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Newslinks for Monday Jan 2: Romney, Paul, Santorum eye victory in Iowa

Posted on 01/02/2012

SURVEY: Rick Santorum moves to third-place in national GOP race

VIDEO: Mitt Romney and Chris Christie give joint interview to Fox News

VIDEO: Bachmann's final ad touts Iowa roots and opposition to ObamaCare and higher debt ceiling

Latest Iowa polls

  • Paul 20%, Romney 19%, Santorum 18%, Gingrich 14%, Perry 10%, Bachmann 8% - Weekly Standard
  • Romney on 24%, Paul 22%, Santorum 15%, Gingrich 12%, Perry 11%, Bachmann 7% - WSJ

Q. What do these polls mean?

A. American Spectator: "Like every other recent poll, it shows Santorum with the momentum -- the former Pennsylvania senator has gained in overall popularity to the point where he has the best net favorability and he has strong plurality support among late deciders -- while Paul has declined. The more traditional the Iowa turnout, the better Romney does. The less traditional, the better Paul does (to vastly oversimplify)."

Is flyover Iowa about to decide that Mitt Romney is the Republican to take on Barack Obama? - Toby Harnden for MailOnline

But what if Romney UNDERperforms in Iowa?

ROMNEY S&S

"If Romney finishes even a close third in Iowa, even if that third-place finish is only a few percentage points short of first, he may lose the expectations game in Iowa and leave looking like a loser. Romney finished second in Iowa to Mike Huckabee in 2008, but given the resources he spent there, the chattering classes viewed him as a failure. The conventional wisdom stuck: Romney never won a truly significant contest during the 2008 nomination fight." - Larry Sabato et al for Center for Politics

Romney focuses on general election, by courting MSM

"Mitt Romney is running for president as a Republican, but his recent media strategy includes granting exclusive interviews to news outlets that cater to a liberal audience. Romney last week granted one-on-one interviews in Iowa to both MSNBC and the Huffington Post, among the best-known sources of news for liberals in the country. In recent weeks, he also gave interviews to The Washington Post, The New York Times and Politico." - Daily Caller

In gentle jab, Romney implies Santorum has spent too much time inside Washington - LA Times

The Rick Santorum Show sold out all across Iowa Sunday - The Hill | NPR

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 12.06.00

  • Perry backers could transfer to Santorum - The Hill
  • After rise in polls, Rick Santorum braces for attack - LA Times
  • Rick Santorum rises with blue-collar pitch on reviving manufacturing - Politico
  • Santorum’s challenge: Broaden appeal beyond evangelical Christians - New York Times
  • Santorum does Pander-less Populism - Kathryn Jean-Lopez for NRO
  • "Santorum has so far escaped the full glare of the frontrunner’s spotlight. If he wins Iowa, his record will be picked apart. Likely, he’ll wither, too." - Timothy Carney for the Washington Examiner
  • What does Santorum's Iowa rise mean? Likely Not Much - NPR

"Rick Santorum, who is surging in polls here, said that as president he would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities if Tehran didn’t open them to international inspectors" - WSJ | Fox (Iran Scientists Produce Nuclear Fuel Rod - WSJ)

Newt Gingrich says he feels as though he's been "Romney-boated"

Gingrich May 2011"The former House speaker today continued his condemnation of attack ads directed at him by an independent group backing GOP rival Mitt Romney. Gingrich also charged earlier in the day that Romney "would buy the election if he could."" - USA Today

Gingrich flip-flops on negative advertising AND global warming

  • "After pledging to run a positive campaign (that really wasn't so positive), Newt Gingrich tells reporters he's ready to attack Romney." - Weekly Standard
  • Gingrich axes chapter on Climate Change in forthcoming book - Doug Powers

Ron Paul's laid-back approach to Iowa confirms he's leading a movement, not a presidential bid - Politico

Rick Perry has spent $3 million in Iowa, more than any other candidate - USA Today

"With a strong finish in the caucuses, Mr. Perry could re-emerge as a top-tier candidate — perhaps the best-equipped to compete with Mitt Romney, the presumed frontrunner, on a state-by-state basis. With a poor finish, Mr. Perry might face pressure to drop out of the race as Senator Phil Gramm of Texas did in 1996 after a disappointing fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses." - Nate Silver

The Economist has a photo gallery of candidates in "the final push".

Gallup: This has been the most volatile GOP primary race EVER

"This is the most volatile Republican nomination contest since pollsters first started tracking front-runners decades ago, a top polling firm says. The lead for Republican front-runner has changed seven times since May, according to a Gallup report Monday, with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich all making it to No. 1 at some point in 2011." - Politico

GOP has 500 page war book to defeat Obama

Dems-Punched

"The document, portions of which were reviewed by The Washington Post, lays out how GOP officials plan to use Obama’s words and voice as they build an argument for his defeat: that he made specific promises and entered office with lofty expectations and has failed to deliver on both."

E J Dionne: Obama is still favorite to win a second term

"Most Americans still believe that Obama inherited rather than caused the economic turmoil. Barring another crisis in Europe, there is a decent chance of somewhat better times by Election Day. Obama's fall offensive against Republicans in Congress has paid dividends. Voters seem inclined to blame Washington's dysfunction on the GOP, not on a president they still rather like." - E J Dionne in the Washington Post

Michael Barone takes a different view: "Most Americans believe the Obama Democrats' policies have failed to revive the economy and have produced an overlarge, under-competent and crony-capitalist government."

Mark Mardell for the BBC can't decide.

  • By tacking ever further to the right, Republicans are blowing their best hope of beating Obama - Paul Begala for the Daily Beast

Will GeorgeEven if Obama survives events will unfold in a conservative direction in 2012 - George Will in the Washington Post

Boehner Won the Payroll Tax Showdown - Phil Kerpen for Fox

Harry Reid managed to win more than half of the filibuster-breaking votes on the Senate floor in 2011 - Roll Call

The Israeli prime minister and the U.S. president neither like nor trust each other

"Without some common enterprise to bind them together, and with a great many issues to drive them apart (settlements, the peace process), relations will get worse, taking their toll on the U.S.-Israel relationship; Israel's security; American interests; and, for certain, any remaining hope for a two-state solution." - Aaron David Miller for the LA Times

  • How Iraq can define its destiny - Ali A Allawi for the New York Times

"Even re-runs of the O’Reilly Factor do better than MSNBC’s best show" - PowerLine on Fox's ratings dominance

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