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Quinnipiac University released a trio of polls on traditional swing states Thursday that challenge the long held belief that former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is the more electable presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2012. Polling of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida shows that Romney still does slightly better against Obama than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has shot to the top of the polls nationally and in the first primary states, but the gap is closing.

In Florida, Romney bests Obama 45 - 42, while Obama tops Gingrich 46 - 44. In Ohio it's Romney over Obama 43 - 42 with a Gingrich--Obama matchup the same. In Pennsylvania the two Republicans fare differently, with Obama moving past Romney 46 - 43 and by Gingrich 48 - 40. Gingrich is also up by 13 points in a trial heat of the Florida Republican primary, which is set to take place on January 31st.

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A new national poll from Rasmussen shows President Obama up on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 45 – 40 conducted on Monday and Tuesday of this week. A week ago, Obama was down two points to Gingrich, 45 – 43, when the former Speaker truly took frontrunner status in the Republican Presidential primary. From Rasmussen:

Gingrich leads Obama among men 47% to 40%, but the president holds a 49% to 34% advantage among women.

Among voters not affiliated with either political party, Obama edges Gingrich by a slight 40% to 37% margin.

Gingrich draws support from 74% of conservatives while Obama is favored by 52% of moderates and 86% of liberals.

The president receives his strongest support from voters under the age of 30, while elderly voters tend to favor Gingrich.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that the voting restrictions passed in several states are not a proportional response to the actual existence of voter fraud.

Holder said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that he is concerned about some of the laws but said he couldn’t get into specifics because DOJ has to act in a neutral way.

“I was a prosecutor in the Public Integrity Section and I actually investigated and prosecuted voter fraud in cases when I was a young prosecutor, and I was concerned that some of these changes go far beyond that which exists in terms of voter fraud,” Holder said.

“We have always tried to make it easier and I’m concerned that these recent efforts are going to have a negative impact,” Holder said. “And ultimately that’s not good for our democracy. We want as many people to be heard in the most important way and that’s by casting votes.”

Asked if his foreign policy approach is marked by “appeasement,” President Obama said reporters should ask Osama bin Laden and other slain Al-Qaeda members if he engages in “appeasement.”

President Obama said at a White House briefing room appearance that there is “no reason” CFPB nominee Richard Cordray should not be confirmed. Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation earlier Thursday.

Asked on Fox News Wednesday night if either Romney and Gingrich were acceptable nominees, Palin responded that she would support either candidate if they got the nomination:

At the end of the day, I will support the GOP nominee, because I do know that every person that is on the GOP side today and these independents who are running that hardly register in the polls -- they, too, would be infinitely better than what we have in the White House today.

Palin is not expected to make an endorsement before the Iowa caucuses.

NBC has ordered Questlove to clear the songs his “Late Night” band will play on-air after an embarrassing episode involving Michele Bachmann. Questlove played a Fishbone song called “Lyin' Ass Bitch” to introduce Bachmann on the show, and NBC was forced to apologize.

Via NY Post.