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At a townhall in Iowa, Santorum makes a jab at the press for ignoring his record on “Iran” and “Social Security.” The press doesn’t look at my record record, he said, all they care about is “abortion.”

The Pew Hispanic Center released a survey Wednesday shows Obama’s approval slipping among Latinos — a group crucial to his reelection. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of how the President has handled deportations. The good news for the President: when paired with Romney or Perry, Obama still gets almost 70% of the Latino vote.

Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, has a new ad up in Iowa Thursday attacking Newt Gingrich. Newt has adopted a strategy of apologizing for, rather than denying, certain policy positions he held in the past. The Restore Our Future assembles clips of Newt saying “I made a mistake” on multiple occasions and asks, “Haven’t we had enough mistakes?”

Watch:



Mitt Romney has a new ad up in on TV in Iowa Thursday called “Freedom and Opportunity.” The 60-second spot is an uplifting montage of images of the United States and Mitt Romney speaking. Romney says his campaign will defend the ideals of “economic freedom and opportunity.”

Watch:





New data from Gallup asked Americans to rate themselves on a scale of one to five, one being very liberal and five being very conservative. The mean among citizens turned out to be 3.3, which is just the number that Americans rated former Ambassador and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to be on the scale.

In fact, all the current Republican nominees for President where within .7 of the mean score. The politician that Americans scored as being the farthest away from their ideology was President Barack Obama at 2.3, a full point away.

From Gallup:



If Americans chose their president solely on the basis of the fit between their own ideological views and their perceptions of the candidates' views, Huntsman, Romney, and Paul would be in the best position for the 2012 election. While a close ideological fit is clearly a political asset, many other factors go into selecting a president, including evaluations of national conditions, such as the economy, the performance of the president and his party, and the platform each candidate is running on.

Indeed, Obama's mean ideology rating four years ago was 2.5, essentially the same as now, and he was perceived to be slightly more liberal (with a score of 2.2) immediately before the election. Americans' own ideology ratings in December 2007 (3.2) and October 2008 (3.3) were essentially the same as now, and closer to John McCain's (3.4 in December 2007 and 3.7 in October 2008) than Obama's.

The Ron Paul campaign appears to have removed a press release touting the endorsement of Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a Nebraska pastor who has called for instituting the death penalty against homosexuals.

As TPM reported on Wednesday, Paul's Iowa chair Drew Ivers praised the fundamentalist leader in a campaign release in which he specifically credited Kayser with "the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul's approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs."

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Here's a tangible, fundamental change to the American cultural landscape that will come with a Mitt Romney presidency. Under President Romney, Sesame Street will be brought to you by more than "The Letter Q."

Explaining his plan to slash the federal budget by billions in order to reduce the deficit, Romney targeted a (minuscule) part of the federal budget Republicans have wanted to do away with for years: taxpayer subsidies for children's programming on PBS.

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Wednesday night, Michele Bachmann Iowa campaign leader and Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson announced that he is leaving Bachmann’s campaign to join Ron Paul in his final push for the Iowa caucuses, reports Politico.

The announcement came at a Paul rally in Des Moines where Sorenson told the crowd that they were at a “turning point” and that the “Republican establishment” was trying to undermine Paul’s campaign.

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