Political Animal


December 08, 2011 12:00 PM Thursday’s campaign round-up

By Steve Benen

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* Four new Time/CNN polls show Newt Gingrich leading Mitt Romney in three of the four early nominating contests. Gingrich leads Romney by 13 points in Iowa, 23 points in South Carolina, and 23 points in Florida. Romney still leads in New Hampshire, but his margin over Gingrich has shrunk to just 9 points.

* New Quinnipiac polls also show Gingrich well ahead of his Republican rivals, leading Romney by 13 points in Florida, 18 points in Ohio, and 14 points in Pennsylvania.

* The same Quinnipiac poll tested Gingrich and Romney against President Obama in hypothetical general election match-ups. Both GOP candidates have one-point leads over the president in Ohio; Obama leads the Republicans in Pennsylvania; and in Florida, Romney has a small lead over the president while the president has a slight lead over Gingrich.

* The Romney campaign’s new ad emphasizes the former governor’s stable family life, a subtle dig at a certain thrice-married former House Speaker.

* Gingrich, meanwhile, said yesterday Romney would “certainly” be on his short-list for vice presidential candidates.

* Gingrich also said yesterday he’d like to see former Bush administration UN envoy John Bolton as his Secretary of State.

* In Massachusetts, a new UMass-Lowell/Boston Herald poll shows Elizabeth Warren (D) leading Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) by seven points, 49% to 42%.

* Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus spoke out this morning against the upcoming debate being moderated by Donald Trump.

* The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has begun buying television time in Oregon’s first congressional district, in advance of the upcoming special election.

* And Ohio Democrats have put together a pretty hilarious video targeting Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who broke his vow to serve a full four-year term in state government after less than a year.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • chi res on December 08, 2011 12:07 PM:

    Gingrich also said yesterday hed like to see former Bush administration UN envoy John Bolton as his Secretary of State.

    Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code:

    "Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

  • Peter C on December 08, 2011 12:29 PM:

    Sorry Chi Res, that was BS in 2008 and its BS now. No one is making promises or pledges. It is valid to ask who *might* be asked to serve in a new administration; you vote for the candidate and get the administration. This is not a case of influence peddling; that line of reasoning is a red herring.

    The big issue is that Newt would consider the current age's best example of a diplomatic bomb-thrower as the head of the diplomacy department. Bolton is loved by the radical right and easily the worst possible choice as Secretary of State.

  • mk3872 on December 08, 2011 12:48 PM:

    lol! Obama is leading in PA!

    Wasn't it just last week that pundits were telling us that Obama couldn't win PA or white working class voters???

  • chi res on December 08, 2011 1:00 PM:

    @Peter C

    "We Report, You Decide"

  • Perspecticus on December 08, 2011 1:44 PM:

    I am unsure which emotion I am experiencing more of- giddiness that Mittens is seeing his overarching ambition to be president crash around him, or the bewilderment caused by Newt Gingrich being the dominant candidate for the GOP presidential nomination? In fact, the thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion that I am actually an autistic child inventing all of this as I gaze into my snow globe.