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Newslinks for Wednesday Feb 29: Romney wins Michigan and big in Arizona

Posted on 02/29/2012

VIDEO: Newt Gingrich tells Bill O'Reilly how he'd cut gas price to $2.50 a gallon

MITT-CHIGAN!

Romney wins Michigan by 41% to 38% and Arizona by 47% to 27% - Detroit Free Press

  • PowerLine claims many Democrats voted for Santorum, boosting his tally
  • Commentary notes Romney's money advantage over Santorum is much narrower (3 to 2) than many would guess at 

Romney's BIG Arizona win

  • Nate Silver is impressed with Romney's "sweeping" win in Arizona
  • :Almost everything in Arizona broke Mr Romney’s way. Jan Brewer, the governor, endorsed him after last week’s debate in (very Mormon) Mesa, Arizona, where the audience gave Mr Romney something resembling a hometown advantage, and where Mr Santorum had a bad night indeed. In Barry Goldwater’s state, Mr Santorum’s blue-collar and rust-belt Catholicism just does not resonate very well. By contrast, Mr Romney’s perceived economic savvy does resonate in a state that is, with Nevada, the centre of the foreclosure crisis." - Economist

EXIT POLL: ROMNEY SEEN AS LIKELIEST WINNER; SANTORUM TRUEST CONSERVATIVE

Screen Shot 2012-02-29 at 11.27.43

See full exit poll details in USA Today.

"Someone tweeted last night, quoting Churchill, that nothing is so exhilarating as being shot at with consequence. For now, Mitt Romney is experiencing the thrill of a bullet having barely missed." - Rich Lowry for Fox

New delegate count: Romney 137, Santorum 54, Gingrich 32, Paul 20 - RCP

"Exit polls showed that 54% of Michigan voters judged the economy the most important issue in the race. Of those, 45% chose Mr. Romney, compared with 29% for Mr. Santorum. Far down the list of issues important to voters was abortion. Only 14% considered abortion to be the overriding issue." - WSJ

"Romney was far better organized and financed and able to sell himself as the candidate with the experience and skills needed to turn around the slumping economy." - Washington Examiner

Jennifer Rubin notes that Romney is moving from leading on his biography to a more economics-focused message.

Romney speakingWhat does it mean for Romney?

  • His twin wins prove a simple political fact: Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing - Washington Post
  • "Even though this most wobbly of frontrunners will face a new set of challenges next week, Romney eased GOP fears Tuesday. He leaves his childhood home having averted disaster and with the second example in a month of bouncing back from adversity" - Politico
  • Romney will have to fight all the way to the Convention - Daily Caller
  • "Romney continues to face a class problem. Once again, his strongest group in the electorate consisted of those who make over $200,000 a year. In Michigan, they backed Romney over Santorum by 55 percent to 28 percent. But he ran behind Santorum among voters earning less than $100,000 a year." - E J Dionne in the Washington Post
  • Romney's tax reform plan threatens his fiscal responsibility brand - Ross Douthat
  • GOP voters want to hear a critique of Mr. Obama, but above all they want to hear an agenda and vision for a better future that can rally a majority to defeat him - WSJ editorial

Santorum largeWhat does it mean for Santorum?

  • "Mr. Santorum must hope that keeping it close in Michigan still will provide a jolt of momentum—not to mention an infusion of cash and volunteers —as he turns his attention to Saturday's caucuses in Washington state and the 10 Super Tuesday contests that loom less than a week away" - WSJ
  • “We came,” Santorum continued, “into the backyard of one of my opponents in a race that everyone said well, just ignore, you have really no chance here, and the people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates, and all I have to say is, I love you back.” - NRO
  • Santorum attempts to broaden appeal by talking taxes, manufacturing, energy - New York Times

Santorum's chief strategist continues to raise concerns about Romney-Paul alliance - NRO

Onwards to Super Tuesday...

"Romney faces a two-front war next week on Super Tuesday with its seven primaries and three caucuses. Santorum will concentrate on beating Romney in Ohio, a pivotal state, while Newt Gingrich is angling to win in Georgia and Tennessee.  Romney can count on winning in Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia. A win in Ohio would all but finish off Santorum, who has opened up a strong lead in polls. But dramatic victories in one week’s contest tend to influence the next week’s. So Romney may quickly close Santorum’s lead in Ohio and may even get a boost against Gingrich in the Southern states." - Fred Barnes for the Weekly Standard

Mitt managed to win in Michigan after a hellish week on the campaign trail. Good for him. But daunting obstacles—like Ohio and Georgia—remain in his path - Daily Beast

Obama used a speech at the United Auto Workers conference for a wide ranging attack on the candidates vying for the Republican nomination to oppose him, bashing their views on the auto bailout, organized labor and values - Politico

  • Gas price hikes could derail Obama's economic and political recovery - Dick Morris for The Hill

Senator Snowe's retirement makes the Maine seat a likely pick-up target for Democrats in their bid to retain control of the Senate - WSJ

  • Obama praises Snowe - MSNBC
  • "Snowe’s surprise retirement announcement Tuesday blindsided fellow Republicans and gave Democrats another morale boost when it comes to their prospects for holding the majority this fall." - Roll Call

Boehner John Blue ShirtBoehner's often laissez-faire approach has encouraged dissension and open defiance among the rank and file - Roll Call

Reagan knew that diplomacy and development policy neutralize threats before they become crises

"Foreign assistance programs that vaccinate children against polio, engage at-risk youth in Central America, give young girls in Afghanistan the opportunity to go to school, or provide HIV/AIDS treatments to millions in sub-Saharan Africa do more than just ease suffering and increase opportunity around the world. They also promote core U.S. national security interests by stabilizing regions that could otherwise become incubators for radicalism." - John Kerry for the Wall Street Journal

Welfare reform worked: The success story among poor mothers shows how public policy can reduce poverty by encouraging individuals to work - Peter H. Schuck and Ron Haskins for LA Times

John O'Sullivan: Journalism would be uniformly, monoculturally and suffocatingly liberal without Rupert Murdoch - NRO

Conservative leaders demand apology from Huffington over anti-Catholic column - Fox

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