These are my links for September 13th through September 17th:
Mitt Romney abruptly shifts strategy– Mitt Romney, sensing an opening in the Middle East mess and catching flak from conservatives for giving too little detail about his policy plans, is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on “status quo versus change,” chief strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO.The shift, which is to include much more emphasis on Romney’s policy prescriptions, means he is scrapping the most basic precept of his campaign. From the time he began contemplating running again after his loss in the 2008 primaries, Romney’s theory of the case has been a relentless and nearly exclusive focus on the listless economy.
Daily Number: 79% of Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.– 79% – Most Egyptians Have an Unfavorable View of the U.S.Egyptians express highly negative opinions of the United States and President Barack Obama’s performance in the Pew Global Attitudes Project survey done this spring.Fully 79% say they have an unfavorable view of the U.S., while just 19% offer a favorable one. That is one of the highest unfavorable ratings among the 20 nations in the survey; 86% say this in Jordan and 80% in Pakistan.Most Egyptians also say that the U.S. gives little consideration to their country’s interests when making international policy decisions. Eight-in-ten (80%) say the U.S. considers their interests “not too much” or “not at all.” Again, that is one of the highest among the countries surveyed.About seven-in-ten in Egypt (69%) say they do not have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, while 29% express confidence in the U.S. president. That also ranks among the most negative ratings for Obama; 73% say this in Jordan and 68% in Greece
Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled– Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist, knew his candidate’s convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign’s Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party’s smarter wordsmiths.Not a word Wehner wrote was ever spoken.
Swings states remain focus for White House– With just over seven weeks until Election Day, the campaign for the White House has boiled down to just a handful of states and neither campaign is spending time in other places – unless it is to raise money.That was the script followed last week by Mitt Romney, who stopped Thursday and Friday in Virginia and Ohio, sandwiching those events with some fund raising in New York.And that’s exactly what President Obama will do this week – he campaigns on Monday in Ohio, raises money on Tuesday in New York, and makes stops later in the week in Florida and Virginia.When you look at the ten states seen as toss ups right now, the poll averages (as tabulated by Real Clear Politics) are almost all trending in favor of the President (Electoral votes in parentheses):Florida (29) – Obama +1.3%
Ohio (18) – Obama +4.2%
Michigan (16) – Obama +6.3%
North Carolina (15) – Romney +4.8%
Virginia (13) – Obama +0.3%
Wisconsin (10) – Obama +1.4%
Colorado (9) – Obama +3.0%
Nevada (6) – Obama +3.3%
Iowa (6) – Obama +0.2%
New Hampshire (4) – Obama +4.0%
With voting under way, Romney camp faces test from Obama’s ground game– The first votes of the presidential election have already been cast — and in a battleground state.As of Sunday, 602 ballots had been returned by mail to election officials in North Carolina. President Obama won the state narrowly in 2008, becoming the first Democrat to carry it in a presidential election since Jimmy Carter in 1976. It sits near the top of Mitt Romney’s target list this year.By Saturday, almost half the states in the union will be issuing absentee ballots by mail, according to the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College. Among them will be the battleground of Virginia. Yet another key state, Iowa, will allow in-person voting from Sept. 27.
NC Poll Watch: Romney 51% Vs. Obama 45%– Mitt Romney has cleared the 50% mark again in the battleground state of North Carolina despite the presence of the Democratic National Convention there little over a week ago.The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely North Carolina Voters shows Romney with 51% support to President Obama’s 45%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
Obama Is Too drunk On His Celebrity To Understand The Gravity Of The Attacks On America– So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser.No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation.
Amazon buyers can use 3rd-party sellers to avoid tax– Here’s some good news for California bargain hunters annoyed that they’ll have to pay sales tax on Amazon.com starting Saturday: Many of their purchases won’t be affected.Amazon doesn’t plan to collect tax on anything sold by its vast array of third-party sellers – the thousands of retailers, large and small, that use Amazon’s Internet platform to market their goods.It’s no small change. Third-party sellers accounted for about 40 percent of the goods ordered by Amazon buyers worldwide in the second quarter of this year, said Anne Zybowski, an e-commerce analyst with Kantar Retail consulting in Boston.That’s millions of dollars a year in sales in California alone.The percentage has “really started to creep up,” she said. “It’s pretty big.”
Amazon says its stance is perfectly legal – and consistent with how the company handles third-party sales in the seven other states where it collects sales tax.
Worst of West Nile virus season to come in California– California and parts of the Bay Area are expecting the current West Nile virus season to be the worst in at least five years, with almost twice as many cases of the viral infection in humans so far compared with last year.Contra Costa County officials announced the first Bay Area case on Wednesday, in a woman who was infected in mid-August and is recovering now. With the peak reporting weeks still ahead, five people in the state have died from the virus, including a 74-year-old Placer County man whose death was reported Thursday.Beyond California, the United States is in the grip of what may turn out to be the worst outbreak of West Nile since the virus arrived in the country 13 years ago. Although the national outbreak may have reached its peak, public health authorities say they won’t have full reports on the extent of the epidemic for another few weeks.
Nearly one in four California children in poverty, Census Bureau says– California’s poverty rate was 16.9 percent in 2011, the highest it has been in 15 years, according to numbers released by the US Census Bureau Wednesday.Nearly one in four California children lives in poverty, the report said. More than a third of Californians living below the poverty level are age 18 or younger.The increase in the poverty rate between 2010 and 2011 was not statistically significant, but since 2006, the rate has increased by 4.7 percentage points from 12.2 percent. The last time it was as high as it was in 2011 was 1996, when the state was still recovering from an early 1990s recession and just prior to the high-tech boom that improved economic conditions across the board in California.To be classified as poor in 2011, a family of two adults and two children would have had to make less than $22,811. That is a national figure, and many advocates believe it understates the poverty level in California because of the state’s high cost of living.
These are my links for September 10th through September 12th:
Attack Planned: US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and 3 other Americans killed in protest over film ridiculing Prophet Mohammed– Tuesday night’s deadly assault that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was planned by attackers who used protests as a diversion, sources told CNN today.Earlier reports said the Americans were killed when a mob of protesters and gunmen overwhelmed the US Consulate in Benghazi, setting fire to it in outrage over a film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.Libya’s new president apologized Wednesday for the attack, which underlined the lawlessness plaguing a region trying to recover from months of upheaval.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, died as he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as a crowd of hundreds attacked the consulate Tuesday evening, many of them firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
By the end of the assault, much of the building was burned out and trashed. Stevens was the first US ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
A Libyan doctor who treated Stevens said he died of severe asphyxiation, apparently from smoke. In a sign of the chaos of during the attack, Stevens was brought alone by Libyans to the Benghazi Medical Center with no other Americans, and no one at the facility knew who he was, the doctor, Ziad Abu Zeid, told The Associated Press.
Stevens was practically dead when he arrived close to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, but “we tried to revive him for an hour and a half but with no success,” Abu Zeid said. The ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries, he said.
Peggy Noonan: Romney not ‘doing himself any favors’– The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan is criticizing Mitt Romney’s response to the death of a U.S. diplomat in Libya, telling Fox News today she doesn’t feel that the Republican presidential nominee “has been doing himself any favors” in the past few hours.“I was thinking as he spoke, I think I belong to the old school of thinking that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happened to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” Noonan said. “When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.”In a statement last night, Romney slammed the Obama administration for sympathizing “with those who waged the attacks” rather than condemning the attacks outright. Romney doubled-down on that attack today during a press conference, telling reporters the statement was “akin to apology” and that it was “disgraceful to apologize for American values.”But Romney’s effort to politicize the violence in Libya was met with blowback not just from the Obama administration but from the media. “[Romney’s] doubling down on criticism… is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign,” Time magazine’s Mark Halperin wrote on his blog.
The Insane MSM Questions Romney Faced at Presser– So if a presidential candidate gives remarks about a foreign-policy crisis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that in the Q&A held immediately afterward, reporters would ask him about . . . foreign policy. But when Mitt Romney took questions today after talking about the situation in Libya and Egypt, the dominant theme of the questions was all about process and politics. Here are the seven questions asked:1. Reporter brings up that Romney had a “toughly worded statement last night,” and asks, “Do you regret the tone at all given what we know now?”2. “Do you think, though, coming so soon after the events really had unfolded over night was appropriate, to be weighing in on this as this crisis was unfolding in real time?” Follow-up: “What did the White House do wrong then, Gov. Romney, if they put out a statement saying they disagreed with it?”3. “The world is watching. Isn’t this itself a mixed signal when you criticize the administration at a time that Americans are being killed? Shouldn’t politics stop for this?”
4. “Some people have said that you jumped the gun a little bit in putting that statement out last night and that you should have waited until more details were available. Do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all of the things that were happening?”
5. “If you had known last night that the ambassador had died, and obviously, I’m gathering you did not know . . . if you had known that the ambassador had died, would you have issued such a strongly-issued statement?”
6. Reporter comments that Romney is running on his “economic know-how and private sector experience,” and adds, “but now that foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East has been thrust into the presidential campaign, can you talk about why specifically you think you are better qualified than President Obama to handle these issues?”
7. “How specifically, Governor Romney, would a President Romney have handled this situation differently than President Obama did? You spoke out before midnight, when all the facts weren’t known. How would you have handled this differently than the president did?”
Only the last question even addressed what Romney would have done if he was in office. None of the questions asked Romney to give details or be more specific about what he thinks the United States should do going forward.
Open mic captures press coordinating questions for Romney “no matter who he calls on we’re covered”– Before Romney issued his statement today, an open mic capture the press coordinating questions to ask Romney, with one saying “no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question”. I’ve transcribed it to the best of my ability but the audio is below for verification:I’ve labeled one as the CBS News reporter as I believe it is Nancy Cordes who works for CBS News. If I’ve gotten that wrong I apologize and will correct.UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: …pointing out that the Republicans… *unintelligible* …Obama….CBS REPORTER: That’s the question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: *unintelligible*
CBS REPORTER: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your question? Your statement?
CBS REPORTER: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on…
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*
CBS REPORTER: You can’t say that..
CBS REPORTER: I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?
Dead Ambassador dragged through streets, MSM furious at Romney criticism of Obama– If there ever were a doubt, no matter how small, that the mainstream media is deeply in bed with the Obama campaign, the reaction to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and several other Americans should put such doubt to rest.Beginning early this morning, when news was just breaking, the left-blogosphere and mainstream media, led by MSNBC, has attempted to shift the focus from the Obama administration’s failure to protect our embassies and for its apologies (both before and after the attack on the Cairo Embassy) to whether Mitt Romney was wrong to criticize Obama last night.No, I’m not kidding.
No Record of Intel Briefings for Obama Week Before Embassy Attacks – According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing–known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)–in the week leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the murder of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff:
Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze on Dish TV– Glenn Beck is set for a TV comeback with his online channel TheBlaze launching on Dish Network Wednesday.“TheBlaze has helped revolutionize television over the Internet and now we are excited to bring the revolution back to traditional television,” Beck said in a press release. “TheBlaze will be home to news, information and entertainment programming with the facts and stories people care about most and we look forward to kicking things off with DISH.”The 24-hour online network will be available to Dish viewers starting on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. Viewers with Dish’s America Top 250 package will be able to watch the channel, or can purchase it separately for $5 a month. TheBlaze — which celebrated its one-year anniversary on Wednesday — will continue to be available online, the release noted.“After being phenomenally successful with his online streaming network, we’re pleased to host Glenn Beck’s return to broadcast TV, especially during this exciting and important political season,” DISH CEO and President Joseph Clayton said in a press release on Wednesday announcing the launch. “With Glenn’s return, DISH is truly th
Obama, Romney locked in tight race in Nevada– President Obama travels to Nevada on Wednesday to further his attempt to win the state’s six electoral votes in the face of the country’s worst unemployment rate and a sputtering housing market.The conventional wisdom around the Silver State is that while Obama faces significant headwinds to repeat his 2008 victory in Nevada, he remains the favorite given his slight but steady lead in polls.“With 56 days to go, basically both campaigns would privately acknowledge that Obama is ahead,” said Jon Ralston, one of the state’s top political commentators. “The question is, how far ahead? The Obama folks think they’re above the margin of error. And the Romney folks think they’re within the margin of error.”
Obama Announces Letterman Appearance on Day He Snubbed Netanyahu– President Barack Obama will be visiting one of his biggest fans soon – late night talker David Letterman.The president will chat with the “Late Show” host during a trip to New York City next week, according to the National Journal. Letterman’s nightly monologues mostly spare the president from satirical ribbing, saving his most cutting remarks for the Romneys … or even former President George W. Bush.The news comes on the same day Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he couldn’t meet with him due to a scheduling conflict.
United States and Israel Engage in Public Spat Over Iran Policy – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel inserted himself into the most contentious foreign policy issue of the American presidential campaign on Tuesday, criticizing the Obama administration for refusing to set clear “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear progress that would prompt the United States to undertake a military strike. As a result, he said, the administration has no “moral right” to restrain Israel from taking military action of its own.
Polls: Ryan beats Biden in popularity– Paul Ryan has had a higher favorability rating than Vice President Biden in every major nonpartisan national poll since the Wisconsin lawmaker was picked for the GOP vice presidential slot.In these polls, Ryan averaged a likability factor 7.5 percentage points higher than Biden, and he even bested President Obama’s favorability rating four out of six times.
Poll Shows Allen Up 5 Over Kaine in Virginia Senate Race – The same Gravis Marketing Poll released today that showed Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama by 49-44 in Virginia showed Republican George Allen leading Democrat Tim Kaine 47-42 in the Senate race. For Allen, today’s 5 point margin reflects a 2 point increase from a poll conducted a month earlier by the same firm
Noonan’s Blog: Everyone Will Watch the Debates– 1. People will be watching. Convention viewership may have been down, but almost every voter who can, will watch at least some of the debates. Three reasons. First, nothing else has moved the needle, the race has been neck and neck for months. Second, a lot of people will use the debates to test and double-test their preliminary judgments. Is Romney really strong enough for this job? Is Obama really who I want to stick with? Third, it’s a contest, it’s combat. Someone will cross the goal line, one of them will beat the other. Someone will emerge the champ, or at least an undamaged contender. Unlike a convention, a debate is something a candidate can win right before your eyes.So: everyone will watch. What do they hope for? They’d like to think by the end, “That guy is a president” and turn it off and go to bed, resolved. They will also accept, “My guy didn’t screw up! It was a tie, but he didn’t lose, I’ll watch the next one.”
Depending on Dependency – – Thomas Sowell– The theme that most seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was that we are all responsible for one another — and that Republicans don’t want to help the poor, the sick and the helpless.All of us should be on guard against beliefs that flatter ourselves. At the very least, we should check such beliefs against facts.Yet the notion that people who prefer economic decisions to be made by individuals in the market are not as compassionate as people who prefer those decisions to be made collectively by politicians is seldom even thought of as a belief that should be checked against facts.Nor is this notion confined to Democrats in America today. Belief in the superior compassion of the political left is a worldwide phenomenon that goes back at least as far as the 18th century. But in all that time, and in all those places, there has been little, if any, effort on the left to check this crucial assumption against facts.
White House pushes back on claims from Woodward book– Bob Woodward’s new book on the collapse of the grand bargain has put the Obama White House on the defensive on economic policy just as the 2012 campaign enters its most crucial phase.Republicans have seized on The Price of Politics as evidence President Obama is in over his head on the economy.The White House on Monday pushed back against Woodward’s latest conclusions: that weak leadership by Obama worsened last year’s debt-ceiling crisis and led to the failure to enact a deficit grand bargain.Obama’s leadership during the crisis was “significant,” according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, and reflected a “sincere and deliberate” effort to compromise.
Washington Post-ABC News Poll Among Likely Voters: Obama 49% vs. Romney 48%– Last week’s Democratic National Convention helped President Obama improve his standing against Republican Mitt Romney, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but did little to reduce voter concern about his handling of the economy.The survey shows that the race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions.But among a wider sample of all registered voters, Obama holds an apparent edge, topping Romney at 50 percent to 44 percent, and has clear advantages on important issues in the campaign when compared with his rival
California ranked 4th worst in business legal climate– California ranks 47th in the nation in its courts’ “fairness and reasonableness” regarding business lawsuits, according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform.Not only is the state’s legal climate as a whole ranked fourth worst in the nation, just ahead of Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia, but Los Angeles County has the second worst lawsuit climate among local jurisdictions and San Francisco fourth worst..Delaware, the legal home of many major corporations, ranks No. 1 in business legal climate.The rankings are based on a survey of corporate general counsels and senior attorneys, conducted by Harris Interactive.The annual survey has been conducted for the past decade, and California’s standing has declined during that period. The survey report called California courts “havens for class action lawsuits because judges certify cases for trial that wouldn’t be certified in most other parts of the country.” It noted that the largest asbestos verdict in the nation this year – $48 million for one plaintiff – came in a Los Angeles jury trial.
GM’s Volt – The ugly math of low sales, high costs – loss of $49K each– General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August — but that probably isn’t a good thing for the automaker’s bottom line.Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher. There are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.And while the loss per vehicle will shrink as more are built and sold, GM is still years away from making money on the Volt, which will soon face new competitors from Ford, Honda and others
9 states where the race will be won– The presidential race has narrowed to a core of nine states, a collection of margin-of-error battlegrounds spread across nearly every region.From New Hampshire in the Northeast to Nevada in the Rocky Mountain West, there is little disagreement between the two campaigns about the places where the election will be won and lost. Aside from those two swing states, there are seven others: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.Some of them are familiar presidential battlegrounds, accustomed to playing a pivotal role every four years. Others are relative newcomers to the swing state roster. Every one of them was carried by President Barack Obama in 2008.According to interviews with campaign officials and strategists, here’s the state of play and the forces at work in the nine states:
Romney going up in Wisconsin with TV ads– Mitt Romney’s campaign will be launching TV ads in Wisconsin, reflecting its belief that the state is within its grasp. It was not an easy or risk-free choice to spend money there.The last two months of a campaign are when political consultants earn their keep. There are only so many hours in a day, so much airtime to be bought and so much money (even in an election with as much money already sloshing around as was spent in the entire 2008 race). One of those is where to try to expand the map for your candidate.A senior Romney adviser told me the spate of ads rolled out Friday in eight states was shipped before the Democratic National Convention and before the rotten August jobs numbers were known. But the campaign guessed right in making the ads intensely focused on jobs (even breaking down the number of jobs each state could hope to add under a Romney presidency) and emphasizing that Romney has a jobs plan. That economic message will be pounded home throughout the fall. There was a reason Obama was so glum in Charlotte on Thursday; the economy was and remains critical in the election and we are at best going sideways at a time the economy should be rolling full-steam ahead.
Re: Romney and Obamacare – Pre-existing Conditions?– I reached out to the Romney campaign for clarification about Mitt Romney’s remarks this morning about liking some parts of Obamacare. An aide pointed out that Romney first said on Meet the Press that “I say we are going to replace Obamacare. And I am replacing it with my own plan.”In reference to how Romney would deal with those with young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”UPDATE: In reference to pre-existing conditions, a Romney aide responds, “Governor Romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited,” and refers me to these remarks Romney made in Florida in June:
These are my links for March 15th through March 22nd:
Romney advisor says his conservatism can be erased – Ever since he launched his first bid for the presidency over five years ago, critics have argued that Mitt Romney’s conservative positions aren’t sincere, and that he would start to abandon them once he was no longer trying to appeal to the Republican primary electorate. I just never expected one of his chief campaign staffers to openly admit it. Yet feeling cocky after Mitt Romney’s strong victory in Illinois, top advisor Eric Fehrnstrom did just that.
Here’s the stunning exchange on CNN (via Greg Sargent):
HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?
FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.
‘Etch A Sketch’ Latest Gaffe From Romney Campaign – For a candidate who has spent months battling the title of “flip-flopper,” perhaps the last thing he would want associated with his name is an Etch A Sketch, those do-over drawing boards that let you shake your scribbles away with the flick of a wrist.
Unfortunately Mitt Romney won’t be able to shake away this comparison any time soon. When his campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom was asked this morning on CNN how the GOP frontrunner would make the pivot to the general election, Fehrnstrom compared Romney’s primary campaign to an Etch A Sketch, a gaffe that spread like wildfire to Romney’s rival’s stump speeches.
“It is time to get behind the nominee,” Bush told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday during a visit to Pittsburgh. “And it is time for the country to focus on the most important thing, which is to elect a president who will create a climate for high growth and job-creating abilities for our country.”
Bush called for the Republican Party to unite behind the former Massachusetts governor, who won the Illinois primary this week with 46.7 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania.
GOP strategist Bruce Haynes said the Bush endorsement is worth a lot to the Romney campaign.
“It’s literally the sound of the referee’s whistle calling the game to an end,” Haynes said.
Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas have declared that they will remain in the race until the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa.
Putting Gov. Bob McDonnell on the ticket as the GOP vice-presidential nominee does not help the Republicans carry the state, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. In a matchup of President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden against Romney and McDonnell, the Democrats win 50 – 43 percent.
Obama wins head to head against other Republican contenders:
54 – 35 percent over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; 49 – 40 percent over former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum; 49 – 39 percent over Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
Supporters of Mr. Hatch turned up in strong numbers at some packed Republican caucus meetings around the state, where delegates were elected to next month’s state party convention.
And here in Utah County, a deeply conservative area in the backyard of Brigham Young University, and hotbed of anti-Hatch sentiment, some prominent opponents of the senator failed to win delegate seats.
“It’s going to be a very good night for Hatch,” said Dave Hansen, Mr. Hatch’s campaign manager.
A local election board ruled Thursday that the six-term senator has abandoned his Indiana home and cannot cast a ballot in the state he represents. The Indiana Republican is up for re-election this year and faces a conservative challenger in the state’s May 8 primary.