BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Republicans Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich faced off in a pair of high-stakes presidential primaries in Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday, with polls showing a virtual three-way dead heat in both states. The contests are critical for all three top contenders in a volatile Republican White House campaign that already has featured numerous surges, collapses and voter mood swings. Gingrich needs a win to keep his struggling campaign afloat, while Santorum hopes to knock Gingrich out of the race and consolidate conservative opposition to Romney. ...
On Friday I suggested that Mitt Romney would have a long slog to reach 1,144 delegates, and that he might not get there by the end of the primary calendar. While some readers were thrilled by this suggestion, others were much less ecstatic.Probably the biggest source of pushback was my assumption that there wouldn't be a huge movement toward Romney -- in other words, that he wouldn't gather momentum in the weeks and months ahead. Indeed, when making my predictions of how things would play out in a particular state, I used prior election outcomes from states with similar demographic...
Whatever the outcome, Republicans in Mississippi and Alabama will shake up the GOP presidential race today. Newt Gingrich could find new life, or he could face a difficult decision. Rick Santorum will be looking for a Dixie boost, as will Mitt Romney, who has struggled in southern primaries.
With so many dynamics at play, the final tallies are important, but they are not the entire story. As the returns come in, and candidates rally their supporters, keep an eye on these ten factors.
Keep reading this post . . .
There have been many frauds of historic proportions — for example, the financial pyramid scheme for which Charles Ponzi was sent to prison in the 1920s, and for which Franklin D. Roosevelt was praised in the 1930s, when he called it Social Security. In our own times, Bernie Madoff’s hoax has made headlines.But the biggest hoax of the past two generations is still going strong — namely, the hoax that statistical differences in outcomes for different groups are due to the way other people treat those groups.
The latest example of this hoax is the joint crusade of the Department of Education and the Department of Justice against schools that discipline black males more often than other students. According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, this disparity in punishment violates the “promise” of “equity.”
Keep reading this post . . .
Wherever he goes, people are required to show identification. When cashing a check. When signing up for a library card. When boarding a plane. When entering certain office buildings. When checking into hotels. When (in the case of the youthful-looking) buying a beer or cigarettes, or entering a bar. The tyranny of the photo ID is so all-encompassing that people can’t enter Holder’s own Justice Department without showing one.
Holder is outraged that in a nation where requests for photo ID are ubiquitous, more and more states are requiring that people show them when they vote. In a speech last year, Holder characterized these voter-ID laws as an assault on the voting rights that Congressman John Lewis — the hero of Edmund Pettus Bridge — fought for in the mid-1960s. Back then, blacks in the South had to fear for their safety if they showed up at the courthouse to try to register to vote. Now, states are merely asking everyone, regardless of race, to show identification that is readily available to all, regardless of race.
Keep reading this post . . .
While Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney argues that his opponents have no realistic shot at winning enough delegates to secure the nomination, the same could eventually be true for Romney if a four-way race continues. NPR takes a look at the latest delegate numbers.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new poll Monday showed Mitt Romney is surprisingly strong in two Republican presidential primary contests in the South this week that are crucial to his conservative rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. "About all we know for sure about Tuesday's primaries is that Ron Paul will finish last in them," Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in releasing the results. "Beyond that it's plausible that any of the candidates could finish between first and third in both Alabama and Mississippi. ...
HE WAS NO ATHLETE, but the teenage Mitt Romney joined the race anyway. A student at the Cranbrook School, a prep academy in suburban Detroit, he laced up for a 2.5-mile run with the cross-country team at halftime of a football game. By the beginning of the game’s second half, everyone had finished. Everyone but young Mitt.His crucial error had been starting too fast. Woefully unprepared for the distance, he cramped up and had to crawl across the finish line. But the experience, according to schoolmate Gregg Dearth, taught Romney something important: “To pace yourself and...
Mitt Romney picked up some support in Saturday's contests, but there may be trouble lurking for him in the near future as the GOP race moves to the Deep South. Tuesday's primaries are in Alabama and Mississippi, and the reddest of states are proving to be a tough sell for the former Massachusetts governor.
PARIS (Reuters) - French Socialist Francois Hollande will ask lawmakers to vote on a proposed removal of the word "race" from the French Constitution if he is elected president in May, the frontrunner said in a speech on Saturday. The 57-year-old Hollande also praised the diversity of France's ethnic makeup, saying the country was "proud of its diversity", further distancing himself from incumbent rival Nicolas Sarkozy's tough talk on immigration and calls for clear labeling of halal meat. ...
By DAVID ESPO, ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney and his Republican presidential rivals competed Saturday in caucuses in Kansas and Wyoming, the latest contests in a grinding campaign for the nomination to oppose President Barack Obama in the fall.
A total of 52 delegates to the Republican National Convention was at stake, 40 in Kansas and a dozen in Wyoming.
Romney, the front-runner by far in the delegate competition, padded his lead overnight when he won all nine delegates on the island of Guam and an equal number in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Romney showed strength in Wyoming counties that picked delegates earlier in the week, but did not campaign in Kansas.
Rick Santorum and Ron Paul both eyed Kansas and campaigned there in the days leading to the caucuses.
Newt Gingrich cancelled a scheduled trip to Kansas late in the week to concentrate on a pair of primaries next Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi.
Romney began the day with 440 delegates in the AP's count, more than all his rivals combined. Santorum had 181, Gingrich 107 and Paul had 46.
A candidate must win 1,144 to clinch the Republican presidential nomination at the national convention in Tampa next August.
The Virgin Islands also had weekend caucuses.
In sparsely populated Wyoming, there were 15 county conventions during the day to pick six convention delegates. Another six were chosen earlier, with Romney winning 4, Paul one and one uncommitted.
Kansas drew more attention from the White House hopefuls, but not much more, given its position midway between Super Tuesday and potentially pivotal primaries next Tuesday in Mississippi and Alabama.
Paul and Santorum both campaigned in the state on Friday, and Gov. Sam Brownback appeared with each without making an endorsement.
In Topeka, Paul told an audience of about 500 that Kansas should be a "fertile field" for his libertarian-leaning views but declined to say how many delegates he hoped to gain.
Santorum, who hopes to drive Gingrich from the race in the coming week, lashed out at Obama and Romney simultaneously in remarks in the Kansas capital city.
"We already have one president who doesn't tell the truth to the American people. We don't need another," he said.
The former Pennsylvania senator told reporters he was confident "that we can win Kansas on Saturday and come into Alabama and Mississippi, and this race should come down to two people."
An aide to Gingrich said earlier in the week the former House speaker must win both Southern primaries on Tuesday to justify continuing in the campaign.
But Gingrich strongly suggested otherwise on Friday as polls showed a tight three-way contest in Alabama.
"I think there's a fair chance we'll win," the former House speaker told The Associated Press about the contests in Alabama and Mississippi. "But I just want to set this to rest once and for all. We're going to Tampa."
Romney had no campaign appearances Saturday. The former Massachusetts governor won six of 10 Super Tuesday states earlier in the week, and hopes for a Southern breakthrough in Alabama on Tuesday after earlier losing South Carolina and Georgia to Gingrich.
Associated Press reporters Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington, Thomas Beaumont in Alabama and Phil Elliott, John Hanna and John Milburn in Kansas contributed to this report.
I am continually amazed how those at the Romney campaign continue to act victorious when they have such a poor case to make about cinching the nomination. Case in point was yesterday's release of a memo that Romney aides claimed proves that only an "act of God" can prevent Romney from getting the nomination. The memo comes on the heels of Romney's public suggestion that the other candidates should get out of the race.
This wouldn’t be the first time the media missed the real story. In the wake of a split Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum scored wins against each other, but it was former Speaker Newt Gingrich who single-handedly drove President Obama into panic mode.Mr. Romney deserves enormous credit for his success in the early primaries, but the undeniable fact remains that he has not demonstrated the ability to win a race without vastly outspending his opponents, often by 5-to-1 and even 12-to-1. He will not enjoy this luxury against the sitting president and the billion-dollar...