Heading into the weekend, the Republican presidential candidates scatter themselves throughout Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and Idaho, while President Obama returns to Washington after a short visit to Los Angeles.
On the campaign trail...
Newt Gingrich (Republican): Today, former House Speaker Gingrich returns to his home state to hold two campaign events this evening in Georgia. His visit comes a week after former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney campaigned in the state, and just before Rick Santorum's visit to Georgia. Earlier this week, Gingrich spent time fundraising in California, exceeding his overall campaign fundraising goal of $2 million. It is unclear how much money was raised in the Golden State, but he held eight fundraisers during his four day trip.
Barack Obama (Democrat): While the latest Pew Research Center survey shows a spike in optimism about the national economy, Independent voters remains unsure about President Obama's fiscal policy. Christopher A. Guzman reports:
"29% of Independents at the moment say that the president’s policies have made the economy better, 34% say that his policies have made the economy worse, and 29% say that they’ve had no effect so far."
Ron Paul (Republican): Under fire from Ron Paul supporters, the Maine Republican Party has agreed to recount the votes from the state's caucus. In an email from the State Republican Party, a staffer wrote:
"We are reconfirming the totals from the Presidential Preference Straw poll. Can you please EMAIL ME the totals from your towns."
Although the caucus is non-binding and delegates will be awarded later in May, this could give Ron Paul his first victory, as he trailed Mitt Romney by a mere 200 votes.
Buddy Roemer (Republican): Former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer will appear on the ballot for the February 28 Michigan primary. He will be interviewed on the New America Media live radio show “Agree to Disagree” today at 2:30 PST.
Mitt Romney (Republican): Mitt Romney spoke at a Chamber of Commerce meeting yesterday in Michigan, attacking Rick Santorum for defending labor. He stated, "I've taken on union bosses before, and I'm happy to take them on again," repeating, "I won't give in to the United Auto Workers." While the primary is open to Independents and Democrats, union leaders stated they have no plans on meddling in the GOP primary, but will make it very clear how they feel about Romney during the general election.
Rick Santorum (Republican): The former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is spending the day campaigning in Michigan and Ohio, two states where his chances at victory are within reach. Santorum's surge can also be seen in Arizona, where despite his "shoestring" operation, he could win the primary due to his support from the Tea Party and recent resentment towards front-runner Mitt Romney. Santorum will appear on Sunday's screening of Face the Nation on CBS.