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The main GOP presidential candidates' responses to events in Libya were strikingly diverse. However, one factor they had in common was the lack of any mention of one person: the President who actually committed US forces to the conflict.

The exception to this was former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. "Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing," he wrote. "But this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph."

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Donald Trump returned to Fox & Friends today and said that the United States should be able to take oil from Libya, arguing that a deal should have been made for the U.S. to take 50 percent of the nation's oil if the rebels were successful in overthrowing the Gaddafi regime.

Trump lamented that "our country's going broke," and wondered why the U.S. hadn't considered negotiating over oil in the first place.

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What are the four primary characteristics most associated with those Americans sympathetic to the Tea Party? "Authoritarianism, ontological insecurity (fear of change), libertarianism and nativism." So says one of the many findings in a study presented to the American Sociological Association on Monday.



The academic study, Cultures of the Tea Party, purports to break down the cultural attitudes of Tea Party loyalists, through a mix of polling data and interviews with tea partiers at a gathering in eastern North Carolina. The study's lead author is Andrew J. Perrin, an associate professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, with co-authors Steven J. Tepper, an associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University, Neal Caren, an assistant professor of sociology at UNC, and Sally Morris, a doctoral student in sociology at UNC.

The study used polling of North Carolina and Tennessee, conducted by Public Policy Polling (D) in the Summer of 2010, and determined the cultural dispositions by measuring the responses of tea partiers to set questions. After PPP surveyed over 2,000 voters who were sympathetic to the Tea Party, researchers then reinterviewed almost 600 in the fall of 2010. Those interviews included everything from personality based queries like "Would you say it is more important that a child obeys his parents, or that he is responsible for his own actions?" to more political ones, like "Do you think immigrants who came into this country illegally but pay taxes and have not been arrested should be given the opportunity to become permanent legal residents?" The study also incudes interviews and short responses with ten participants at a Tea Party rally in Washington, NC.

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The AFL-CIO is gearing up to revamp organized labor's political operation, the Associated Press reports, by establishing a new "super PAC" that could raise unlimited amounts of money, just as business groups have also done.

Forming a so-called "super labor PAC" would allow the labor federation to raise money from sympathetic donors both inside and outside union membership and mobilize support beyond its traditional base, instead of ramping up political activities each election cycle.

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Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Just a few short years ago, Public Policy Polling was an obscure Democratic outfit, mostly focused on local polling in Raleigh, North Carolina. Now, ten years after its founding, PPP is driving national coverage with an unmatched supply of polls on everything from the Republican primaries to God's approval rating. Since their automated polls are so cheap to conduct, they've been able to flood the zone in early polling on federal races, and they've notched up an impressive record on special elections, which are notoriously hard to predict. So where did they come from?

Well, according to founder Dean Debnam, the whole operation began largely out of spite. In the 1990s, conservative nonprofits backed by a wealthy retail executive, Art Pope, dubbed a "one man Republican equalizer" in the press, dominated polling in the Raleigh area. Debnam, a proud Democrat whose wife was active in education advocacy and ran for mayor of Raleigh in 1999, fretted that the questions were slanted to produce more right-leaning results. "They were putting out polls to push their agenda," he said. "I was fed up with reading basically BS in the local paper as if it was fact."

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President Obama's national approval rating has never been lower, and it's starting to drag him down in head-to-head matchups against his potential GOP rivals in the 2012 election. Gallup polled the President against former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, Tex. Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Each trial heat produced a statistical tie among registered voters.

By the numbers, Obama is only bested by Romney, 48 percent to 46. He ties Perry at 47 percent, and outpolls Paul 47 - 45 and Bachmann 48 - 44. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent, meaning that in each case, the race is a dead heat.

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