4) Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., defended himself on Monday against accusations from opponents over his residency in the state. The face that Lugar is still tackling this issue illustrates that it has been causing him political damage. On Friday, the Indiana Election Commission will begin hearing challenges to Lugar's appearance on the ballot. 3) The latest in the story surrounding Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu that continued to develop all weekend: Babeu went on CNN on Monday, where he suggested political rivals were behind the story coming to light, the Los Angeles Times reports. Babeu has vowed to press on in the race, acknowledging he is gay, but denying the allegations that he threatened deportation to a former boyfriend. It will be very tough for Babeu to recover, but that his swift response to the story should will only help him (unlike Herman Cain's botched response to allegations that eventually led to the downfall of his campaign). 2) ) This is not a good sign for Romney's campaign headed into next week's Michigan primary, even as polling has shown some encouraging signs for the former governor: Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom is dialing down expectations on MSNBC on Monday, saying Michigan is not a must-win for the GOP frontrunner. Meanwhile, the latest fundraising figures illustrates just how little bang for the buck Romney got in January. He won two big primaries - New Hampshire and Florida - but is in worse position now than when he started. For those efforts, his campaign spent $18.7 million despite only bringing in $6.5 million. He only had $7.6 million left in the bank at the end of last month. Even his super PAC's coffers were drained - it spent $14 million in the month, and ended the month with $16.3 million on hand. Furthermore, the amount Romney raised in January, the month of his two biggest primary wins, isn't significantly higher than money raised by Newt Gingrich ($5.6 million), Rick Santorum ($4.5 million) and Ron Paul ($4.5 million). Couple that with Santorum's double-digit lead in the Gallup national tracking poll, 36 to 26 percent, and Romney looks as vulnerable a frontrunner as ever. 1) Meanwhile, President Obama's campaign raised $11.8M in Jan., a significantly slower pace than he set in 2008. Hotline subscribers can check out our full FEC chart, including super PACs, here. More bad news for the president: Rising gas prices are worrying his advisers, and are hitting at a time of when the economy is showing some signs of life.
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