POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 5/4
A new Washington Post poll in Virginia finds President Obama leads Mitt Romney by seven points, 51% to 44%.
Key finding: “The new poll shows Virginia voters are equally split on Obama’s major initiatives, including his signature health care reform law, and remain deeply pessimistic about the way things are going in the country. But the president has a key advantage in his bid for reelection: The coalition of Virginians that propelled him to victory in 2008 — young voters, suburban Washingtonians, women and African Americans — is largely intact.”
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell writes in his new book, It Worked for Me, that his “erroneous address to the United Nations about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction provides a lesson to business leaders on the importance of staying skeptical and following their intuition,” Bloomberg reports.
Writes Powell: “Yes, a blot, a failure will always be attached to me and my UN presentation. I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me.”
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio are the top two choices among Republican voters as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.
Key findings: 18% picked Santorum out of a list of 19 potential running mates for Romney, 17% chose Rubio, 13% chose Chris Christie and 12% chose Mike Huckabee.
Though several recent polls suggest Arizona might be a competitive state in the presidential election, a new Magellan Strategies survey finds Mitt Romney with a comfortable nine point lead over President Obama, 52% to 43%.
In the 2008 election, John McCain also beat Obama by nine points, 54% to 45%.
The New York Times provides an inside look at the resignation of Richard Grenell, the openly gay former national security spokesman for Mitt Romney, attributing it to the “unforgiving churn of election-year politics.”
“Mr. Grenell’s short-lived and rocky tenure as Mr. Romney’s foreign policy spokesman is the story of how halting attempts by the campaign to manage its relationship with the most conservative quarter of the Republican Party left an aide feeling badly marginalized and ostracized.”
Said one Republican adviser: “It’s not that the campaign cared whether Ric Grenell was gay. They believed this was a nonissue. But they didn’t want to confront the religious right.”
Newt Gingrich may have ended his candidacy for president yesterday, but with $4 million of debt piled up, it is certain that his campaign will continue for quite a bit longer, according toABC News.
“Campaign watchdogs said the size of Gingrich’s debt is extraordinary — and could have been avoided if the candidate and his team had been more disciplined… Romney and the Republican National Committee have offered to be helpful in retiring Gingrich’s debt. Relief can’t come soon enough for the Gingrich campaign’s anxious creditors… Campaign debts can haunt unsuccessful candidates for years, symbols of failure and futility they are unable to forget. But losing candidates like Gingrich who hold no office face the biggest challenge in trying to retire their debts. The reason is simple: They are in no position to help donors or influence public policy.”
“He cannot beat Obama. It’s not going to happen.”
With Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) set to be presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s last remaining challenger after Newt Gingrich’s expected withdrawal from the race today, the Washington Times highlights some of Paul’s “organizational victories that could complicate Mr. Romney’s anticipated coronation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer.”
Hitting close to home: “In Massachusetts, the state where Mr. Romney served as governor, Paul loyalists over the weekend helped block more than half of Mr. Romney’s preferred nominees from being named delegates at state party caucuses — even though Mr. Romney won his home state’s primary with 72 percent of the vote… the RNC had assigned the Marriott Hotel in Tampa overlooking the convention center for the delegation representing the likely nominee’s home state. The hotel is considered the nicest in the vicinity — and now the Paul delegates will be able to enjoy the top-floor views.”
The RNC warned Nevada Republicans that if Ron Paul delegates “are allowed to take too many slots for the national convention, Nevada’s entire contingent may not be seated in Tampa,” the Jon Ralston reports.
The national party apparently “fears that mischief at the Sparks convention this weekend could result in Ron Paul delegates taking Mitt Romney slots and then not abiding by GOP rules to vote for the presumptive nominee on the first ballot in Tampa.”
Mitt Romney has appeared on stage recently with a number of potential running mates, reports the Los Angeles Times, which many see as a “series of tryouts…as he tests the chemistry and optics of potential vice presidential picks.”
“Though Romney is not expected to make a formal decision anytime soon, the vetting has clearly begun, with the campaign scrutinizing potential running mates’ electoral experience, geographic desirability and affinity with GOP constituencies that remain wary of Romney… While nearly all of the likely prospects have steadfastly denied that they have any interest in the job because they are committed to their current jobs as governors and senators, many are also simultaneously burnishing their resumes.”
A new Magellan Strategies survey in Indiana shows Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) with a slight lead over challenger Richard Mourdock (R) in their U.S. Senate primary, 44% to 42%.
The GOP primary is next week.
The new Quinnipiac polls find the presidential race is tighter in three important swing states.
Florida: Romney 44%, Obama 43%
Ohio: Obama 44%, Romney 42%
Pennsylvania: Obama 47%, Romney 39%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “Gov. Mitt Romney has closed President Barack Obama’s leads in Ohio and Florida to the point that those two states are now essentially tied, a turnaround from the end of March when the president enjoyed leads in those key states.”
McKay Coppins: “A full year after Romney launched his presidential bid, the campaign doesn’t have a Spanish version of its website, nor has it hired a Spanish-speaking spokesperson. Romney boycotted a primary debate on Univision, leading to the event’s collapse, and, to date, he has only done one sit-down interview on a national Spanish network. The apparent apathy has left Latino advocates — and more than a few Republicans — baffled, wondering whether the campaign has already written off one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country.”
First Read: “Republicans are not on air on Hispanic media AT ALL so far, according to NBC/Smart Media Delta. President Obama, on the other hand, is going unchecked for two weeks, spending $435,000 – and $730,000 total so far this cycle – through mid-May with Hispanic media buys in Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. If the president is wining by huge margins with Hispanics and women (more on that below), the math becomes very precarious for Romney. Look at those states where the president is advertising: Colorado, Nevada and Florida. Can Romney win the White House without winning at least ONE Western state?”
Mitt Romney will meet privately with Rick Santorum on Friday morning in Pittsburgh, CNN reports.
“The campaigns had refused to discuss details of the get together and were trying to keep the location secret. They have planned no press coverage of the meeting.”
Politico: “The verdict is in: Barack Obama’s 2008 victory in Virginia was not a fluke. For the once reliably Republican state, competitive presidential elections are the new normal.”
“Just look at the candidates’ schedules… Both campaigns are also moving swiftly to build their organizations. Romney recently brought his Iowa state director, Sara Craig, to helm Virginia and his team hopes to open at least a dozen field offices in the next month. Obama has had a Richmond-based staff in place for months and just opened up his 13th field office last month. The action on the ground is mirrored on the air — Obama’s campaign and Romney’s super PAC are already broadcasting commercials in the state.”Explore posts in the same categories: Candidates, National, Politics