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A paperwork error could mean that Jon Huntsman won’t quality for the Arizona ballot, the Hill reports. The filing documents were submitted on time but without the former Utah governor’s signature. The Huntsman campaign says it plans to appeal the decision.

On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney dropped two points overnight in the Suffolk University tracking poll of the New Hampshire Republican Primary, capping a loss of ten points in a week. But on Tuesday the poll showed Romney with a nineteen point lead as voters head to the polls — Romney gets 37 percent while the next closest competitor is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 18. Former Ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman gets 16 while former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sees 11 percent support. The rest of the field is in single digits.

The Suffolk pollsters are essentially calling it for Romney.

“Mitt Romney may beat his closest competitor by a two- to-one margin,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in a release. “With two solid debate performances, Romney weathered the storm earlier this week, while no opponent made a serious run at him.”

The TPM Poll Average shows Romney with a 19.7 percent lead on Paul.

When you’re running as an ‘outsider,’ the last thing you want is someone on you’re team who’s the ultimate insider. In South Carolina, a prominent figure on Rick Santorum’s team is that consumate insider, James Hirni, a K Street lobbyist convicted in the wake of the Abramoff scandal for bribing a Senate staffer. Roll Call reports that, according to the Santorum campaign, Hirni is a volunteer and not a paid staffer. However, he could be getting paid by a firm hired by the campaign.

New Jersey Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce collapsed and died in the statehouse after a late legislative session Monday, Reuters reports. He was 75. DeCroce collapsed in the men’s room at 11:30 p.m., police said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a statement said DeCroce was “one of the most kind, considerate and trustworthy people I have ever had the pleasure to know.”

Now that Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are attacking Romney with populist critiques of his tenure at Bain Capital, National Review has an editorial today defending Mitt Romney and his brand of capitalism:



But to abominate Mitt Romney for having been a success at the business of investing in struggling American companies, connecting entrepreneurs with capital and producers with markets, is foolish and destructive. Republicans ought to know better, and the fact that Gingrich et al. apparently do not is the most disturbing commentary on the state of the primary field so far.


Club for Growth defended Romney yesterday. We’ll see what other conservative groups come out of the woodwork to support Romney.

For the second consecutive week, Barack Obama is attempting to siphon attention in a state where his Republican rivals are taking center stage.

The president’s campaign organization purchased banner and border ads that will run today on the homepage of The Union Leader, New Hampshire’s largest newspaper. Obama’s re-election team ran ads last Tuesday on the Des Moines Register’s website to coincide with the Iowa Caucuses.

Before she dropped out of the GOP presidential race, Michele Bachmann waxed apocalyptic about how 2012 is the Republican Party's only chance to repeal the health reform law. "We cannot afford to have a candidate who fails to understand the complexity of Obamacare or the urgency of its repeal," the Minnesota congresswoman said in an often-repeated line. "Because, we have only have one chance for repeal, and that's 2012."

There's truth to this statement: if Republicans fail to capture the presidency this time around, repealing some or all of the law becomes far more difficult later, even if the GOP sweeps Congress in 2012 and wins the White House in 2016 with equal determination to squash it.

"The 2012 election will be the most important in the history of our health care system because it will determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is implemented or repealed," wrote Harvard health policy expert David Blumenthal in the New England Journal of Medicine. "The consequences for Americans and their health care will be huge."

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BOSTON, MA -- It wasn't meant to be this way. For months Democrats had planned to wait until Mitt Romney won the GOP nomination and then they would unleash their secret weapon. Well, not-so-secret weapon, really: it's something that most observers say cost Romney his campaign against Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1994, and has bedeviled him in every campaign since.

The weapon is one short and unfortunately homophonic word: Bain. As in Bain Capital, the corporate management firm Romney helped to found and made his millions out of, raking in almost comically huge sums of money often even as the bought-up companies shrank, shriveled and shuttered.

Mitt Romney's campaign has long been prepared to face tough attacks on Bain Capital's history of layoffs. But what's been a persistent headache has swollen into an aching migraine. And one of the people leading the charge tells TPM that the person most responsible is typically no friend of the Democrats at all; in fact, it's Newt Gingrich.

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A new Rasmussen poll out the day of the New Hampshire primary shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney up by twenty points on his nearest opponent, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Romney gets 37 percent of the Republican electorate in the state, Paul 17, and former Ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman sees 15. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum gets 13 while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 12.

The numbers closely reflect the TPM Poll Average of the New Hampshire GOP race.

From Rasmussen:



Romney support is down somewhat from 43% support a week ago but up from 33% in early December. He’s been the clear front-runner in New Hampshire since Rasmussen Reports’ first survey of the primary race in September when he had 39% of the vote, even as several of his opponents have risen to challenge him nationally for the GOP nomination and then fallen back.

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