The Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries are Tuesday. Here are ten things you need to know today.
- Santorum was still up in Michigan before CNN debate: A poll released Thursday showed former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) up in the Michigan Republican primary before Wednesday night’s CNN debate, and our TPM Poll Average shows him with a 2.3 percent lead at the moment. But given his (by many accounts) lackluster performance on the stage, things may change rather quickly, and we’ll be tracking all the movement.
- Romney and Santorum continue to battle ahead of MI, AZ primaries: Rick Santorum is a Washington insider that loves earmarks, says former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney is a faux-conservative, says Santorum as the two battle it out before the Michigan and Arizona primaries Tuesday. Romney’s campaign sent out emails rubbing in Santorum’s lukewarm performance in Wednesday night’s CNN debate including his attack on his past support of Republican turned Democratic Senator Arlen Specter, while Santorum is pushing back with hits on Romney flip flops on abortion in in a new ad.
- Santorum attacks Romney over tax-exempt bond for Planned Parenthood development: Santorum continues to attack Romney over social issues, sending out an email to reporters flagging a tax-exempt bond that was cleared for Planned Parenthood in Worcester, Massachusetts when he was governor in 2006. “Mitt Romney is talking a good pro-life game, but for over 55 years of his life, Romney was not just pro-choice, but a supporter and proponent of abortion in America,” Santorum’s campaign wrote.
- Arizona Republic endorses Romney: The largest newspaper in Arizona, the Arizona Republic, has endorsed Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination. “…there is eloquence in achievement,” the paper wrote. “And, for the task at hand, as defined by Republicans themselves, the real-world achievements of Mitt Romney far surpass those of virtually all the lifelong politicians against whom he is competing.”
- Groups line up to fundraise for Walker: It’s not just Democrats in Wisconsin that are getting ready for the likely gubernatorial recall election — Wisconsin Republicans are getting their plans together as well. Alliance for a Stronger Wisconsin, a conservative pro-Walker group sent out an email for cash on Thursday, and the state Republican Party is launching a “Reclaim Wisconsin’s Debt” tour as the two sides prepare their campaign organizations.
- New Gallup poll shows a majority say Obama is ‘too liberal’: A new poll from Gallup shows that 51 percent of Americans polled think that President Obama is “too liberal,” with 35 percent saying his ideology is “about right” and ten percent saying he is too conservative. Potential challenger Mitt Romney is viewed as too conservative by 33 percent, about right by 36 and too liberal by 22.
- Conservatives attack Coulter over Romney support: Conservative stalwart Ann Coulter isn’t getting any props for supporting the establishment — a group calling themselves Citizens for Principled Conservatism has started coulterwatch.com in an attack on the commentator’s support for Mitt Romney. “In recent months, Ann Coulter has lied about and vilified conservatives who threaten the candidacy of Mitt Romney, whom she calls the ‘most conservative’ candidate,” the group wrote in a release. “Just this week, she again falsely claimed Romney to be the most conservative, falsely asserted that Sarah Palin is an establishment Republican, and falsely contended that Romney really won in Iowa. Coulter has also dismissed the Tea Party as conspiracy nuts to promote Romney. Coulter gushes over Romney and even defended RomneyCare, now known as CoulterCare!”
- Massachusetts Democrats to attack Brown over contraception: Massachusetts Democrats will hold a conference call with reporters today to hit Sen. Scott Brown on his support for the Blunt Amendment, which permits any employer to deny birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. Brown is a co-sponsor of the bill and is running against consumer advocate and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren for the senate seat in the state.
- Santorum, Romney campaign in Michigan: Santorum will be heading to a fish fry in Walled Lake, Michigan tonight, followed by a rally in Lincoln Park and a “tele-town hall” for Republicans in Arizona. Romney speaks today at the Detroit Economic Club followed by an afternoon rally at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.