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Newslinks for Tuesday Feb 21: Reagan Democrats fleeing Romney explain his trouble - and Santorum's rise - in Michigan

Posted on 02/21/2012

Why is Romney struggling in Michigan? Reagan Democrats.

REAGAN RONALD"Blame the frosty homecoming on the Independent Voters Formerly Known as Reagan Democrats. Economically populist and socially conservative, these blue-collar, largely Catholic, largely unionized workers tend to swing. In 2008 they helped put Barack Obama over the top. In 2010 they returned to the GOP... As talk of his paltry 14 percent tax rate and “I like to be able to fire people”–style gaffes came to dominate the airwaves in January, Mitt’s unfavorable rating among working-class whites jumped 20 points nationwide." - Daily Beast

  • "It was no accident that [Santorum] had come here: Steubenville is home to precisely the combination of religious conservatives and blue-collar Rust Belt voters that Santorum is hoping will lead him to victory on Super Tuesday and beyond." - Washington Post
  • Poll: Mitt Romney not hurt in Michigan over stance opposing auto bailouts - The Hill

Despite polls, Romney confident of Michigan win

Romney-2012-blog-photo-mitt-speech_0

"The campaign has good reason to be skeptical of the media's recent narrative of doom for Romney. A week ago, the worst poll for Romney... had him down 15 points to Rick Santorum in Michigan. Today, after adjusting its initial, less-than-realistic turnout projections, the same polling company has Romney down just four points. And given that Romney's ads just went on the air in the middle of last week, there's still plenty of time for his message to sink in and get him over the hump." - BuzzFeed

  • "There are few outward signs that panic has set in at the Romney campaign — the delegate-by-delegate chess game has only begun — but concern is palpable among Mr. Romney, his allies and Republican Party elders" - New York Times
  • "Mitt Romney, struggling to shore up his support in the Midwest, again attacked Rick Santorum‘s spending during his time in Congress." - WSJ

Donald Trump hitting Michigan airwaves for MittABC

Screen shot 2011-04-08 at 3.25.10 PM"What’s the prescription for a famously brilliant venture capitalist who has trouble connecting with blue-collar voters in his native state?  How about bringing in a far more controversial venture capitalist who’s claim to recent fame is in firing people on national television?" - Hot Air

Santorum and Gingrich focus attacks on Obama's religious liberty record

  • GingrichSantorum"Rick Santorum said Monday that Obama had been "particularly weak" in protecting religious liberty around the world and compared him to "tyrants" who want to limit the role of faith in their citizens lives." - LA Times
  • "Gingrich also charged Obama again with waging a war on religion, something the former House speaker has said repeatedly since a controversy erupted over an Obama administration policy requiring religious-affiliated employers to provide free birth control." - USA Today
  • But Ed Kilgore warns that the GOP shouldn't put too much faith in the Catholic vote: "American Catholics are hardly monolithic, even on issues supposedly touching on the Church’s authority and teachings."

Looking ahead: Santorum has big polling leads in Texas and Oklahoma - Hot Air

Romney tops January funding figures

  • Screen shot 2011-07-02 at 12.21.00"Romney raised $6.5 million in the month of January but spent nearly $19 million, leaving him with about $7.7 million in cash ... Santorum raised $4.5 million in January and spent $3.3 million, leaving him with about $1.5 million in cash ... Newt Gingrich raised $5.6 million during the month of January, but spent almost $6 million, leaving him with about $1.7 million in cash" - New York Times
  • "Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul raised $4.5 million in January, his campaign just announced. The Texas congressman ended the month with $1.6 million in the bank." - USA Today

Republican Presidential campaigns are becoming reliant upon SuperPAC money

"[O]ver all, super PACs backing the four leading Republican contenders raised $22.1 million in January, slightly more than the candidates themselves, and ended the month with $19.4 million in cash on hand, about $5 million more than the candidates had." - New York Times

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson says he might give $100M to Newt Gingrich - Forbes

Sen. Rubio tops poll on vice presidential picks - USA Today

Some Republicans still clamoring for a "Plan B" candidate

Christie"[O]ne knowledgeable GOP source confirms that some Republicans are circulating the deadlines and the basic math that would allow another candidate to get into the nomination fight and take it all the way to the convention... A majority of the delegates to the national convention are still up for grabs." - CNN

  • "The Tea Partiers think they want a convention fight. The fantasists say they want a Daniels-ex-machina. But the realists in the Republican Party’s elite have settled into the grim reality: One of the three flawed men battling for their party’s nomination will win it" - BuzzFeed
  • "If these four candidates are unacceptable to a majority of Republicans, they won't be accepted — and something else will have to happen. What that "something else" will be, I don't know. But ... a wild convention seems more plausible than sewing together the good bits from the current pack." - Jonah Goldberg
  • Gov. Daniels again nixes GOP presidential bid - USA Today
  • Poll finds most GOP voters opposed to brokered convention - The Hill

The price of a Romney endorsement: how Tim Pawlenty paid off his campaign debt

"According to Politic, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, and his family members joined with several Bain Capital officials to assist Mr. Pawlenty in retiring his debt last year, federal records show." - The State Column

Why did Obama tell Democrats SuperPAC fundraising is okay? Because the pro-Obama SuperPAC raised only $59K in January (and $50K of that was from one guy) - Politico

The next debt fight will be ugly, but will come after the election

Screen shot 2011-08-29 at 08.57.02"The fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. Whether the debt limit is reached before the presidential election (a third of Senate seats and all House seats will also be at stake and control of one or both could change, setting up a particularly nasty fight along party lines) depends on how well the economy performs. But even if the recovery slows down, or simply doesn't speed up, and the limit is reached before the election, the Treasury Department can—and likely will—use "extraordinary measures" to push back the drop-dead deadline for raising it." - National Journal

US and Mexico announce accord to boost offshore oil, gas exploration - The Hill

Obama to meet with Netanyahu next month as concern grows on Iran response - Bloomberg

David Brooks: Talented people can thrive in our individualistic society. The less fortunate find it harder

Brooks"Over all, we’ve made life richer for the people who have the social capital to create their own worlds. We’ve also made it harder for the people who don’t — especially poorer children. ... So maybe it’s time to acknowledge a core reality: People with skills can really thrive in this tenuous, networked society. People without those advantages would probably be better off if we could build new versions of the settled, stable and thick arrangements we’ve left behind." - David Brooks

And finally... John Ensign used to be a Senator. Now he's back to his old job... as a vet - CNN

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