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Democrats upbeat about Senate prospects

Back-to-back surprises — Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe is retiring and former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey is running again — have given Democrats a burst of optimism that they can hold on to control of the Senate, a goal that seemed to be slipping from reach just weeks ago. The decisions this week by Snowe, a Republican, and Kerrey, a Democrat, put two seats Democrats were prepared to write off in 2012 back into play. Those developments, combined with positive indicators for Democrats like an improving economy and President Barack Obama’s higher standing in polls, have some sensing a shift in
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Michigan, Arizona primaries give Romney a needed boost

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney regained frontrunner status in the tangled race for the Republican nomination for President Tuesday with wins in the Michigan and Arizona primaries. But the wins — while significant — still show Romney has a long fight ahead in his pursuit of the nomination. His win in Michigan — his self-declared “home” state — was a narrow one, just three percentage points over former Senator Rick Santorum while he scored a more impressive victory of 20 percentage points in Arizona. The remaining two contenders — former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron
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Bitter Olympia Snowe leaving Senate

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, saying she is tired of “wasting precious time” in a bitter divided Congress, announced Tuesday she will not seek re-election in November. “We could have done so much,” Snowe told Capitol Hill Blue. “The Senate could have done some big things.  We should have had an energy policy.  We should have had tax reform.  We should have had regulatory reform.  Americans have a right to expect and demand an end to the partisan gridlock and they are understandably shocked by the Senate not being able to come together.” The 65-year-old Snowe, despite threats of a challenge
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Ron Paul’s delegate strategy not paying off yet

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the only GOP Presidential contender without at least one victory in a primary, admitted Tuesday that his quest to “win delegates, not primaries” isn’t going as well as he had hoped. Paul failed to pick up any delegates in the Michigan or Arizona primaries Tuesday and told CNN he “wished” he could have done better. “Paul hoped to win some of Michigan’s delegates but it didn’t work out that way,” GOP activist Larry Wilson told Capitol Hill Blue. In front of cheering crowd of supporters in Springfield, VA, Paul sounded more upbeat. “Everyone keeps asking me
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Primary results showcase a crippled Republican party

Mitt Romney‘s narrow win in Michigan is unlikely to ease lingering doubts about his candidacy or head off the possibility of a long and divisive presidential nominating fight that is damaging Republican chances in November’s general election. The close result in Michigan at least temporarily returned Romney to his frontrunner status and averted an outbreak of panic among Republicans worried that staunch social conservative Rick Santorum could doom the party in the November election. But Romney’s struggle to narrowly capture the state where he was once a big favorite highlighted questions about his own inability to connect with voters, and
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Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton? Hey, it could happen

The other day, a good friend came up with an interesting scenario for the ultimate result of the chaotic race for the Republican presidential nomination. But first, let me say that my friend has broad political experience on local, state and national stages, having worked as an adviser on several presidential campaigns. I must add that he is a gifted raconteur with a well-defined sense of humor as well as the bizarre. The other night at dinner, after a rousing debate over which candidate the GOP ultimately would select to oppose President Barack Obama, my friend, with a glint in
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Obama regains ground with women voters

It’s looking like President Barack Obama may be back in the good graces of women. His support dropped among this critical constituency just before the new year began and the presidential campaign got under way in earnest. But his standing with female voters is strengthening, polls show, as the economy improves and social issues, including birth control, become a bigger part of the nation’s political discourse. “Republicans are making a big mistake with this contraception talk, and I’m pretty sure that they are giving (the election) to Obama,” says Patricia Speyerer, 87, of McComb, Miss., a GOP-leaning independent. “It’s a
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Democrats could be key factor in Michigan GOP primary

Republican social conservative Rick Santorum could see an uptick in support during Tuesday’s presidential primary in Michigan from an unlikely voting bloc: hardcore Democrats. Democratic activists and strategists have launched a campaign to push fellow Democrats and independents to vote for Santorum to try to derail the more moderate frontrunner Mitt Romney, a Michigan native and the candidate President Barack Obama’s campaign least wants to face in the November 6 election. “I think Santorum is completely radioactive and will bring an electoral disaster to the Republicans – he could deliver Obama a landslide,” said Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano, who
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Crossroads day for Mitt Romney?

Mitt Romney faces a day of reckoning on Tuesday when Michigan votes to either grant him a big victory in the Republican presidential nomination battle or hand him a humiliating defeat. Romney was born and raised in Michigan and his father was a popular governor, but conservatives are threatening to deliver the state to Rick Santorum, who is running neck-and-neck with Romney in the polls in the final hours before voting begins. Most Michigan polls close at 8 p.m. EST (midnight GMT). Arizona votes as well on Tuesday and Romney has a comfortable lead there, aided by the man who
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Romney, Santorum already looking towards Ohio

Regardless of the outcome of Republican presidential primaries in Michigan and Arizona on Tuesday, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum appear headed for a showdown next week in Ohio. Both candidates plan to dash there later this week. The candidates and their allies already are spending heavily on advertising in the Buckeye State. It’s one of 10 that vote a week from Tuesday, with 419 delegates to the Republican National Convention at stake. “An awful lot of Ohioans are just tuning in to this,” said Terry Casey, a veteran Republican campaign strategist in that state. “It’s going to be a sprint.”
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