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Hotline Sort: A Clean Start

5) On Thursday, the Michigan Senate passed a bill to confirm Feb. 28 as the date of the 2012 GOP presidential primary. The measure now goes to the state House. 4) As we reported earlier this morning, just 41 percent of voters are inclined to reelect Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., according to the latest Field Poll. Feinstein has not drawn any competition so far, but the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Michael Reagan, son of Ronald Reagan is considering a run. 3) More than a third of Americans think the U.S. would be better off if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, according to a new Bloomberg News poll that also shows her popularity at sky-high levels. "Some of her appeal is that she is not Barack Obama," pollster Ann Selzer told the website. Another note on the Bloomberg poll: In Thursday's edition of Hotline Sort, we mentioned that President Obama led Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney in the poll, but today's release included numbers among a subsample of likely voters that paint a different picture. Obama's five-point lead over Romney among all adults is flipped to a three-point deficit among likely voters, and his nine-point advantage over Perry is dwindled to just three among likely voters. 2) Two days after Democrats lost a heavily-Jewish House seat in New York City, in part over dissatisfaction with Obama's Israel policies, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is burnishing his pro-Israel bona fides. He's out with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Israel that is also critical of the Obama administration's policies in the Middle East. "Errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take backward steps away from peace," Perry writes. 1) Republicans are unfazed by Perry's branding of the Social Security system as "a Ponzi scheme," according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released early Friday, but Perry's comments could cost him among independents: Nearly a third of independents say those comments make them less likely to support him, and two-in-five independents think his views on the issue will hurt his chances of capturing the White House.

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