The pace of the presidential campaign is slowing as we wait for the next primaries at the end of the month. Here are ten things you need to know today.
- New Michigan poll will likely show Santorum ahead: Public Policy Polling is releasing its Michigan poll later on Monday. On Twitter, they
previewed that they are expecting Santorum to be ahead by 10 to 15 points. Santorum has been hinting that he thinks he can win Michigan, which is Romney territory, though PPP downplayed the importance of a lead still two weeks before the Michigan primary on February 28.
- Did Mitt Romney really win Maine?: Probably, but Ron Paul’s campaign is crying foul because one county wasn’t included in the final results. Romney was declared the winner by just 194 votes even though Washington County’s caucus was postponed due to a snow storm. Still, as the New York Times’s Nate Silver explains, the odds of Paul overtaking Romney from just that county are slim.
- George Soros undecided on how he will support Obama: On CNN on Sunday, billionaire George Soros said he was still deciding whether or not to start a super PAC to support President Obama’s reelection. Soros stressed he is always transparent about how he uses his money, “so whatever I decide, I will state what I’m deciding.”
- Obama releases budget Monday: The White House’s proposed 10-year budget to be released Monday is a political document, particularly in an election year. The President will use the budget to push for a progressive alternative to the GOP’s budget, including tax reforms that enshrine the “Buffett Rule.”
- Gingrich campaign strapped for cash: Newt Gingrich will spend the next two days in California, largely to raise money for his struggling campaign. Gingrich has eased up on campaigning recently to focus on raising money.
- Perry tried to raise money for Gingrich: A New York Times story Monday mentions that Rick Perry, who endorsed Newt Gingrich, recently made appeals to his former fundraisers on Gingrich’s behalf. On a conference call with his ‘bundlers,’ Perry asked them to give to Gingrich.
- Obama campaign launches ‘Truth Team’: The Obama campaign announced an initiative Monday morning called the Truth Team that will “promote the President’s achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable.” The announcement says they anticipate attack ads from the GOP nominee that will distort the facts.
- Obama’s ratings go positive: The TPM Poll Average shows President Obama’s approval going positive for the first time since June 2011. Obama has been on a steady upward trend for months.
- Santorum under increased scrutiny: Rick Santorum’s rise to #2 in the fluid GOP race means the media are asking more questions. On Sunday, he faced several questions about a passage in his book which attacks “radical feminists” for hurting the family.
- Democrat in Nevada Senate race runs against Republicans’ social agenda: Rep. Shelley Berkeley of Nevada, who is running to unseat Sen. Dean Heller, is using Republicans’ social agenda against him. At an event in Reno Monday, Berkeley will appear with a woman who is at-risk for breast cancer to discuss why “Republicans like Dean Heller” should stop their “radical social agenda that attacks women and focus on job creation.”
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.