Political Strategy Notes
The turnout figures for Santorum's Tuesday trifecta should put a damper on his crowing. As Catalina Camia reports in USA Today On Politics: "In Colorado, where Romney campaigned heavily, turnout was down about 7% from 2008, according to data compiled by MSNBC's First Read. In Minnesota, turnout was down by 24%. And in Missouri, which was a "beauty contest" primary with no impact on delegate allocation, voting was down 57%."
"Turning the Tide in Ohio" a Campaigns & Elections post by by Dennis Willard & Melissa Fazekas addresses the successful campaign to defeat Governor Kasich's assault on collective bargaining for public workers. The authors explain "how social media helped amplify our message, boost earned media efforts, and overturn an Ohio law."
According to Gabriella Schwarz CNN.com post "Poll: Obama leads GOP candidates in Virginia," in the latest Quinnipiac Poll of registered voters, "President Barack Obama edged out Mitt Romney in a hypothetical general election match-up in Virginia, according to a new poll. ...Obama captured 47% to Romney's 43%, a wider margin than the two percentage point difference in the December results. But Romney fared better than his GOP rivals in the likely swing state....Obama led Newt Gingrich 51% to 37%, Rick Santorum 49% to 41% and Ron Paul 47% to 40%."
The same poll has former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine in a statistical tie with George Allen in the U.S. Senate race. "Kaine's standing in the Senate race will almost certainly be tied to Virginia's view of the president," according to Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. This is a high priority race for the GOP, and Dems can help Kaine at his Act Blue page.
When the best Romney can do with a Pawlenty endorsement in MN (his home state), is a humiliating defeat, as Ben Jacobs notes at the Daily Beast, it's probably a safe bet that TimPaw is not going to be seen as much of a veep asset on the GOP ticket.
As the 10th most populous state (close to tied with NC and NJ), Georgia is the biggest prize on Super Tuesday (March 6), and it's a must-win for Newt, who never won a state-wide race in his former home state. (Gingrich now lives in VA, where he failed to qualify for the primary ballot). In 2008, 60 percent of GA GOP voters were white evangelicals. Romney and Santorum are reportedly joining the fray in GA.
Sara Kiff of Ezra Klein's Wonkblog explains why the white house is prepared to hang tough on supporting health care coverage of contraceptives. "A poll out Tuesday from the Public Religion Research Institute finds 52 percent of Catholic voters agreed with the statement, "employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost." That's pretty much in line with overall support for the provision, which hovers at 55 percent - likely because Catholics use contraceptives at rates similar to the rest of Americans." Kiff reports that 60 percent of young voters and women support the measure.
E.J. Dionne's WaPo op-ed, "Clint, Rick and the limits of pessimism" spotlights Rove's blunder in criticizing Clint Eastwood for making a highly popular ad celebrating America's moxie, as symptomatic of the GOP's rut -- "a constant doubling-down on glumness."
Harold Meyerson has some fun with his WaPo op-ed "The GOP scrambles for a bogeyman," holding the Republicans to account for their Europe-bashing as a way to trash President Obama. Meyerson asks Republicans, "If Europe is not a "free land," why are we still in NATO? If Europe is home to the pernicious bureaucratic authoritarianism that Romney and Gingrich claim, why haven't Republicans called for breaking our alliances with it? Why do we have close ties to Germany, where workers have considerable input into corporate decisions? Or to Britain, the home of national health? Is Europe friend or foe?"
TV still rules as the primary source for political news, according to TPM's Kyle Leighton, who explains of a new survey: "The Pew study also shows that there is certainly overlap between those who watch newscasts and seek information online. Two thirds of Americans get their news either "regularly" or "sometimes" from cable, nearly the same as those who go to local television news, and 61 percent that look to the national nightly broadcasts for the same. About 52 percent say the regularly or sometimes go to the internet, and with 32 percent saying they never do."