Political Strategy Notes
Political Buzz Examiner Ryan Witt has crunched the polling data for the states and finds President Obama would win by over 100 electoral votes if the election were held today.
Santorum's vicious attack against President Obama's religious beliefs is already boomeranging. Kirsten Powers takes him to task at The Daily Beast for his radical contempt for environmental protection, in contrast to a growing community of Christian greens: "Perhaps it's really Senator Santorum who hews to a "phony theology" at odds with the Bible. Santorum, who has been a shameless apologist for polluters, appears to worship at the altar of business and free enterprise no matter the cost to the health of Americans--including unborn Americans...Most recently he blasted the Environmental Protection Agency's new rule placing first-ever limits on the amount of mercury that coal-fired power plants can emit into the air. Mercury is a neurotoxin that has been known to damage developing fetuses and children and causes myriad negative health effects in adults."
E.J. Dionne, Jr. sets the stage for 'the Ash Wednesday debate,' and ventures a prediction: "My sense is that Santorum's social issue extravaganza has put him in danger of losing the Michigan primary."
Former Bush speechwriter David Frum entertains the Republicans' most dreaded scenario in his CNN post "GOP's worst nightmare -- a contested convention."
Wapo's Ruth Marcus makes a case for Dems moving toward the center, based on a new Third Way report. Says Marcus, "...Democratic-leaning independents have different views than those who call themselves Democrats. As Eberly reports, they are "less supportive of government intervention in the economy, more likely to believe that the government has gotten too involved in things people should do for themselves, and express higher levels of support for cutting Social Security spending."
Also at WaPo, Eugene Robinson explains why Dems should root for Santorum. Grey Lady conservative columnist Ross Douthat agrees: "it would almost certainly be a debacle."
For a good round-up of the GOP's million-dollar Super-PAC sugar-daddies, read the NYT's "In Republican Race, a New Breed of Superdonor" by Nicholas Confessore, Michael Luo and Mike McIntire.
You know that Suffolk University poll showing Scott Brown with a 9-point lead over Elizabeth Warren in the MA senate race, in contrast to three other recent polls showing Warren with a 3-point lead? Turns out some wonks think the Suffolk poll's methodology was a little dicey. Mark Blumenthal has the skinny here.
Joan Walsh has a belated Valentine to Rick Santorum at Salon.com, for his calling attention to what a GOP victory would mean for American women who are accustomed to making their own decisions about their bodies. "Santorum may be compromising his own political future almost as much as he's compromising women's rights with his increasingly crackpot declarations. He's also helping Virginians who oppose their state GOP's extremism to get attention to their cause, while the Virginia GOP helps national Democrats sound alarms about Santorum's lunacy. It's a win-win for proponents of women's freedom. I keep pinching myself to make sure it's not a political trick."