Snowe Retiring, Romney Struggles, Gonzo Democrats for Santorum, What’s the GOP Crisis Point? (PM Note)

Feb 28, 2012 5:56pm

Breaking – Sen. Olympia Snowe is Retiring – Huge blow to Republican chances to take control of the Senate – More from Amy Walter – http://abcn.ws/AbFxBB

Michigan – Primary Polls close at 8 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET.

Arizona – Primary Polls close at 9 p.m. ET.

Stay Plugged in at OTUS News.com – http://otusnews.com

All indications shows that it’ll be a squeaker in Michigan. That’s Mitt Romney’s birthplace we’re talking about.  He’s the guy with the money and the endorsements and the hair. But still we’re talking about a Santorum surge. Will it be enough for the former Pennsylvania Senator to defeat the son of the former governor? And is a win a win for Romney? Or does he need a bit more than that to quell a collective GOP stomach ache? Is a three-point victory good enough? Four? Romney and his allies spent twice the money in Michigan that Santorum and his allies did, a GOP source tells Michael Falcone.

What’s the GOP Crisis Point? Not to get ahead of ourselves, but a Romney loss in Michigan is the moment when Republicans start breaking the “in case of emergency” glass.

Matt Dowd, who hails from Michigan, says that if Romney loses his home state’s primary tonight, it’ll be a Chernobyl-like event for the GOP. 9.0 on the Richter scale, he told George Stephanopoulos this morning. http://abcn.ws/wlBoT8

How close is it? It can’t be a good sign when Romney is accusing Santorum of being “in league with Democrats” to “kidnap” the Michigan primary. http://abcn.ws/A90g3r

Gonzo Democrats – Santorum and some Democrats are encouraging a little interparty sabotage of the GOP primary in Michigan. Santorum said  he’s targeting Democrats who would have supported Reagan. But his entreaty to Democrats is about as natural as Angelina Jolie’s leg pose. It seems more likely that his robo-calls would entice Democrats who still support President Obama. http://abcn.ws/x40VWz

“Democrats are afraid of me, not Santorum,” said Romney on Fox this afternoon.

Is the margin close enough that some gonzo Democrats could turn the tide? Matt Negrin on the numbers – http://abcn.ws/zHkKbd

It’s a weird dynamic where Santorum is counting simultaneously on the far right and the far left, according to Michael Falcone – http://abcn.ws/xiEtmJ

OTUS News Stock Market Tells Story of Santorum’s Rise – Mitt Romney, still the most valuable Republican, has lost ten percent of his value since December. And Newt Gingrich has lost almost half of his value.  Ron Paul, who opened at more than 50 back in December, has yet to win a race. His value has steadily declined and he now trades in the 30s. But Rick Santorum, who shot up after Iowa, then deflated after losses in New Hampshire and Florida, has been on a steady climb since his fourth place finish in the Nevada caucuses. He is the only candidate to gain value since December. Take a look at the OTUS News Stock Market.  http://abcn.ws/zeJWwv

Obama’s UAW Stemwinder – The President tried out some new material before UAW members in Washington today. It was a stemwinder that focused on the auto bailout. And it revolved around his “bet” on American workers. He said Mitt Romney is shoveling up some “you know what.” http://abcn.ws/yEQEgh

Stuck in ‘Obamaha’? In Case of a 269-269 Electoral Split – http://abcn.ws/xlgTit

Santorum’s NASCAR Strategy – From the race tracks to the polls – Rick Santorum’s come-from-behind strategy worked well in Daytona this weekend. Question is, will it work in Michigan? – http://abcn.ws/yPzctY

Santorum Logic – Rick Santorum breaks all the rules. He called Obama a snob last week. He said JFK’s religion speech makes him want to throw up. Today he said Mitt Romney is a bully. http://abcn.ws/ywL2bS   The substance of what Santorum has to say is often overtaken by his verbiage – like when he described his personal opposition to contraception as part of the whole “sexual libertine” thing and, earlier, “harmful to women.” And he never wants to back down from the things he says. Santorum repeated again and again to George Stephanopoulos that JFK’s religion speech makes him “want to throw up.” Today, he told Laura Ingraham he regrets that one. http://abcn.ws/wEI8lL

Callous Candidates: Insults Abound in GOP Race  – The most memorable insults all in one place – From Amy Bingham - http://abcn.ws/xoEyta

Foot in Mouth – While campaigning in Michigan ahead of his home state’s primary, Romney told ABC’s David Muir he knows the wealth comments are hurting him. http://abcn.ws/AzcnyJ

Though Romney acknowledged his gaffes on the campaign trail, he said he won’t “light his hair on fire” to win. http://abcn.ws/znbko9

The Land Shaped Like a Hand – Romney and Santorum battle to the finish in Michigan. Analysis from ABC’s John Berman – http://abcn.ws/ACwB1b

‘Damn Time’ for National Energy Policy – Boehner Vents Anger Over Record High Gas Prices – From John Parkinson http://abcn.ws/zUJ715

The UAW Speech, Syrian Opposition, and Arab Allies — Today’s Tapper Q’s for O’s WH — 2/28/2012 http://abcn.ws/ztpUEc

Secretary Clinton: Syrian President Bashar Assad Fits Definition of a War Criminal – ABC’s Matthew Larotonda reports  – http://abcn.ws/wlfsUd

Cat Fancy – Department of Silliness – A Pet Prospect for US Senate Gives Va. Voters Paws – http://abcn.ws/wRK7rS

Obama Creates Trade Enforcement Office – http://abcn.ws/yo73Wu

Justices Divided on Corporate Liability for Human Rights Violations – http://abcn.ws/yXmtvX

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