The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, March 19, 2012

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

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Post's T.W. Farnam: " Obama's high-dollar donations lagging" President Obama is struggling to draw in big-dollar donations, with half as many people writing large checks to his campaign than at this point four years ago. Obama is outpacing his Republican rivals in fundraising overall, and his advisers have concentrated on amassing small-dollar backers, part of a strategy to get more people invested in the reelection effort. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Emily Friedman: " Romney Enjoys Puerto Rican Victory as Wife Urges Voters to Coalesce" Mitt Romney revelled in his win in the Puerto Rican primary this evening before a town hall in suburban Chicago, boasting of the 20 delegates he will add to his lead as his wife Ann used the victory as a call to "coalesce" behind her husband's campaign. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Patrick O'Connor and Douglas Belkin: " Illinois Race Muddled by State's Move Right" The Land of Lincoln once proved a reliable home for centrist Republicans, making it the kind of state Mitt Romney would have carried comfortably. Not anymore. The former Massachusetts governor finds himself locked in a dogfight here with former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ahead of Tuesday's primary, thanks in part to the rising influence of more-conservative Republicans. LINK

The Boston Globe's Ben Fox and Philip Elliott: " Romney wins in Puerto Rico" Mitt Romney scored an overwhelming win Sunday in Puerto Rico's Republican presidential primary, trouncing chief rival Rick Santorum on the Caribbean island even as the two rivals looked ahead to more competitive contests this week in Illinois and Louisiana.

The victory in the US territory was so convincing that Romney, the GOP front-runner, won all 20 delegates to the national convention at stake because he got more than 50 percent of the vote. LINK

The New York Times' Monica Davey: " Drifting Right, Illinois Is Test for Romney" Illinois has been known for choosing Republicans of a moderate brand, in the mold of James R. Thompson, the state's longest serving governor, or Mark Steven Kirk, the United States senator elected in 2010. So for Mitt Romney, who has had to defend himself against the moderate label elsewhere, a primary here - with its large prize of delegates and the symbolism of President Obama's backyard - would seem a welcome, natural fit. LINK

The Washington Times' Tim Devaney: " Romney lambastes Obama over military decisions" Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Sunday accused President Obama of mishandling U.S. military operations in the Middle East. "What's happening right now is an example of failed leadership," he told "Fox News Sunday." LINK

Bloomberg's Todd Shields: " Romney Says He Expects to Be Nominee as Santorum Calls Hi" Mitt Romney said he expects to become the Republican presidential nominee as rival Rick Santorum called him a weak candidate to run against Democratic President Barack Obama in the November election. LINK

RICK SANTORUM: ABC News' Jonathan Karl: " Rick Santorum: I Want to Go One-on-One With 'Weak' Romney in Debate" GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum lambasted Mitt Romney this morning on 'This Week," calling him a flawed candidate and asking for a one-on-one debate with the former Massachusetts governor. "I'd love to be able to get one-on-one with Gov. Romney and expose the record that would be the weakest record we could possibly put up against Barack Obama," said Santorum. LINK

Politico's Maggie Haberman: " Team Santorum: We lost on principle over statehood" With Rick Santorum on track to receive less than 10 percent of the vote in Puerto Rico, his team had this to say about why he fared poorly: it was his stand on statehood and the English language: LINK

RON PAUL: USA Today's Jackie Kucinich: " Rep. Ron Paul's campaign aims to collect stray delegates" Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign strategy of targeting caucus states appears to have fallen flat - he is still without a win - and with only one caucus state remaining, it might appear time for him to withdraw. But that is not how the Paul campaign rolls. Instead, the campaign is trying to pick up stray delegates in states that have already held caucuses. LINK

PUERTO RICO: The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz: " Romney wins Puerto Rico GOP primary" GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney won a crushing victory in Puerto Rico's primary contest on Sunday.  CNN and the Associated Press both projected Romney as the winner shortly before 7 p.m., three hours after polls closed in the island territory.  LINK

The New York Daily News' Alison Gendar: " Puerto Rico primary: Mitt Romney triumphs following Rick Santorum's 'Spanish-speaking country' gaffe" Mitt Romney smashed his Republican challenger Rick Santorum on Sunday to win Puerto Rico's presidential primary. CNN projected Romney the winner with 83% of the counted votes. He won all the territory's 20 delegates to the Republican convention. LINK

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