5) Nebraska Treasurer Don Stenberg
's fundraising ticked up significantly last quarter: He brought in over $250,000 during the fourth quarter and finished with $177,000 in the bank. This, from a candidate who began the fourth quarter with a paltry $18,000 on hand. Stenberg landed endorsements from Sens. Mike Lee
, R-Utah, and Jim DeMint
, R-S.C. DeMint's PAC has also been raising money to support Stenberg's candidacy.
Attorney General Jon Bruning
, the GOP frontrunner, hasn't yet released his numbers (he finished the third quarter with nearly $1.6 million in the bank, so Stenberg has a long way to go to catch him on that front), but it's clear Stenberg's improvement -- even if he does not win the quarter - could give Team Bruning some heartburn.
4) Is Mitt Romney
open to ending the "carried interest" tax break? His aide suggested he might be, but his campaign tried to step back from the aide's remarks, the Wall Street Journal reported
. An interesting mixed-message moment from a team that is usually on message.
3) Fight in Florida: Romney and Newt Gingrich
are neck-and-neck in the first post-South Carolina live caller poll
in the Sunshine State. Romney sports a lead over the former speaker that is within the margin of error -- he leads 36 percent to 34 percent -- but Quinnipiac University, which conducted the poll
, seperated the Thursday-Saturday numbers from the post-South Carolina Sunday-Monday numbers. After his win, Gingrich led Romney 40-34 percent. A pretty big turnaround considering that he was losing by 11 from Thursday-Saturday.
Another notable stat: Sixty-one percent said they had made up their mind; that number was 44 percent in the Jan. 9 survey. The number of voters who could be swayed in another direction is shrinking.
2) Also in Florida: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio
, who has said he will remain neutral in the GOP presidential race responded with a strong defense of Romney when asked to react to Gingrich, who has playing up his landing of a former Rubio aide and has been saying Romney "has picked up Charlie Crist's campaign people. The New York Times
When asked to comment on Mr. Gingrich's assertion, Mr. Rubio relayed a message through a spokesman in Washington, saying, "Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist."
"Romney is a conservative, and he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me," Mr. Rubio said through the spokesman. "He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me and made a real difference in my race."
Sounds like a pol with a close eye on a potential VP slot playing his cards very carefully so as not to alienate Team Romney.
1) Obama's election year State of the Union address zeroed in on using government power to balance the scale between the rich and everyone else
. Politcally, he even offered something of a dare to the GOP contenders, Jill Lawrence writes
WHAT HE SAID: Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let's pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs.
WHAT HE MEANT: I dare you Republicans to oppose this agenda. And have I mentioned that I love capitalism?