The conservative groups that supported Michigan’s new “right to work” law — winning a stunning victory over unions, even in the heart of American labor — vowed Wednesday to replicate that success elsewhere.
But the search for the next Michigan could be difficult.
“If Michigan can do it, then I think everybody ought to think about it,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. He said he thinks at least one more state will adopt such a law before the end of 2013, and listed Alaska, Missouri, Montana and Pennsylvania among the top contenders. “Very confident. It will happen. [But] I can’t tell you where the next one is.”
The surprise of the election will be whether Mitt Romney can win Ohio and if he does he will be the next president, GOP strategist and former McCain-Palin presidential campaign adviser Ford O’Connell told Newsmax TV.
O’Connell, who is a [GOP] strategist...and chairman of the CivicForum PAC, said it’s too early to put Ohio in President Barack Obama’s column.
“Everybody’s down on it,” he said. “They’re putting Ohio in President Obama’s category. I’m not sure that Ohio is really gone to Obama yet. If Mitt Romney wins Ohio, guess what? He’s going to be the next president of the United States.
A wide majority of Pennsylvania voters support state efforts to require photo identification to vote, the latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News poll finds.
The new law is backed by 62 percent of likely voters, including about 9 in 10 Republicans and two-thirds of independents. Most Democrats are opposed. There are 10 other states with voter ID requirements.
The law made its way to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled last week that the lower court that had upheld it must determine first whether the state was doing enough to prevent voter disenfranchisement.
The question provided respondents with both sides of the debate, saying that some people say such a law is “needed to prevent people from voting who are not eligible to vote,” while others argue that “such efforts are designed to suppress voting by minorities.”
The law is backed by most men and women, as well as majorities across all age and income groups. But while two-thirds of white voters support the law, fewer, about 4 in 10, nonwhite voters agree.
A Pennsylvania judge Wednesday allowed a Republican-backed law requiring voters to show IDs to go into effect starting this Election Day.
Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said those challenging the law had failed to prove that it violates the state constitution by denying voters’ rights. He also disputed the challengers’ predictions of the number of voters at stake and said there is still time for those without proper ID to acquire it.
Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground in this year’s presidential election, is also the front line of a bitter split between many Democrats and Republicans over voting rights. Supporters of recent laws passed by several Republican legislatures requiring voters to show IDs say the measures protect the integrity of the electoral process by making sure only qualified voters cast ballots.
The case will be immediately appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. But Richard L. Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California at Irvine, said that although he disagrees with Simpson’s opinion and voter ID laws in general, he found the ruling well-reasoned and nonpartisan, and he predicted that it will be difficult to overturn.
The elected state Supreme Court is operating with only six members because one justice is suspended. A tie vote would uphold Simpson’s ruling. Although their decisions do not always follow partisan lines, the remaining justices are evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
Romney will certainly do better in the Keystone State than John McCain did in 2008 - Team Romney can thank, among other things, Obama's dreadful energy policies for that.
But are we at the point where Romey should focus on Pennsylvania to the same degree as Florida, Virginia and Ohio? Not yet, but this could certainly change.
That said, if Romney wins Pennyslvania he will almost certainly become the next president. RealClearPolitics' Scott Conroy has more:
Despite earnest assurances that they are taking nothing for granted, a commonly held view among the president’s re-election team is that the Keystone State is all but in the bag. Romney’s team, on the other hand, has long been eyeing it as a realistic and potentially decisive pickup for the Republican challenger.
At first glance, there is little empirical evidence to back up that claim.
The president has been ahead in every Pennsylvania poll since Romney became the GOP nominee, and he leads the Republican challenger by seven percentage points in the latest RCP polling average.
A Republican presidential candidate has not won there since 1988, though it has served as fool’s gold for every recent GOP nominee. In 2008, for example, John McCain’s campaign continued to push hard in Pennsylvania long after they had given up on other states he had hoped to take from the Democratic column, such as Michigan.
Romney, on the other hand, has not yet aired any general election ads in the state.
Romney’s commitment to Pennsylvania has been evidenced by his five trips there since May, and campaign strategists say that TV ads might begin after Aug. 29, when the candidate officially becomes the GOP nominee following a roll call vote at the Republican convention in Tampa.
At that moment, Romney’s massive general election war chest will become available for the final two months of the campaign.
But with the convention speeches, debates, and a possible Romney advertising blitz on the horizon, there is ample reason to believe that the dynamic is in fact fluid.
Romney is looking for a kill shot on Santorum in Pennsylvania. NationalJournal's Reid Wilson reports:
Mitt Romney spent last week trying to lower expectations in Pennsylvania while boosting the pressure on Rick Santorum. But actions speak louder than words, and it's clear Romney's advisors see the Keystone State as their opportunity to end Santorum's chances. Late Friday, the Boston team went for the jugular.
All told, Romney's campaign will spend $2.9 million on advertisements in Pennsyvlania over the next two weeks, according to PoliticsPA.com. That's more than Romney has spent in any primary state to date, save Florida -- more than they spent in Iowa, New Hampshire, even South Carolina.
That money gets them saturation-level buys in every major Pennsylvania market except one: Santorum's home base of Pittsburgh. At a time when Santorum and his supportive super PAC aren't on the air at all, the average Pennsylvanian in those markets will see Romney's ads more than 10 times a week.
Only time will tell. From Bobby Caina Calvan at Boston.com:
Rick Santorum’s campaign insisted Friday the former Pennsylvania senator is still in the race despite mounting pressure even from voters in his home state that he pull out before the Keystone State’s primary April 24.
But Santorum has scheduled no public events over the holiday weekend and has made no major media buys, fueling speculation that he might quit. Polling in Pennsylvania that shows him slipping against front-runner Mitt Romney raises the prospect of an embarrassing home-state loss that could hurt his chances if he were to make a run for the nomination in 2016.
Santorum has given no clear indications that he is about to quit.
Rick Santorum Forges Ahead To Pennsylvania But The Longer He Stays In, The More He Hurts Himself: Experts
Rick Santorum is forging ahead with his long-shot White House bid, perhaps with one eye on 2016 — but experts warn the longer he stays in the 2012 race, the more likely he is to emerge with a black eye.
After a string of primary losses in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate said Pennsylvania — his home state, which he represented in the Senate for 12 years — was a must win for him to stay in the race.
But with a new poll showing Santorum now trailing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Keystone State, the ex-senator's future looks grim.
Political analysts say Santorum must be aware of the mathematically improbability of him accruing enough delegates to sew up the nomination. Instead, they suggest, Santorum is using the national platform to launch a bid for a cabinet position, to make his case as a vice presidential nominee, or to begin running for commander-in-chief in 2016.
Of course, staying in the race after a Pennsylvania loss would be detrimental to Santorum's political future because it would force Romney to spend his funds against Santorum, and not Obama, said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.
"If he loses Pennsylvania and goes ahead, he obviously has his eyes on 2016 and not the party's best interest in mind,” said O'Connell. “He's thinking about the future and not about the present."
It looks as if Rick Santorum is going to lose Wisconsin on Tuesday. That said, if Santorum fails to capture a win in Pennsylvania (April 24) - his home state, then we can have a legitimate discussion on whether the former Pennsylvania senator should bow out of the race. CNN's Gabriella Schwarz reports:
Rick Santorum sounded like the ever confident Republican presidential candidate when asked about his chances in Pennsylvania's April primary.
The former two-term Pennsylvania senator on Monday said he could "absolutely" guarantee a win in the state, but that it's a "tough state."
Despite his uphill delegate climb and falling poll numbers in the 2012 campaign, Santorum has vowed to remain in the race until a candidate reaches 1,144 delegates, the necessary number to clinch the GOP presidential nomination.
Recoverable, but not a good sign. Eventual GOP nominee needs at least Florida + either Ohio or Pennsylvania to unseat Obama in 2012. From Quinnipiac University (Released, 3/28/12):
|Matching Obama against either Romney or Santorum in each of these key states - no one has won the White House since 1960 without carrying at least two of them - shows:|