Good morning! Here’s what you need to know:
- Two new Quinnipiac University polls out this morning show that President Barack Obama is in a lot of trouble in Ohio and Pennsylvania — two key battleground states the President won in 2008. The polls show Obama in a statistical tie with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Ohio, and with a slight lead over Perry in Pennsylvania. More strikingly, a majority of voters in the two states do not believe Obama deserves a second term. This is really bad news for the Obama camp. Top White House political advisor David Axelrod admitted yesterday that the President faces a ‘titanic struggle’ to get re-elected in 2012.
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is sending mixed messages about his White House ambitions, amid renewed speculation that he is considering a 2012 bid for the Republican nomination. Christie’s brother, Todd, told the Newark Star Ledger yesterday that the governor has definitely decided to sit this one out, but Christie himself appeared to equivocate last night during an appearance at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The LAT has a good report on the speech.
- Perry’s collapse in Orlando last weekend has reinvigorated the small but powerful group of Wall St. billionaires/major Republican donors that has been pushing Christie to run. It’s a tough group to say no to — but Christie has managed to turn them down quite a few times. Here’s a pretty awesome mashup of all the times Christie has said he is not going to run, from Politico’s Alexander Trowbridge. Watch it and then let’s put this story to bed.
- 2012 presidential candidates face a critical fundraising test when the third quarter closes on Friday — the final tallies will likely define the top-tier and could knock out the also-rans for good. The early word is that Romney, Perry, and Ron Paul have all pulled in good hauls, while the rest of the field has struggled. Herman Cain has also had a surprising resurgence in fundraising in the wake of his Florida Straw Poll win. (Here are 11 surprising things you never knew about ‘The Hermanator’).
- The candidates are all making a final push to boost their third-quarter fundraising numbers before the FEC deadline. Perry and Paul are breaking out the big guns with emails from big-name endorsers. The Obama re-election team is sending more creepy emails and resorting to guilt-trips. But no one has been as desperate as Michele Bachmann, who has called on supporters to make an “emergency contribution.” As the Minnesota Congresswoman plummets in national polls, her campaign team is desperately trying to rebrand the candidate as the only “true conservative” in the Republican field.
- CNN reports that Florida is likely to move its presidential primary to the last day in January 2012 — to the consternation of national GOP officials. This will set off a mad shuffle in the 2012 election calendar as the traditional four early voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada — are likely to move up their contests.
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