The fight for South Carolina is underway with ads, endorsements, and attacks. Here are the 10 things you need to know.
- Poll shows Newt Gingrich doing well in South Carolina: an InsiderAdvantage poll of 726 registered voters completed Wednesday showed Romney with a slim lead of 23% to Gingrich’s 21% and Santorum’s 14%. The poll is a bit of an outlier; the TPM Poll Average has Romney at about 31% with Newt and Santorum around 20%.
- Obama’s re-election campaign, DNC raised $222 million in 2011: Numbers released Thursday morning show President Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee together raised $68 million in the 4th quarter of 2011 and $222 million for the year overall. The number was announced in a video from Jim Messina, thanking supporters and stressing how important donations are at this stage of the campaign.
- Santorum super PAC puts fresh money into South Carolina: Pro-Santorum super PAC Red White and Blue Fund will add $600,000 to the $200,000 they already put into South Carolina for an ad “blitz” next week, reports The Daily. It will give Santorum sustained coverage, but doesn’t compare to the money coming in for Gingrich and Romney.
- Sen. Jim DeMint’s advisors endorse Romney: Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Barry Wynn, Columbia businessman and fundraiser Peter Brown, and Columbia attorney Kevin Hall will endorse Mitt Romney Thursday. Wynne is one of Rick Perry’s fundraisers and served on his finance team. All have been advisors to DeMint and are, as CNN noted, ” part of an informal group of South Carolina GOP power brokers.”
- John Bolton endorses Romney: Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that he would bring John Bolton on as his secretary of state in December was not enough. Former U.N. ambassador Bolton endorsed Romney on Fox Wednesday night. “I followed the way that the William F. Buckley, Jr. test: find the most conservative candidate capable of getting elected, and there are obviously two variables there,” Bolton said
- Palin calls on Romney to be more transparent: Sarah Palin said on “Hannity” Wednesday night that Mitt Romney needs to be more transparent and release his tax records from Bain as well as his personal tax returns. Palin joins a chorus of Democrats in particular who have been hounding Romney to release them.
- Romney plans Bain counter attack: Mitt Romney is readying a counter attack to allegations that he was a “corporate raider” at Bain Capital. Part of his new response will be an ad campaign, reports Politico, featuring Americans who got jobs because of Bain. “‘You’re going to get people saying, ‘But for this company, I wouldn’t have a job,’ the senior adviser said.”
- Candidates campaign in SC, Huntsman will head to NY: All candidates are campaigning in South Carolina today. Jon Huntsman, though, after a rally there Thursday morning, will head to New York for a fundraising dinner with Lynn Forester de Rothschild. This isn’t a first; Huntsman held his first fundraising event with Rothschild in June in Manhattan. Rothschild is a strong supporter of Americans Elect and a the idea of a third party candidate.
- Poll shows 3-way tie in North Carolina: Newt used to lead the pack in North Carolina. According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, he now he barely leads with 25%, then Rick Santorum with 24%, and Mitt Romney with 22%.” The North Carolina numbers back up the national trends,” PPP says, with Gingrich deflating and Romney moving up.
- Herman Cain has an announcement: The former candidate has retracted his promise to endorse a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination and now will not endorse. But, Cain is appearing Thursday with Florida GOP Senate candidate Craig Miller for a “major announcement.” As the Tampa Bay Times wrote, “Sure sounds like an endorsement.” Miller, like Cain, started in the food business as the CEO of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Miller is not the frontrunner.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.