The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, April 2, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

Apr 2, 2012 3:00am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin, and Eric McLaughlin

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
USA Today’s Susan Page: “Swing States Poll: A shift by women puts Obama in lead” President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side. In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points. LINK

MITT ROMNEY:
ABC News’ Rick Klein: “‘World News’ Political Insights: GOP Race Winding Down to Mitt Romney Win” For all the wild turns and chaotic maneuverings of the GOP primary, the race is coming to a predictable, even orderly, conclusion. The competitive portion of the Republican presidential contest is functionally over. More states will vote, awarding more delegates, but Mitt Romney’s delegate lead is insurmountable, under realistic circumstances. LINK

The Washington Post’s Aaron Davis: “Maryland Republicans may give Romney a boost” Republicans in Maryland have been ruled by Democrats for almost two centuries. They have been divided into gerrymandered districts that dilute their ability to elect members to Congress. And their disorganized ranks have left the party’s most extreme members with an outsize voice in state politics. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “As Romney nears nod, GOP base nods off” Pledges of support from powerful Republicans last week may have edged Mitt Romney closer to the GOP presidential nomination, but the former Massachusetts governor still struggles to fire the imaginations of most in his party – even the coveted endorsements from former President George H.W. Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida seemed underwhelming in tone. LINK

Boston Globe’s Michael Levenson: “Romney sides with Wisconsin governor in divisive recall” A few dozen protesters shouted “Shame! Shame!” and “Recall Walker!” as Mitt Romney slipped inside a strip mall office where volunteers were making calls in support of Governor Scott Walker. “I applaud your governor,” Romney told the volunteers. LINK

Bloomberg’s Viola Gienger: “Brzezinski Says Romney Lacks ‘Grasp’ of Foreign Policy” A former Democratic national security adviser assailed Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney for lacking a grasp of foreign policy and said the former Massachusetts governor would return the U.S. to the policies of George W. Bush. LINK

The Hill’s Cameron Joseph: “Romney needs to pick Hispanic running-mate, say GOP strategists” Mitt Romney has a big Latino voter problem and should choose a Hispanic to be his vice presidential running-mate, according to some GOP strategists. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is loved by the Tea Party, is on every strategist’s list; New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) have also been mentioned as possible choices for Romney.  LINK

The Los Angeles Times’  Michael Finnegan: “Joe Biden leads Obama campaign assault on Mitt Romney” The shape of a general election battle between Mitt Romney and President Obama came into sharper focus Sunday as Vice President Joe Biden led an administration assault on the potential Republican nominee. Biden took on Romney across a wide array of topics in a television interview, describing him as out of touch with the middle class and out of his depth on foreign affairs. LINK

RICK SANTORUM:
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Santorum Compares His Campaign to Final Four Basketball Game” As members of the Republican establishment call for the party to rally behind Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum compared his campaign to the Saturday night Kansas-Ohio State semifinal basketball game in which the two teams battled it out until the Jayhawks came from behind and won by two points. “Well, on a North Dakota radio station the other day, [former New Hampshire] Gov. Sununu, one of Romney’s chief spokesman, trying to spin this well, this race is over, this race is over. LINK

The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel and Nick Corasaniti: “For Santorum, Hope That Voters See Message as Pins Go Flying” Struggling to match Mitt Romney in momentum in the polls and endorsements from Republican luminaries, Rick Santorum has turned, for at least part of his day, from contrasting political records to playing up cultural differences. LINK

OTHER:
The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “GOP Tries to Woo Hispanics” Congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign are working to fashion proposals that could make up ground with Hispanic voters, concerned rhetoric on immigration from many in the party is turning away the increasingly powerful constituency. LINK

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