The battle for Michigan is underway. Here are ten things you need to know today.
- Romney super PAC makes big ad buy in Michigan: Pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future has bought almost $500,000 in air time in Michigan for February 14-20. By next week, that will bring the total ROF spent there to $700,000.
- Santorum begins to air ads today in Michigan: On Tuesday, Rick Santorum’s campaign will begin airing ads in Michigan, reports ABC’s Shushannah Walshe on Twitter. Two polls out Monday showed Santorum had overtaken Mitt Romney in the state.
- Restore Our Future makes ad buys in several Super Tuesday states: In addition to Michigan, ROF is sinking money into West Virginia, Ohio, and Arizona, where it was already on the air. The super PAC is already buying time in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. They appear ready to blanket just about every upcoming primary state with ads at once.
- Romney talks auto bailouts in Detroit News op-ed: Mitt Romney has an op-ed in Tuesday’s Detroit News. Romney begins by explaining how he was born and raised in Michigan before pivoting to the auto bailouts which, he explains, “all the defects in President Obama’s management of the American economy are evident in what he did.”
- Romney’s surrogates go after Santorum: On a conference call Tuesday, Mitt Romney surrogates in Missouri, Former Sen. Jim Talent, Rep. Billy Long, and State Auditor Tom Schweich will discuss “Romney vs. Santorum Record On Spending.” Missouri already held a “beauty contest” primary but will hold a caucus on March 17 to allot delegates.
- Gingrich will not drop out before Super Tuesday: Fundraising and campaigning in California, Newt Gingrich faced questions about his viability. His response is that he’s been down before and come back. And no, he said, he’s not dropping out before Super Tuesday.
- Perry won’t rule out 2016 run: Asked if he would consider running again in 2016, Rick Perry told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “Absolutely.” He also offered a little unsolicited advice for Mitt Romney, saying he should “stand up in front of the American people and say what you did on health care in Massachusetts was wrong.”
- Santorum tours western states and Michigan: Rick Santorum has his campaign schedule figured out through Thursday. After campaigning in Washington Monday, he moves on to Idaho on Tuesday, North Dakota on Wednesday, and ends up in Michigan on Thursday.
- Gingrich continues fundraising in California: Newt Gingrich spent Monday in California fundraising, and will be in the state on Tuesday as well. He will meet with a Republican women’s group in San Diego and then attend the Tulare World Ag Expo.
- Hirono up in Hawaii Senate race: Rep. Mazie Hirono is outpacing her primary opponent, former Rep. Ed Case, 56%-36% in the primary for the Democratic nomination for Hawaii’s open Senate seat. Hirono also got good news for after the primary. Match-ups with the Republican candidate, former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, have her ahead by 20 points as well.
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.