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Newslinks for Wednesday April 4: Mitt takes three states - the general election has effectively begun

Posted on 04/04/2012

VIDEO: "We won 'em all!" - Romney celebrates his triple victory

Romney victorious in Wisconsin, Maryland and D.C.

Romney Wisconsin

The winning percentages:

  • Wisconsin: Romney 42.5%, Santorum 37.6%, Paul 11.7%, Gingrich 6.1%
  • Maryland: Romney 49.1%, Santorum 28.9, Gingrich 10.9%, Paul 9.5%
  • D.C.: Romney 70.2%, Paul 12%, Gingrich 10.7%, Huntsman (who isn't even running anymore) 7%
  • Results via Politico

The RCP delegate count: Romney 634, Santorum 263, Gingrich 140, Paul 67

The primaries are effectively over...

Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"Mitt Romney will almost certainly be the GOP nominee. Rick Santorum is entitled to stay in the race, and to offer voters in the remaining states an alternative. But it's probably time for him to do what Mike Huckabee did in similar circumstances in 2008—basically to stop attacking the almost inevitable nominee, and instead to adjust his own message going forward to a positive and issues-based one." - Bill Kristol

...and the general election has started

  • Romney-obama"It’s a new season, one where the president attacks his likely GOP opponent by name in TV ads and on the stump and the all-but-certain Republican nominee blithely ignores his intra-party rivals so as not to distract from his mocking rhetoric about Obama. The calendar may say April, but with Obama tweaking Romney as a stuffy rich guy for saying “marvelous” and Romney hammering Obama as a detached megalomaniac “surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers” the rhetoric has reached October-like levels." - Politico
  • "Despite negatives that rose during the course of a nasty primary fight, Romney remains fairly undefined to a swath of general election voters who are just now tuning in to the race. That’s why President Barack Obama’s campaign moved to start building its case this week against Romney with a swing-state ad blitz well north of $1 million" - Politico
  • "As a result, Romney advisers no longer feel they have the luxury of waiting to engage. Look for him to talk more and more about the president he expects to oppose and less and less about Republican opponents." - Gerry Seib ($)

Romney making inroads with conservatives?

"Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tied among "very conservative" voters, with each candidate at 43 percent. Santorum has dominated that slice of the GOP electorate in a number of states ... Romney also won voters who "strongly support" the tea party movement, besting Santorum, 50 percent to 38 percent." - National Journal

  • "Romney's win in Maryland was anticipated: the dimensions of it, perhaps beyond expectations. For only the fourth time in the long campaign season, Romney won the support of at least 50 percent who called themselves conservative" - AP

Pennsylvania is the next big contest

500px-Flag_of_Pennsylvania.svg

  • "The possibility of a loss in his home state of Pennsylvania may force Rick Santorum to drop out of the Republican primary sooner than he’d planned, say GOP strategists." - The Hill
  • "Since the other states that will vote on April 24 — New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware — will almost certainly go for Romney, Santorum’s homecoming may be his last stand." - Commentary
  • "In the past year, Santorum has moved far beyond the image of his historic defeat in 2006, a humiliating 18-point loss in the race for his U.S. Senate seat. Another setback in his home state could erase much of what he has won back, leaving a tarnish that could darken his political future." - Washington Post

Is Santorum beginning to concede?

Santorum after Nevada"After losing the Wisconsin, Maryland, and District of Columbia primaries on Tuesday, Santorum warned that if Romney wins the nomination this summer but is defeated for the presidency this fall by Democratic incumbent Barack Obama, Republicans will only have themselves to blame for bypassing a self-proclaimed true conservative like him."

And Rick appears to be setting himself up for 2016... "In so doing, Santorum would have a strong base for running for president in 2016 - just like Ronald Reagan rebounded to win the White House in 1980 after Republicans rejected him in favor of the more moderate Gerald R. Ford in 1976." - Boston Globe

BUT... an important fact: Romney is still only half-way there

"Santorum said the GOP contest had only reached halftime, with half of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination having been selected. However, The Associated Press count of delegates showed Romney leading the race for delegates with at least 646 delegates. Santorum had just 272." - AP

Newt says he's still intending to stay in the race until Tampa

Meet Newt 9"Republican Newt Gingrich says he isn't leaving the party's presidential race and is vowing to continue all the way to the nominating convention." - AP

  • "Gingrich said Tuesday he is committed to carrying the banner of bold conservative colors all the way to Tampa to ensure, in his words, “the Republican Party never abandons the timeless conservative principles.”" - Washington Post

Obama will be running against Paul Ryan as much as against the nominee

Screen Shot 2012-03-30 at 11.45.30

"The message of President Obama’s budget speech today was this: In 2012, the Republican nominee for president is going to be Paul Ryan. And that’s true even if Mitt Romney wins the nomination. That’s because Ryan is doing what Romney will not: Saying what, specifically, Republicans intend to do if they take power. As a veteran politician, Romney knows better than to get into those weeds." - Ezra Klein

Obama attacks GOP budget proposal

"Obama launched a major assault Tuesday on the House-passed Republican budget proposal embraced by front-running GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, calling it "social Darwinism"... Obama described the measure -- prepared by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and passed by the House -- as a "Trojan Horse" that is disguised as a deficit reduction plan but actually imposes a "radical vision."" - CNN

  • "Warning against what he said would be severe cuts to college scholarships, medical research, national parks, and even technology to make accurate weather forecasts, Mr. Obama said the Republican budget was “so far to the right, it makes the Contract With America” — Newt Gingrich’s legislative manifesto of 1994 — “look like the New Deal.”" - New York Times

Appeals court fires back at Obama's comments on health care case

Supreme_court_building"[A] federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom. The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law." - CBS

  • Judges order Justice Department to clarify Obama remarks on health law case - Fox

US, Afghanistan close to signing landmark deal on night raids

"The U.S. and Afghanistan are close to signing a landmark agreement that would give Afghans effective control over nighttime raids and clear the way for the two countries to sign a strategic-partnership agreement next month in Chicago, according to officials from both countries." - Fox

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