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Newslinks for Thursday April 5: Romney polling 5% ahead in Santorum's home state, Pennsylvania

Posted on 04/05/2012

Mitt Romney will have to make himself more appealing to the general electorate than he has to Republican voters

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"Moreover, because of the way Romney has won — by burying rivals in an avalanche of attack ads — he has sullied his own image; anyone who has ever heaved a mud pie at close range knows that some dirt splatters back. The trick for Romney in the general election will be to take the fight to the president without further harming himself. ... Perhaps the best news for the GOP's nominee-in-waiting is that November is seven months away and the worst of the nominating fight finally seems behind him." - LA Times

Romney is ahead by 5% in Pennsylvania - Santorum's home state

500px-Flag_of_Pennsylvania.svg"Mitt Romney's taken the lead in PPP's newest poll of Rick Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania. Romney has 42% to 37% for Santorum with Ron Paul at 9% and Newt Gingrich at 6%. The numbers represent a dramatic turnaround from when PPP polled the state a month ago. Romney's gained 17 points, going from 25% to 42%. Meanwhile Santorum's dropped 6 points from 43% to 37%, for an overall swing of 23 points in the last four weeks." - PPPPolls

  • Romney makes general election pitch in Pennsylvania, but can't ignore Santorum - CNN

He is competitive with Santorum amongst Evangelicals, Tea Partiers and "very conservative" voters

"Romney's made huge in roads with the groups that have tended to fuel Santorum's success. What was a 37 point lead for Santorum with Evangelicals is now only 10 points at 44-34. What was a 32 point advantage for him with Tea Party voters is now only 6 at 41-35. And in the greatest sign that conservatives are starting to really around Romney a little bit, what was a 51 point deficit for him with 'very conservative' voters is now only 11 points at 44-33." - PPPPolls

A notice on Santorum's website indicates a break from the campaign

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"The Santorum for President campaign will be taking a brief break from the campaign trail so that the team has an opportunity to return to their homes and spend time with family and friends. The Santorum family wishes everyone a safe and blessed holiday weekend."

But the Santorum camp indicates he's NOT withdrawing from the race

"But top Santorum aide John Brabander says that's not the case. "In honor of Holy Thursday, Friday, and Easter, the senator will be taking a four-day break," says Brabender.  "I can assure you it doesn't mean anything more than that." Addressing talk that Santorum might decide that a loss in his home state of Pennsylvania's primary on April 24 would be devastating to his future political prospects, Brabender said, "You have to understand this guy.  He's an Italian kid from a steel town.  Believe me, he doesn't sit there and say, 'What if I lose?'  If there comes a time when it looks like Romney will be the nominee, he will honor that.  But we certainly haven't reached that point yet."" - Washington Examiner

Karl Rove: Time's up for Santorum

Rove"[W]hat possible incentive is there for unpledged delegates to support a fading candidate like Mr. Santorum? He says it would be "energizing" for the GOP to have a floor-fight at its August 27-30 convention. That's the argument of a desperate candidate. More and more Republicans think such a bloodletting would severely set back the cause of defeating Barack Obama. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is correct: The GOP nomination must be earned. Mr. Romney's sweep Tuesday shows he is doing just that." - Karl Rove for the WSJ ($)

John Boehner likely to stay neutral in the race - Roll Call

Veepwatch: VP candidates are, contrary to popular opinion, not usually from swing states

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"Presidential nominees presumably know something about electoral politics and are strongly motivated to make politically rewarding choices. Yet in modern times they almost never choose a running mate based on the assumption that he or she can swing a state with a lot of electoral votes. The running mate often comes from a state with few electoral votes and/or a safe state and, when he or she has recently come from a state rich in electoral votes, that fact has played little, if any, role in the selection." - Larry Sabato

The case against Rubio for VP? Hispanics do not consider themselves one group

Screen shot 2011-06-21 at 14.26.47"Only 24% of Hispanic adults said they most often identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan think tank. About half said they identified themselves most frequently by their family's national origin, saying they were Mexican, Cuban or Salvadoran, for example. An additional 21% said they called themselves American most often, a figure that climbed to 40% among those born in the U.S." - WSJ

  • Sen. Rubio: GOP primary 'is over' - USA Today

On the stump, Dems split with Obama over Keystone XL pipeline

"President Obama has steered clear of taking a firm stance on the Keystone pipeline, but many Democrats running for Senate don’t have the same luxury. Eight of the 18 non-incumbent Democrats running for Senate surveyed by The Hill either steadfastly support the pipeline or oppose it outright, breaking with Obama’s decision to reserve judgment on the project until federal regulators conduct a full review." - The Hill

Holder: DOJ to respond 'appropriately' to judges' questions about Obamacare

Eric holder"The Justice Department is scrambling to meet a federal court's Thursday deadline to answer fundamental constitutional questions dealing with the health care law... Administration officials said Wednesday they were deciding how to respond to an order from a three-judge appeals panel hearing a separate challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Department lawyers were told to explain whether federal courts could intervene and strike down congressional laws as unconstitutional. Such a power has been guaranteed since the Supreme Court's landmark 1803 ruling in Marbury v. Madison." - CNN

  • Holder says 'courts have final say' in response to furor over Obama's health law comments - Fox News

George F. Will: The drug legalization dilemma - Washington Post

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