Presidential Election Update: The Washington Caucus

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Preparing for the last stop before Super Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidates head to Washington to campaign before Saturday’s caucuses. The caucuses will be open, meaning anyone registered in the state can vote in tomorrow’s caucuses. The Washington Post explains:

Saturday’s GOP caucuses in Washington state are open to voters from either party, as are six of the 10 states that have contests on Super Tuesday: Alaska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

On the campaign trail…

Newt Gingrich (Republican): Former House Speaker Gingrich is spending the day in his home town, Georgia, while the other candidates campaign in Washington. Gingrich is leading in Georgia by 9 points, according to Real Clear Politics. But a win in Georgia will not be enough for a comeback, and as Emory University’s political science professor explains, “Georgia’s just one state, but he’ll have to win here and do well in other Southern states.

Barack Obama (Democrat): In an interview published today, President Obama clarified that he is not bluffing about Iran, and if Iran builds nuclear weapons, will attack. He tells The Atlantic:

“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff. I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But (both) governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.”

Ron Paul (Republican): With 45% of the population identifying themselves as “independent”, Ron Paul sets his sights on Washington and believes it could be his first victory in the Republican nomination race. Independent pollster Stuart Elway explains, “There is a real independent streak that runs through here.” This may explain why the Texas Congressman spent almost $40,000 to run ads, while the other candidates have held off on airing ads on cable television.

Buddy Roemer (No Party Preference): Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, now running as an Independent, was a guest on Morning Joe. Discussing campaign finance reform, he accused Donny Deutsch of trivializing the election system. Here is a video clip of his Thursday appearance.

 

Mitt Romney (Republican): Recent Public Policy Polling numbers released today show that Mitt Romney holds a small lead in the Washington polls. Now with 37% of Washington Republicans favoring Romney, he is up 10% from last week, reflecting a shift in the national race. Romney is leveraging the fact that 14% of the likely caucus goers are Mormon.

 

 Rick Santorum (Republican): With Super Tuesday quickly approaching, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum now leads Romney in the latest Ohio poll with 35% of the likely vote. The poll was conducted after Romney’s win in Arizona and Michigan earlier this week. The New York Daily News explains the importance of Ohio lies in it’s delegates and symbolism: “No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.”