily Beast: “In a Republican primary process that has been more convoluted than a pretentious student film, Missouri’s rules are uniquely confusing and uniquely prone to exploitation by a well-organized campaign. Paul’s operation, designed to maximize caucus-state delegates, has stepped into the void left by Santorum’s underwhelming operation.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics