Election 2012

Rachel Maddow debunks Santorum's American history claim with UC Davis course catalog

California's public universities do, in fact, teach American history.

UC Davis' history department was thrown into the media spotlight when its course calendar was used to debunk Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's claim Monday that California's public universities do not offer courses in American history. | 04/04/12 07:02:05 By - Darrell Smith

Romney cruises to victories in Maryland, DC, and Wisconsin

Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, sweeping three more primaries and setting the stage for what could be a final showdown on April 24 in Pennsylvania with home-state challenger Rick Santorum. | 04/03/12 20:28:09 By - Steven Thomma

Obama blasts GOP budget and Romney by name

President Barack Obama took on Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney by name Tuesday in an election-year speech that contrasted his approach versus what he said was Republicans’ determination to continue failed economic policies. | 04/03/12 15:27:16 By - Lesley Clark and Steven Thomma

Poll: Santorum up by 6 in home state of Pennsylvania

Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney, 41-35 percent, in Pennsylvania, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. | 04/03/12 12:51:03 By - David Lightman

Romney may win more delegates in Maryland, D.C., than in Wisconsin

Tuesday's primary in Wisconsin could give Mitt Romney crucial and perhaps decisive momentum toward locking up the Republican presidential nomination, but contests the same day in Maryland and the District of Columbia are likely to give him more of the convention delegates he needs toward that goal. | 04/02/12 16:59:00 By - David Lightman

Commentary: Stopping Santorum may be the Rubio-Bush-Ryan plan

Marco Rubio sounds worried. So do Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan. Their candidate, Mitt Romney, is losing to President Barack Obama. The GOP primary is becoming "counterproductive." So when the three Republicans endorsed Romney over the past two weeks, it wasn’t so much about jockeying for a vice-presidential slot on Romney’s ticket. Their underlying goal was more fundamental: Stop the primary. | 04/02/12 06:58:51 By - Marc Caputo

Romney may be able to relax after Wisconsin votes Tuesday

Around the state, many Republicans approach Tuesday's Wisconsin primary with a sense of inevitability that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination. They think the often nasty primary campaign is hurting the party. And they feel it's time for rivals Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to fold up and help rally the cause for a fall campaign against Democratic President Barack Obama. | 04/01/12 11:29:00 By - Steven Thomma

Tea party favorite DeMint accused of targeting Indiana's Richard Lugar

Unlike in the last election cycle, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina is maintaining a low profile as he appears to fulfill a promise to Senate Republican leaders that he won't oppose any sitting GOP senators through his Senate Conservatives Fund. | 04/01/12 00:01:00 By - James Rosen

Paul Ryan endorses Mitt Romney

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination Friday.

Ryan is regarded as an up-and-coming Republican star, and is considered the party's leading expert on how to shape a budget that's sensitive to conservative ideology. The House, on a largely party line vote, passed his budget Thursday; it's likely to go nowhere in the Democratic-run Senate. | 03/30/12 13:13:57 By - David Lightman

Santorum invokes Ronald Reagan during Jelly Belly factory tour

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sought to sell his conservative credentials to California Republicans Thursday, using a stop at the Jelly Belly Candy Co. to compare himself to one of the sweet's most famous fans – the late President Ronald Reagan. | 03/30/12 07:01:04 By - Torey Van Oot

Marco Rubio endorses Mitt Romney

As a nasty primary drags down Mitt Romney, Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio stepped in late Wednesday with a surprise endorsement that has fueled speculation he is seeking a spot on the ticket. | 03/29/12 06:51:52 By - Marc Caputo

How Mitt Romney wielded power as Massachusetts' governor

In 2006, 12 tons of concrete dropped from the roof of a tunnel on a major Massachusetts artery, killing a woman and terrifying drivers. The response was vintage Chief Executive Officer Romney. Romney's campaign touts what it says was his success at turning the state's economy around. Lawmakers and political observers, though, paint a portrait of a chief executive who was uncomfortable with Massachusetts' clubby politics and never seemed invested in the state. | 03/28/12 16:09:00 By - Lesley Clark

Charlotte releases unredacted DNC emails

Among the details that the city of Charlotte thought were worth keeping secret about the upcoming Democratic National Convention: what color to paint a new police command center; the location of fire and building inspectors at Time Warner Cable Arena, and a squabble between police and federal authorities over when to hold a meeting. | 03/28/12 07:13:05 By - Steve Harrison and Gary L. Wright

Gingrich backer Adelson hosts dinner featuring Romney supporters

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his family, who have kept Newt Gingrich's flagging presidential campaign alive with donations, seem poised to send millions of dollars to Republican-allied groups and possibly a "super" PAC backing front-runner Mitt Romney, according to fundraisers with ties to the casino owner. | 03/27/12 18:28:00 By - Peter Stone

Charlotte was too aggressive in blacking out DNC emails, attorney says

The Charlotte city attorney’s office said Monday it should not have blacked out portions of publicly released e-mails related to the Democratic National Convention because the information did not pose a security risk for the event. | 03/27/12 07:13:59 By - Steve Harrison

California Sen. Feinstein shuns spotlight in re-election bid

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein sat down at her Capitol Hill home one recent Friday afternoon for a little secret reading. | 03/27/12 06:55:30 By - Michael Doyle

Poll: Romney still close to Obama, Santorum 5 points back

Months into a bruising primary campaign, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is still neck and neck with President Barack Obama in a hypothetical general election matchup, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. | 03/26/12 17:55:00 By - Steven Thomma

Campaign Quotebox: Santorum suggests Obama is better than Romney

Who: Rick Santorum. Quote: "You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who's just going to be a little different than the person in there. If they're going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future." | 03/23/12 17:03:00 By - Steven Thomma

Obama's health care law remains huge political issue

It was the biggest achievement of his first term, the national health care law that had eluded Democrats for 60 years. "A big (bleep)ing deal," in the blunt words of Vice President Joe Biden. But it could help cost President Barack Obama a second term. | 03/23/12 15:50:00 By - Steven Thomma

Herman Cain still talks like he’s running for president

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain said he expects the Republican presidential contest to extend well past North Carolina’s May 8 primary and possibly end in a brokered convention. | 03/23/12 12:58:55 By - John Frank and Craig Jarvis

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry says he would defeat Obama in Kansas

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry said he'll go to court to try to get his name on the ballot in the Kansas Democratic presidential caucus, a day after the state party determined he didn’t meet the qualifications. | 03/23/12 07:13:21 By - Dion Lefler

South Carolina Sen. DeMint urges Republicans to back Romney

Jim DeMint, among the nation's conservative leaders, stopped just short Thursday of endorsing Mitt Romney for president as the South Carolina senator called on the former Massachusetts governor's foes to re-evaluate their campaigns. | 03/22/12 17:55:00 By - James Rosen

Romney has big lead in Connecticut

Here's one state where Mitt Romney can probably count on a primary victory: Connecticut.

A new Quinnipiac University poll showed the former Massachusetts governor leading among Republicans with 42 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was second at 19 percent, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 13 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 9 percent. | 03/22/12 14:44:24 By - David Lightman

Money flooded into all presidential campaigns, PACs in February

A February increase in financial support for underdog candidate Rick Santorum was too little and too late to slow the better-financed Mitt Romney, who coasted to a convincing victory Tuesday in the Illinois Republican presidential primary. | 03/21/12 16:22:00 By - John Dunbar

Charlotte redacts swaths of Democratic National Convention-related emails

The city of Charlotte has released dozens of pages of emails related to the Democratic National Convention in response to an Observer public records request – but most were heavily redacted, giving little or no insight into how the city is preparing for the convention. | 03/21/12 13:52:40 By - Steve Harrison & Gary L. Wright

Planet Washington blog: Obama hits the road to ward off gas price political damage

President Barack Obama Wednesday kicks off a two-day, four-state trip to highlight his energy policies, an attempt to ward off the political damage from soaring gasoline prices. | 03/21/12 12:25:02 By - Steven Thomma

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush endorses Mitt Romney

The day after Mitt Romney's win in Illinois, former Massachusetts Gov. Jeb Bush is endorsing him and calling for the party to unite around the former Massachusetts governor who has struggled to close the deal. | 03/21/12 12:19:54 By - Lesley Clark

Paul finishes third in Illinois, blasts GOP budget proposal

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is holding onto third place tonight in the Illinois primary, dealing a further blow to Newt Gingrich's struggling campaign. | 03/21/12 07:27:03 By - John Gravois

Romney wins Illinois big, takes big stride toward nomination

Mitt Romney's methodical march to the Republican presidential nomination got a huge, possibly decisive, boost Tuesday as he scored an overwhelming victory in the Illinois presidential primary. | 03/20/12 18:54:00 By - David Lightman

Romney to attend fundraisers in North Carolina

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney plans to come to North Carolina on April 18 for two fundraisers – a luncheon at the Angus Barn in Raleigh and an evening event at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte. | 03/20/12 07:14:06 By - Tim Funk

Illinois primary voters to play key role in picking GOP nominee

The bruising primary war between Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney and rival Rick Santorum has resulted in something that hasn't happened in Illinois in two decades: Voters in the state's GOP primary today will play a key role in picking their party's nominee for president. | 03/20/12 07:05:12 By - Mike Fitzgerald

Massachusetts Senate hopefuls Brown and Warren trade barbs at Boston roast

Massachusetts's hotly contested U.S. Senate race — between a former Obama administration appointee and the Republican who won the late Ted Kennedy's seat — took a comedic turn as the two candidates jockeyed for laughs and votes at one of the state's rites of political passage: South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Breakfast. | 03/18/12 15:31:00 By - Lesley Clark

Will Romney settle GOP race with a big win in Illinois?

Mitt Romney needs to win the Illinois Republican presidential primary Tuesday, but he has some serious hurdles to overcome: his own persona and an electorate so sick of politics that voters may not be motivated to cast a ballot for anyone. | 03/18/12 14:23:00 By - David Lightman

Texas GOP Senate candidates defend voter ID law

It's time to do away with the nearly 50-year-old federal rule that let U.S. officials block a new state law requiring Texans to show photo ID to vote. | 03/16/12 07:01:19 By - Anna M. Tinsley

Despite lagging, Newt Gingrich argues the nation needs a visionary

Newt Gingrich is still out there fighting for the Republican presidential nomination, invoking the Bible and Abraham Lincoln as he pushes the idea that America badly needs "a visionary conservative." | 03/15/12 17:38:00 By - David Lightman

GOP hopefuls turn attention to North Carolina

A day after a series of primaries failed to significantly change the Republican presidential race, North Carolina appeared poised to play a meaningful role in the contest for the first time since 1976. | 03/15/12 06:50:56 By - Jim Morrill

Can Santorum take battle all the way to convention?

A few hours before Rick Santorum captured two Southern states this week to rejuvenate his presidential campaign yet again, Mitt Romney said his rival's race had reached a "desperate end." | 03/14/12 18:56:00 By - David Goldstein and David Lightman

Romney tells Missouri crowd he can beat Obama

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney used a beautiful springlike day Tuesday to tell Missourians they should reject President Barack Obama in November. | 03/14/12 06:41:02 By - Dave Helling

Santorum captures primary wins in Alabama, Mississippi

Rick Santorum won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries Tuesday, striking deep into the South to deliver a stunning blow to Newt Gingrich in the battle to become the conservative alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney. | 03/13/12 19:04:00 By - Steven Thomma and Donna Harris

Santorum captures primary wins in Alabama, Mississippi

Rick Santorum won Alabama and Mississippi primaries Tuesday, striking deep into the South to deliver a stunning blow to Newt Gingrich in the battle to become the conservative alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney. Santorum's twin wins effectively killed Gingrich's Southern strategy and likely could create pressure on the former House speaker to drop out of the race. | 03/13/12 19:04:00 By - Steven Thomma and Donna Harris

Santorum easily triumphs in Kansas caucuses

As expected and as indicated by the cheering pattern at today’s Republican caucus, Kansas GOP voters heavily favored former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in the race for a candidate to challenge President Obama. | 03/10/12 16:38:31 By - Don Lefler

NAACP to challenge state voting laws before U.N. panel in Geneva

Taking a page from its past, the NAACP will go before a United Nations panel in Switzerland next week to argue that new voting laws approved by some U.S. states violate civil and human rights by suppressing the votes of minorities and others. | 03/08/12 18:06:00 By - William Douglas

Big-money Chamber of Commerce to impact elections, mostly for GOP

For the big-spending U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 2012 election season began extra early with a flurry of hard-hitting issue advocacy ads in six states that included attacks on two vulnerable Democratic senators, a harbinger of the $50 million-plus drive it plans to mount this election year. | 03/09/12 06:00:00 By - Peter Stone

Romney looks weak now — but Obama better watch out come fall

Mitt Romney looks like the weakest front-runner for a party's presidential nomination in decades right now, one who could limp to the Republican nomination, then drag the Republican Party down to defeat in the fall. Looks can deceive. | 03/08/12 16:20:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney's struggles in the South concern some in Republican Party

As Republican Mitt Romney rolled up victories across the country Tuesday, he barely scored in a region crucial to GOP chances in November: the South. | 03/08/12 07:21:12 By - Jim Morrill

California Republicans see slight possibility of a competitive June primary

Looking east on Super Tuesday, California's presidential primary election found hope. Not much, perhaps — the Republican nominating contest may still be over by the time California votes in June — but enough that Republicans are giving the possibility some thought. | 03/08/12 06:48:30 By - David Siders

Romney's piling up delegates, but the next week could prove bumpy

The Republican presidential race headed South and West on Wednesday, into states where Mitt Romney is likely to face cultural resistance to his political appeal. | 03/07/12 17:19:00 By - David Lightman

Romney begins to pull away and pile up a delegate advantage

Mitt Romney does not have it yet. He lost several states Tuesday and will continue to face tests in weeks ahead, such as next week when the campaign heads south for primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, the kind of deeply conservative states where he has not found favor. | 03/06/12 22:52:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney narrowly edges Santorum in hotly contested Ohio

Mitt Romney beat Rick Santorum by 1 percent in Ohio's critical Republican primary race Tuesday, as the two GOP presidential candidates battled into the wee hours in the hardest-fought contest of Super Tuesday. Romney, who also won four other states, had 38 percent of the Ohio vote to Santorum's 37 percent with 96 percent of votes counted. | 03/06/12 19:36:00 By - David Lightman

Is Obama running scared in North Carolina?

As President Barack Obama returns to North Carolina on Wednesday following visits by his wife and several Cabinet members, Republicans see the trips as a sign of the administration's growing fear that he's going to lose a key battleground state where his political backing is suffering. | 03/06/12 17:38:00 By - Franco Ordonez

GOP hopefuls all have Texas ties

None of the four Republicans still running for president are from Dallas-Fort Worth but all have ties to the region. Whether through family, business ties or past political victories, connections abound between North Texas and Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. | 03/06/12 07:34:08 By - Aman Batheja

First lady praises President Obama's work during Kansas City fundraiser

First lady Michelle Obama was a third of the way through her speech at a Kansas City fundraiser Monday when the whoop- whoop-whoop of a tripped security alarm echoed through the museum complex at 18th and Vine. | 03/06/12 07:16:52 By - Dave Helling

Super Tuesday - 10 states, coast to coast, and it's all about delegates

The Republican presidential campaign spreads out across 10 states Tuesday — Super Tuesday — a coast-to-coast test that could allow front-runner Mitt Romney to start pulling away from his persistent rivals. | 03/05/12 16:38:00 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Gingrich challenges Santorum's conservative creds, calls Romney unconvincing

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich dismissed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Sunday as a "not very convincing frontrunner" and challenged former Sen. Rick Santorum's conservative credentials ahead of Tuesday's 10-state Super Tuesday Republican presidential primary. | 03/04/12 16:54:00 By - William Douglas

Heading to Super Tuesday, Romney tries to show he's caring, conservative

Mitt Romney's getting personal and getting tough.

As he swings across the country seeking votes in Super Tuesday states, the Republican presidential candidate's slick campaign machine is getting some fine-tuning. | 03/04/12 14:44:00 By - David Lightman

Romney's quest for White House began years ago, costing $200 million

Since first setting eyes on the White House, Mitt Romney and his backers have spent over $200 million - including $44.6 million of his fortune - on a seven-year quest for the Republican presidential nomination. | 03/04/12 13:34:00 By - Greg Gordon

Romney wins Washington state's Republican caucus

Mitt Romney decisively won Washington's fiercely contested Republican caucuses Saturday, according to network projections, giving him an important boost on the eve of Super Tuesday, when 10 states vote across the nation. | 03/03/12 17:29:00 By - Michelle Dupler and David Lightman

Santorum needs Ohio win for best shot at overtaking Romney

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If Rick Santorum is ever going to be president, he's probably going to have to show it in Ohio. | 03/03/12 14:49:00 By - Steven Thomma

In U.S. politics, religion often is thrown into the mix

As the recent flap by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum shows, the mix of politics and religion is not a marriage made in heaven. | 03/02/12 19:22:00 By - David Goldstein

Washington state GOP caucuses are up for grabs

Washington state Republicans will hold caucuses Saturday, hoping to make or break the four presidential candidates' momentum — however briefly, before 10 more states weigh in Tuesday — in the race for the party's 2012 nomination. | 03/02/12 14:37:00 By - David Lightman

Santorum, Gingrich to participate in Mississippi energy summit

The day before Mississippi’s primary election, Gov. Phil Bryant and GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will participate in a summit in Biloxi sponsored in part by a group pushing for offshore drilling in state water. | 03/02/12 10:13:43 By - Geoff Pender

Santorum courts Washington state voters before caucuses

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he visited Pasco on Thursday because that is where he knew he would reach Republican voters. Benton County Republican Chairman Patrick McBurney estimated about 700 people turned out to see the former Pennsylvania senator talk about his campaign. | 03/02/12 07:25:44 By - Michelle Dupler

Gingrich rallies supporters in Georgia

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich all but ignored his three opponents in Tuesday’s primary election during his Thursday visit to Macon, Georgia. | 03/02/12 06:54:30 By - Jim Gaines and Liz Bibb

Gingrich pursues Southern strategy to break back into 2-man race

While Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum flew to Washington state ahead of its Republican presidential caucuses Saturday, Newt Gingrich tended to business in his old stomping ground of Georgia. | 03/01/12 18:36:00 By - William Douglas and David Lightman

Gingrich promises $2 gas during Georgia Assembly speech

In a speech to the Georgia General Assembly and a subsequent Capitol news conference, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich warned that continued dependence of foreign oil is one of the greatest threats to America’s economic future. | 03/01/12 07:08:14 By - Mike Owen

Romney, Santorum hit the road, eyeing 11 states voting by Tuesday

The battle for the Republican presidential nomination spread out across the country Wednesday, as a relieved Mitt Romney talked economics and a feisty Rick Santorum portrayed himself as the field's bona fide conservative. | 02/29/12 17:02:00 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Romney, Santorum hit the road with eyes toward Super Tuesday

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum took their bruising battle for the Republican presidential nomination nationwide Wednesday, heading to states crucial to their Super Tuesday chances next week. | 02/29/12 10:47:32 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Romney sweeps to victory over Santorum in Michigan, Arizona

Mitt Romney won the Michigan GOP primary Tuesday, pulling out a must-have victory in his native state against a late surge from chief rival Rick Santorum. The win, coupled with an easy victory in Arizona, gave Romney a majority of the day's delegates needed for the Republican presidential nomination. | 02/28/12 18:47:00 By - Steven Thomma

Santorum's appeal? He resonates with angry tea party activists

The grass-roots anger and energy that fueled so many Republican political campaigns two years ago are still aboil, and Rick Santorum is the beneficiary. | 02/28/12 17:45:00 By - David Lightman

White House applauds decision to build part of Keystone XL pipeline

With President Barack Obama facing fire from Republicans over the rising cost of gasoline, the White House moved quickly Monday to trumpet a Canadian company's decision to build a section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to Houston after Obama blocked a longer path last month. | 02/27/12 19:00:09 By - Lesley Clark and Renee Schoof

Campaign Quotebox: Romney sounds like an out-of-touch elitist again

WHO: Mitt Romney QUOTE: Asked by a reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney said, "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners." | 02/27/12 17:15:00 By - David Lightman

Michigan GOP primary's tone overwhelmingly negative

Here's what Michigan Republicans are hearing over and over as they prepare to vote Tuesday in the state's crucial GOP presidential primary: Mitt Romney's an elitist insider who loves Wall Street. Rick Santorum is a fake who talks one way but voted another. | 02/27/12 16:36:00 By - David Lightman

Campaign Quotebox: Rick Santorum

JFK's 1960 speech on separation of church and state made him want to "throw up," Santorum said on Sunday. | 02/27/12 14:27:02 By -

GOP hopefuls gear up for run against Calif. Sen. Feinstein

Rival GOP presidential campaigns weren't the only ones trying to shore up support at this weekend's California Republican Party convention. A handful of could-be challengers to U.S. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein stormed the gathering with campaign signs, volunteers and speeches at caucus meetings. | 02/27/12 06:55:14 By - Torey Van Oot

'Reagan Democrats' could decide winner of Michigan primary

Mitt Romney's got to win Michigan's Republican primary Tuesday. But so does Rick Santorum. They're going about it in very different ways. | 02/26/12 14:28:00 By - David Lightman

Arizona conservatives like Santorum but will vote for Romney

They take conservatism seriously in Arizona, the state that launched native son Barry Goldwater on his way to the 1964 Republican presidential nomination and gave him the platform to found the modern conservative movement. They also take seriously a top lesson of Goldwate's landslide loss in the general election against Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. In their hearts, they might have thought him right. But in their heads, they would rather have won. | 02/26/12 13:08:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney, Santorum battle for conservative vote in Michigan

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum on Saturday took their down-to-the-wire Michigan Republican primary duel to an influential group of conservative activists, a bloc each has to have to eke out a win in the too-close-to-call contest. | 02/25/12 14:45:00 By - David Lightman

Gingrich brings his anti-Obama message to Washington state

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, delivered a strong anti-Obama message during a campaign stop Thursday in Kennewick, calling the nation's leader "weak" and "dangerous." | 02/24/12 11:50:26 By - Michelle Dupler

Marco Rubio's autobiography reveals Mormon past

From vice-presidential shortlister to auto-biographer, Marco Rubio is gaining the type of nationwide attention that most freshmen U.S. Senators only dream of. | 02/24/12 07:08:39 By - Marc Caputo

Super PAC backing Romney paid a fundraiser $1.9 million

The main outside group that's raised huge sums to support Mitt Romney's presidential campaign paid a fundraising firm $1.9 million for work during a period when the group raised about $24 million, according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission. | 02/23/12 19:00:00 By - Peter H. Stone

Romney blows call on Obama's budget-deficit record

Throw the flag against: Mitt Romney. Call: Offsides. What happened: Romney claimed that President Barack Obama has doubled the federal budget deficit. | 02/23/12 17:20:00 By - Steven Thomma

Santorum's debate struggle shows why Congress isn't the mother of presidents

Rick Santorum's attempts this week to explain his voting record in the Senate help illustrate a key dynamic of presidential politics: Congress may be the birthplace of presidential ambitions, but it's often the graveyard of presidential campaigns. | 02/23/12 16:55:00 By - Steven Thomma

Santorum is a social conservative on steroids, and that troubles some voters

Even amid increased scrutiny, former Sen. Rick Santorum unapologetically wears his faith-fueled social conservatism on the heart of his trademark sweater vest. | 02/23/12 16:03:00 By - William Douglas and David Lightman

President Obama returns to Florida to talk economy, raise funds

For the 14th time since he became president, Barack Obama on Thursday is traveling to Florida — a state his Republican rivals need to win to make him a one-termer. | 02/23/12 07:08:12 By - Marc Caputo

Romney, Santorum attack each other on spending records

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum clashed over which of them is the true conservative steward of taxpayers' money Wednesday night, grappling for advantage as their two-man grudge match heads toward critical votes in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday. | 02/22/12 21:16:43 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Romney proposes 20 percent income tax cut to jump-start U.S. economy

Mitt Romney proposed Wednesday to cut individual income tax rates for all Americans by 20 percent, a promise he hopes will jumpstart his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and the American economy. | 02/22/12 13:51:32 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Romney son stumps for dad in Washington state

The last time Kristen Jenson of Richland saw Josh Romney, he was just 1 and she was baby-sitting him and his older brothers, she said Tuesday after meeting him again as he campaigned for his father in Kennewick. | 02/22/12 13:06:41 By - Annette Cary

Penn State students surprised that Rick Santorum is their landlord

Last summer, in the midst of a furious bout of presidential campaigning that ultimately earned him a win in the Iowa caucuses, Rick Santorum found time to send a letter to residents in one of his five State College condominiums. | 02/22/12 09:19:04 By - Cliff White

Evangelist Franklin Graham questions President Obama's faith

For the second time in a week, President Barack Obama's religious beliefs have been called into question, this time by N.C. evangelist Franklin Graham. Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday morning, Graham said he is not sure the president is a Christian. Neither is he certain that Obama is not a Muslim. | 02/22/12 07:23:07 By - Michael Gordon

Poll: Romney holds lead but Santorum gains in California

While challengers rise and recede in the Republican presidential primaries, Mitt Romney's sail remains full in California. Rick Santorum, the most recent alternative to surge, remains six percentage points behind the former Massachusetts governor among California Republicans, according to a new Field Poll. | 02/22/12 07:00:23 By - David Siders

Romney starts big week with Wednesday night GOP debate

Mitt Romney will face his three Republican rivals Wednesday in a debate that marks the start of a crucial week for his presidential bid. | 02/21/12 16:45:00 By - David Lightman

Perry's campaign filing sheds light on last days of presidential bid

In the last three weeks of his presidential bid, Gov. Rick Perry spent more than $3 million and contributions trickled to less than $400,000, according to his latest report filed with the Federal Elections Commission. | 02/21/12 07:24:00 By - Dave Montgomery

Republican leaders say Kansas caucus could have more sway than usual

Although Super Tuesday comes four days before Kansas Republicans gather for their presidential caucus March 10, GOP leaders are convinced there will still be plenty left for the state to decide. | 02/21/12 06:57:54 By - Rick Plumlee

Poll: Santorum has big lead over GOP rivals in Texas

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released Monday morning shows Rick Santorum's support among Texas Republicans is almost equal to the combined support of his three leading rivals in the GOP primary. | 02/20/12 11:22:41 By - Aman Batheja

Texas Senate race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison will be expensive

The race to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison could soon become one of the nation's costliest contests. | 02/20/12 07:35:07 By - Anna M. Tinsley

Fla. Senate candidate Mack says divorce is behind financial woes

U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack explained Sunday for the first time why he spent more than he earned at times, pinning financial problems on his divorce. | 02/20/12 06:58:19 By - Katie Sanders

Needing a win, Romney tries to tap his Michigan roots

Mitt Romney likes to tell people in Michigan he's one of them — and whether voters see him that way could be crucial in determining his political fate. | 02/19/12 15:22:00 By - David Lightman

Casino mogul Adelson donates another $10 million, boosting Gingrich

Casino owner Sheldon Adelson is expected to send another $10 million donation within days to the outside group that's provided life support to Newt Gingrich's beleaguered presidential campaign, say fundraisers with ties to the multibillionaire. | 02/17/12 19:18:00 By - Peter Stone

Ron Paul delivers his 'revolution' message in Washington state

People started showing up hours before the presidential candidate took the stage at the DoubleTree hotel in SeaTac. Nick Sherwood of Puyallup, Washington, had a simple explanation: "They're Ron Paul supporters." | 02/17/12 07:38:23 By - Jordan Schrader

Texas Gov. Perry aims to turn campaign funds into PAC

Texas Gov. Rick Perry may be preparing to take on a more active role in the 2012 elections if a recent filling with the Federal Elections Commission is any guide. | 02/17/12 07:32:00 By - Aman Batheja

Obama is counting on California for cash, electoral votes

Except for a booth and a few T-shirts, President Barack Obama was hardly represented when the California Democratic Party met for its annual convention this past weekend.

He may not have noticed. | 02/17/12 07:05:36 By - David Siders

Romney targets labor unions, which could be risky come fall

Mitt Romney has a new high-risk target in his campaign for president: labor unions. He's casting himself as one of the strongest anti-union candidates in memory, a move he hopes will appeal to anti-union conservatives, open rival Rick Santorum to charges of a liberal pro-union voting record, win the pivotal Michigan primary on Feb. 28 and cement his now shaky grasp on the Republican nomination. | 02/16/12 17:44:00 By - Steven Thomma

Santorum's plan to help manufacturers leaves questions unanswered

Thanks in part to his pro-manufacturing message, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's poll numbers are soaring in the blue-collar states of Michigan and Ohio, which soon hold GOP presidential primaries. | 02/16/12 16:46:00 By - Kevin G. Hall

Santorum's plan for federal lands echoes past proposals

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's call to sell or transfer federally owned public lands Tuesday night in Boise earned him several rounds of applause. | 02/16/12 07:03:31 By - Rocky Barker and Dan Popkey

Romney in an unexpected battle to win Michigan, his home state

Once assured of victory on friendly turf, Mitt Romney faces a potentially devastating loss of his home state of Michigan to Rick Santorum, which could upend the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. | 02/15/12 16:43:00 By - Steven Thomma

What to do about Medicare will be a big election issue

When GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told conservative activists last week that he wants to "save" Medicare by turning it into a program that would give seniors a defined sum to shop for the health plans of their choice, he teed up an issue that has the potential to sway millions of voters, especially seniors, in November. | 02/15/12 16:08:00 By - Marilyn Werber Serafini

Newt Gingrich gets warm welcome at World Ag Expo in California

Newt Gingrich is struggling to regain his political footing in the battle to capture the Republican presidential nomination, but none of that was evident Tuesday during a visit to the World Ag Expo. | 02/15/12 12:35:12 By - John Ellis

Santorum courts Idaho conservatives in Boise

Rick Santorum had a Boise crowd in his hands Tuesday, affirming his faith, ripping his GOP opponents and President Obama, and setting high stakes. | 02/15/12 07:37:19 By - Dan Popkey

Why do tea partiers flock to Santorum, given his voting record?

Supporters of the tea party movement, the grass-roots conservatives who've been relentless in demanding tough, lean budgets, are rallying behind Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum — but Santorum's record suggests he's hardly one of them. | 02/14/12 17:53:00 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Where do tea party freshmen lawmakers go from here?

Leaving a House of Representatives Republican caucus meeting one morning, Rep. Vicky Hartzler had to pause a moment to get her bearings. She was on her way to an Armed Services Committee hearing, but navigating the maze of corridors beneath the Capitol could still puzzle her. | 02/13/12 15:59:00 By - David Goldstein

Romney's good day; wins conservatives, Maine caucus

Romney's 38-31 percent defeat of Santorum in a straw presidential vote among thousands of activists at the annual convention of the Conservative Political Action Committee bolstered his claim that he can consolidate support among the Republican base. | 02/11/12 19:29:00 By - James Rosen

Conservative activists revved up - but lukewarm on Romney

Conservatives are fired up, convinced that this will be a big year, but they worry that Mitt Romney will make their task harder. | 02/10/12 18:01:00 By - David Lightman

As Obama's political fortunes rise, fight over contraception mandate casts a cloud

Just as some analysts have begun to suggest a sunnier political outlook for the president's re-election prospects, the White House is engaged in a highly charged dispute with Republicans and Catholic leaders over its mandate that religious institutions must provide contraceptives in their health care coverage. | 02/09/12 17:59:00 By - Lesley Clark

Five Democratic 'super' PACs may seek joint operation

Five Democratic "super" political action committees are reaching out to party mega-donors seeking $1 million to $10 million contributions, now that President Barack Obama has blessed the outside spending group working to get him re-elected. | 02/08/12 18:20:00 By - Peter Stone

Santorum wins make Romney's path to nomination much harder

Mitt Romney's carefully plotted path to the Republican presidential nomination is now a long, unpredictable journey that could last months. | 02/08/12 17:32:00 By - David Lightman

Texas Democrats want financial details for Perry's campaign security

Rep. Lon Burnam is seeking answers from the Department of Public Safety over taxpayer money that the agency used to provide security for Gov. Rick Perry during his ill-fated five-month presidential bid. | 02/08/12 07:39:29 By - Dave Montgomery

Santorum wins Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri, shakes up GOP race

Rick Santorum seized an important opportunity Tuesday to become the chief conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, as he made a clean sweep of three Republican presidential nomination contests in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. | 02/07/12 19:03:00 By - David Lightman

Bain execs spend nearly $5 million on Romney's White House runs

Of all the investments made by the super-wealthy partners at the private equity firm Bain Capital, perhaps none has a greater potential return than the one they've made in Mitt Romney. | 02/07/12 06:00:00 By - Anne Farris Rosen

Texas Gov. Perry determined to help keep Obama from second term

Gov. Rick Perry declared Monday night that he still has "plenty of fight left" after his unsuccessful presidential bid, serving notice that he will work vigorously to continue his policies of fewer taxes and limited government as the state's chief executive while battling to defeat President Barack Obama in November. | 02/07/12 07:26:27 By - Dave Montgomery

Bain execs spent nearly $5 million on Romney's White House runs

Of all the investments made by the super-wealthy partners at the private equity firm Bain Capital, perhaps none has a greater potential return than the one they've made in Mitt Romney. Current and former Bain executives and their relatives have given about $4.7 million to organizations that are dedicated to making Romney the next president of the United States, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation. | 02/07/12 06:00:00 By - Anne Farris Rosen

Romney favored, Santorum lurking, as 3 states vote today

Republicans in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri will vote for presidential candidates Tuesday, and while Mitt Romney is favored to win, many conservatives appear eager to signal their unease with him by voting for Rick Santorum. | 02/06/12 18:42:00 By - David Lightman

Texans are among biggest presidential campaign donors

Texans have been among the biggest donors in this year's presidential race, pumping more than $20 million into candidates' campaigns with 10 months left to go. And they aren't likely to slow down now, even with Gov. Rick Perry — who received the lion's share of Texas money — out of the race. | 02/06/12 07:34:12 By - Anna M. Tinsley

Romney cruising toward solid win in Nevada on Saturday

Republicans in Nevada are poised to do what no one has yet done in the 2012 Republican presidential campaign — sustain momentum. | 02/03/12 15:21:00 By - Steven Thomma

Fight for Fla. Rep. Allen West's seat may draw more Democrats

The Democrats vying to replace departing Rep. Allen West from his 22nd congressional seat — businessman Patrick Murphy and former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel — may miss the retired Army colonel and tea party crowd pleaser because his rants on Fox News fired up the left and delivered dollars to their campaign coffers. | 02/03/12 06:55:23 By - Amy Sherman and Erika Bolstad

Billionaire Trump endorses millionaire Romney for president

Donald Trump on Thursday endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, a move with little likely impact on voting but rich with billionaire-meets-millionaire symbolism. | 02/02/12 17:03:00 By - Steven Thomma

Top Gingrich PAC donor, Adelson, might give millions more

Billionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson seems to be signaling his intention to plow millions more into conservative groups to influence this year's elections, in addition to the $10 million that he and his wife gave a "super" political action committee that backs Newt Gingrich. | 02/02/12 16:02:00 By - Peter Stone

With restrictions gone, '1 percenters' dish millions, alter race for White House

Partly as a result of the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling that even corporations enjoy the right to free political speech, a 2002 congressional overhaul that was supposed to rid big money from national politics is fast becoming a distant memory. Not only are wealthy Americans serving as financial angels to presidential candidates, but companies also have begun to write multimillion-dollar checks, and some may be doing so secretly. | 02/01/12 20:06:00 By - Greg Gordon

Negative campaign ads signal what we'll see next fall

The 2012 Republican presidential campaign is ugly and likely to get uglier, because going negative works. The negative barrage, experts said, is a preview of what's coming for November's general election. "This is the way the game is played," said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government at the University of Texas. | 02/01/12 18:28:00 By - David Lightman

Romney remark on poor draws attack from Obama campaign

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney engaged in a skirmish over the middle class with President Barack Obama's campaign Wednesday, a preview of a clash that could dominate a fall campaign between the two. | 02/01/12 17:36:00 By - Steven Thomma

Perry super PACs received most of their funding in Texas

Wealthy Texans were far and away the biggest source of funding for super PACs for and against Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday. | 02/01/12 07:29:18 By - Aman Batheja

Lower 48 Indian tribes help fuel Alaska Rep. Young's campaign fundraising

Alaska Rep. Don Young nearly doubled his campaign fundraising in the last months of the year with help from Lower 48 Indian tribes and now has a lot of money and no established challengers emerging to take him on. | 02/01/12 06:47:04 By - Sean Cockerham

Obama's supporters deliver $40 million in campaign cash

President Barack Obama's campaign reported Tuesday that it raked in nearly $40 million in the last three months of 2011 and closed the year with $82 million in cash, aided by some 60 bundlers who each raised at least $500,000 for the campaign and the Democratic National Committee. | 01/31/12 20:35:00 By - Greg Gordon

Romney scores double-digit win in Florida primary

Mitt Romney's victory Tuesday in Florida's presidential primary — the first test of electoral strength in a big, diverse state this year — establishes him firmly as the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination. | 01/31/12 19:04:00 By - David Lightman, William Douglas and Lesley Clark

Perry struggled to raise funds as poll numbers dropped

Gov. Rick Perry, who was flush with campaign cash when he appeared to be a viable contender for the Republican presidential nomination, sustained a steep drop-off in fund-raising as he nosed downward in the polls, according to a campaign finance disclosure statement filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. | 01/31/12 12:15:52 By - Dave Montgomery

Romney poised for big victory in Sunshine State

Mitt Romney is poised to win big in Tuesday's Florida Republican primary, a victory that would move him an important step closer to the party's presidential nomination. | 01/30/12 18:08:00 By - David Lightman, Lesley Clark and William Douglas

For Florida seniors, election is all about economy

Florida's Republican seniors, many of whom retired from white-collar jobs elsewhere, worry about the prices of houses they bought here with equity from the homes they sold. Sluggish financial-market returns limit their incomes. They see the massive federal debt as a serious threat to the well-being of their children and grandchildren. | 01/30/12 15:11:00 By - David Lightman

After Newt and Mitt cut each other up, can GOP recover?

They worship at the political altar of Ronald Reagan, but Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney ignore one part of his creed: his so-called 11th Commandment forbidding criticism of fellow Republicans. | 01/30/12 14:43:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney has big lead in new poll

Mitt Romney's lead in Tuesday's Florida presidential primary is up to 14 percentage points, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released Monday. | 01/30/12 08:17:46 By - David Lightman

California Republicans still waiting for presidential inspiration

Jon Fleischman, the conservative blogger, was brooding the other day on Facebook, underwhelmed by the presidential candidates he has left to choose from. | 01/30/12 06:43:01 By - David Siders

In Florida, big crowds for Gingrich, but Romney strategy puts him ahead

Looks can be deceiving in Florida's feisty Republican presidential primary.

Mitt Romney has been drawing small crowds all week. The insurgent Newt Gingrich has hosted big, boisterous rallies. Yet the former Massachusetts governor has pulled far ahead of the former House Speaker in statewide polls. | 01/29/12 17:00:00 By - David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Romney opens lead in Florida as Republican rivals start to look elsewhere

Mitt Romney opened a commanding lead in Florida Sunday, driving his rivals to start shifting their sights to other states as more suitable battlegrounds to keep challenging him for the Republican presidential nomination. | 01/29/12 16:19:00 By - Steven Thomma, Lesley Clark and David Lightman

Romney, Gingrich battle in Florida ahead of key primary

As Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich dueled across Florida four days before the state's pivotal Republican primary, a new Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll showed Romney with a commanding double-digit lead. | 01/28/12 18:24:00 By - David Lightman, Steven Thomma and William Douglas

GOP campaign turns to economy, immigration as Romney rises

The Republican presidential rivals courted influential Hispanic voters in South Florida on Friday with promises to improve immigration laws and focus on Latin America, as a new poll suggested that Mitt Romney is regaining his edge in the first mega-state to deliver a decision. | 01/27/12 19:29:00 By - Patricia Mazzei, Lesley Clark and David Lightman

Florida primary may take new route as Romney rebounds, Gingrich sags

Florida may be Newt Gingrich's Waterloo. After storming into the state with a head of steam from a surprising win last Saturday in South Carolina, Gingrich's support has waned and polls now suggest that he could lose Florida's primary when voting ends Tuesday, perhaps by a wide margin. | 01/27/12 18:17:00 By - Steven Thomma

Florida poll: Mitt Romney opens up a lead over Newt Gingrich

With four days left before Florida's presidential primary, a new poll finds Mitt Romney opening up a considerable lead over Newt Gingrich -- 38 percent to 29 percent. | 01/27/12 09:00:25 By - Lesley Clark

In Florida debate, Romney slams Gingrich for toxic rhetoric

Mitt Romney pummeled Newt Gingrich repeatedly in a fierce war of words Thursday, striving to capitalize on a turn in the polls in the final debate before Florida's presidential primary on Tuesday. | 01/26/12 21:15:41 By - David Lightman and Steven Thomma

Romney vs. Gingrich rhetoric grows rougher in Florida

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney intensified their bare-knuckles rhetorical brawl Thursday, with Gingrich verbally savaging the former Massachusetts governor, the campaign ads he's run in Florida and even the Republican Party establishment | 01/26/12 18:35:00 By - William Douglas, Lesley Clark and David Lightman

Bob Dole blasts Newt Gingrich, endorses Mitt Romney

The following statement was posted by the Mitt Romney campaign at MittRomney.com. | 01/26/12 16:52:23 By -

Newt Gingrich comes out swinging: 'This is a campaign for the very nature of the Republican party'

Speaking in friendly territory -- before a tea party crowd of about 500 in Central Florida's bucolic Mount Dora -- the former House Speaker savaged Mitt Romney, the campaign ads that have been pillorying Gingrich across the state -- and his own Republican party. | 01/26/12 12:19:53 By - Lesley Clark

Perry's support in Texas has eroded, according to survey

Gov. Rick Perry's ill-fated bid for the presidency has apparently eroded his political base back home, dropping his Texas approval rating to a new low and raising doubts about his chances of victory if he seeks re-election in two years, according to a newly released poll conducted for the Star-Telegram and other major newspapers. | 01/26/12 07:32:21 By - Dave Montgomery

Romney's tithing raises issue in other churches

Mitt Romney's tax returns reveal that the Republican presidential candidate does something fewer Americans do these days: He tithes. | 01/26/12 06:55:03 By - Jennifer Garza

Gingrich yanks attack ad on Romney after Sen. Rubio says it's unfair

The close, volatile Republican presidential campaign exploded in Miami's Cuban-American community on Wednesday as Newt Gingrich pulled a controversial Spanish-language immigration ad after Sen. Marco Rubio bashed it as out of bounds. | 01/25/12 19:15:00 By - Marc Caputo

Deluge of campaign ads, calls, mail engulfs Florida voters

The winner of Florida's bruising Republican presidential primary probably will be the candidate who uses traditional mass-marketing tools such as advertising, robo-calls and mailings most effectively. | 01/25/12 18:35:00 By - David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Video | Mitt Romney wants Castro 'off this planet'

Mitt Romney threatens Castro and Cuba during a speech at the Freedom Tower in Miami Wednesday, January 25, 2012. | 01/25/12 18:33:09 By -

Gingrich removes 'anti-immigrant' Romney ad after scolding by Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio scolded Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign over a Spanish-language radio ad that accuses rival Mitt Romney of being “anti-immigrant.” | 01/25/12 13:53:37 By - Marc Caputo

What will Perry do with remaining campaign funds?

Even with his White House bid now a historical footnote, Gov. Rick Perry's campaign will still make news this month when it submits a finance report for the last three months of 2011. | 01/25/12 13:18:57 By - Aman Batheja

Fla. Sen. Rubio scolds Gingrich campaign for 'anti-immigrant' Romney ad

Sen. Marco Rubio scolded Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign over a Spanish-language radio ad that accuses rival Mitt Romney of being "anti-immigrant." | 01/25/12 11:02:53 By - Marc Caputo

Gingrich campaigns in Bradenton, Florida

More than 3,000 people gathered Tuesday in a Dolphin Aviation hangar to welcome Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Gingrich rolled into the hangar by Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in his large campaign bus, as the gathered crowd waved flags that had been distributed by rally organizers. | 01/24/12 19:47:03 By - Laura C. Morel

Obama frames his election-year vision in State of the Union address

President Barack Obama used an election-year State of the Union address Tuesday night to frame the national debate not as a referendum on him but as a pivotal decision on how to save the American dream. | 01/24/12 18:42:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney, Gingrich take different tacks in courting Florida voters

Mitt Romney ramped up his Florida offensive on Tuesday, releasing his tax returns and offering an alternative State of the Union address, as his rival Newt Gingrich told voters that Romney is too liberal for the Republican Party. | 01/24/12 18:04:00 By - David Lightman, Lesley Clark and Marc Caputo

Romney offers his own thoughts on the State of the Union

Mitt Romney offered his own State of the Union speech Tuesday, warning voters that President Barack Obama Tuesday "will give a nice speech with a lot of memorable phrases. But he won't give you the hard numbers" that show an economy still struggling. | 01/24/12 12:00:52 By - David Lightman

Romney's tax data illustrates debate over fair rates

Mitt Romney reported owing $6.2 million in federal taxes on $42.5 million in income over the last two years, according to documents the Republican presidential contender's campaign released Tuesday that play into the emerging debate over fairness in the tax code. There were no major surprises in more than 500 pages of documents released under pressure after Romney’s defeat in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, where his lack of clarity about his taxes bothered voters. | 01/24/12 08:55:35 By - David Lightman and Kevin G. Hall

GOP candidates' spending on ads didn't translate into votes in S.C.

Republican presidential candidates spent $13.2 million on TV ads in South Carolina — money that did not translate into votes for the top spenders. | 01/24/12 07:30:21 By - Adam Beam

Charlotte OKs expansion of police powers during Democratic National Convention

In preparation for the Democratic National Convention, the Charlotte City Council voted 10-1 Monday night to approve new ordinances that will give police more power to stop and search people during the convention. | 01/24/12 07:16:47 By - Steve Harrison

Romney attacks Gingrich sharply on several fronts in Florida debate

Mitt Romney, struggling to gain momentum in this state's pivotal Republican primary, unleashed a blistering attack Monday on chief rival Newt Gingrich over his ethics, his leadership and his ties to a mortgage giant Freddie Mac. | 01/23/12 22:16:18 By - David Lightman and Lesley Clark

Black conservatives gather to talk about gaining strength

It's a lonely world out there, black conservatives said Monday, especially as they try to recruit more African-American voters to their ranks. | 01/23/12 18:39:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Obama to frame re-election themes Tuesday in State of the Union address

President Barack Obama delivers an election-year State of the Union address Tuesday night at a moment when the country is worried about the economy and his own prospects for re-election are mixed at best. | 01/23/12 17:33:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney blasts Gingrich, calls for more disclosure

Mitt Romney lashed out at Newt Gingrich Monday, blasting the former House Speaker and saying "he's got some records which could represent an October surprise." | 01/23/12 13:48:45 By - David Lightman

Georgia judge orders President Obama to appear in court over 'birthers' suit

A Georgia judge has ordered President Barack Obama to appear in court in Atlanta Thursday for a hearing on a complaint that says Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen and can’t be president. | 01/23/12 12:53:56 By - Chuck Williams

It's Newt's momentum vs. Mitt's organization in Florida GOP fight

Three states. Three winners. A divided delegate count. If there is any clarity in the unpredictable, captivating turns of the Republican presidential race, it is this: Anything can happen and Florida, which is next to vote, is wide open. | 01/22/12 18:30:00 By - Alex Leary

GOP campaign turns to Florida — a very different challenge

The tumultuous Republican presidential campaign unfolds over the next 10 days in Florida, the most diverse, complicated and expensive state yet. Campaigning in Florida is more akin to stumping in several states at once — with 10 media markets, several of them pricey, and a land mass so large there's little opportunity for retail politicking. | 01/22/12 17:38:00 By - Lesley Clark

Primaries show negative campaign ads work

In five polls taken over nine days through Jan. 12, Romney had an average of 29 percent support with Gingrich netting 20.2 percent. When the ballots were cast Saturday, after a 10-day barrage of anti-Romney ads that South Carolina political analysts and consultants said was unique in its volume and intensity, Gingrich won with 40.4 percent of the vote, while Romney garnered 27.8 percent. | 01/22/12 16:06:00 By - James Rosen

The road ahead looks good for Romney despite South Carolina

The Republican presidential nomination race is momentarily in turmoil. But Mitt Romney, who long ago prepared for a long, methodical slog, is still in strong shape. Every non-incumbent Republican presidential nominee since 1980 has lost at least one primary on the road to nomination. | 01/22/12 15:37:00 By - David Lightman

Gingrich rode big debate skills — and homeboy Southern style — to S.C. victory

Former House Speaker Gingrich's victory in the South Carolina Republican primary is a testament to him sticking to an unconventional campaign strategy that many experts dismissed as political suicide. | 01/21/12 19:40:50 By - William Douglas

Gingrich wins huge come-from-behind victory in South Carolina

Newt Gingrich surged to a landslide victory in the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, a stunning come-from-behind upset that shook the contest for the party's presidential nomination. Mitt Romney came in second, a crushing loss for the one-time front-runner, his hopes dashed for a quick and triumphant march toward the title. | 01/21/12 18:04:18 By - Steven Thomma, David Lightman and Gina Smith

Late S.C. poll shows Gingrich surging to big lead

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Newt Gingrich appeared headed for a big victory in South Carolina's Republican presidential primary Saturday, as he rides a wave of momentum cresting off two strong debate performances here this week. | 01/20/12 18:49:00 By - David Lightman, Steven Thomma and William Douglas

Lame duck California congressman endorses Stephen Colbert

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but lame duck California congressman Dennis Cardoza is apparently defecting to The Colbert Nation. | 01/20/12 13:07:55 By - Brandon Bowers and Michael Tharp

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he probably won't endorse in GOP presidential primary

Florida Gov. Rick Scott today said he likely will not publicly endorse a candidate in advance of the Florida Republican presidential primary on Jan. 31. | 01/20/12 12:20:58 By - Marc R. Masferrer

'Newt wouldn't get my vote,' former S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford says

Former S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford is not a Newt Gingrich fan.

In an interview on MSNBC on Thursday, Sanford said some voters might be swayed by a TV interview with Gingrich’s second wife where she accused the former House speaker of wanting an open marriage. Sanford divorced her husband, former SC Gov. Mark Sanford, after he had an affair with a woman from Argentina while he was in office. | 01/20/12 07:24:24 By - Andrew Shain

Gingrich scolds media for spotlighting ex-wife's complaint

Newt Gingrich lashed out angrily at the news media Thursday night for fresh reporting on his failed second marriage, in an extraordinary opening to a high-stakes debate two days before a pivotal GOP presidential primary in South Carolina. | 01/19/12 21:27:07 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Suddenly Romney's on the ropes as developments rock GOP race

Put the champagne on ice. Hold the coronation. Mitt Romney's hopes of quickly clinching the Republican presidential nomination may be fading. He now finds himself facing a very tough fight with Newt Gingrich, a man he thought he'd buried back in Iowa. | 01/19/12 17:10:00 By - Steven Thomma

Gingrich surging in S.C., but cloud shadows his campaign

Newt Gingrich was surging in South Carolina hours before the state's crucial Republican primary Saturday, but in typical Gingrich roller-coaster fashion, a late-breaking scandal threatened to derail his campaign just as it was peaking. | 01/19/12 15:18:00 By - David Lightman

S.C. politicians say it's too early to see a difference in the race sans Perry

S.C. politicos say it’s too early to say whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropping out the race will give Newt Gingrich a boost in the final days leading up to the S.C. primary. | 01/19/12 12:22:30 By - Gina Smith

Marianne Gingrich says Newt wanted 'open marriage'

Newt Gingrich's second wife, Marianne, has some big doubts about her ex-husband's character. Here's part of a news release from ABC, which will air an interview with her on tonight's "Nightline." | 01/19/12 11:41:42 By - David Lightman

Perry drops GOP presidential bid

Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped his presidential bid Thursday, asking his supporters to instead stand behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, just two days before the South Carolina primary that was considered crucial for his run for the White House. | 01/19/12 09:30:43 By - Anna M. Tinsley and Dave Montgomery

Commentary: Will Colbert Nation make its point about super PACs in S.C. primary?

What's more likely to call attention to the outrage that is the super PAC: a bunch of Occupiers showing up at federal courthouses Friday — or Colbert Nation upending Saturday's South Carolina Republican primary by voting for Herman Cain? | 01/19/12 07:35:34 By - Linda P. Campbell

Comedian Colbert to hold rally with Cain in Charleston, S.C.

Stephen Colbert will visit Charleston on Friday for a rally with former presidential candidate Herman Cain in the comedian's bid to win support during the S.C. GOP presidential primary on Saturday. | 01/19/12 07:28:31 By - Andrew Shain

In Miami, Romney's tenure with Bain Capital is debated

Off a gritty bend in the Miami River, a few miles from a warehouse where he recently touted his job-creation plans, there’s a complex of buildings that bear witness to a time when Mitt Romney’s private equity firm laid off hundreds of workers, shuttered a profitable factory and made out with hundreds of millions of dollars. | 01/19/12 07:14:11 By - Marc Caputo and Alex Leary

Small crowds speak to Perry's struggling, dying campaign

Rick Perry walked into a pizza shop with eight news cameras trained on him, a dozen more reporters and a handful of Texas troopers and campaign staff. At most, a dozen ordinary people waited for him Wednesday at Wild Ace Pizza. This isn't what a top-tier presidential candidate's events should look like just four days before Saturday's South Carolina primary. | 01/18/12 18:21:00 By - Marc Caputo

Obama heads to swing state of Florida for travel announcement

Arriving in Florida just days before the Republican candidates who want his job begin to court the state's voters, President Barack Obama on Thursday is expected to tout a plan that he says will help a region whose economy is heavily dependent on visitors. | 01/18/12 17:54:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Romney unloads on Gingrich as polls show S.C. race tightening

Fighting to protect his lead in South Carolina, Mitt Romney's campaign hit back hard Wednesday at chief rival Newt Gingrich, accusing him of "leadership by chaos" that cost the Republican Party once and would again. | 01/18/12 17:23:00 By - Steven Thomma, David Lightman and William Douglas

Democrats' House political team taps two Californians for campaign support

Democratic strategists on Wednesday put more serious muscle behind two Central Valley congressional challengers. Now, get ready for the advertising deluge. | 01/18/12 16:31:00 By - Michael Doyle

Hard times in S.C. make the economy the dominant issue

South Carolina's economy has been battered in recent years, and as a result, the dominant issue here as Saturday's Republican primary approaches is how to get people working and confident again. | 01/18/12 14:52:00 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Days before South Carolina votes, can anyone stop Romney?

Time is running out for anyone to stop Mitt Romney from winning the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, perhaps the last chance to keep him from running away with the party's presidential nomination. | 01/17/12 18:47:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney paid only a 15 percent tax rate; Gingrich demands full story

Mitt Romney tried Tuesday to defuse a growing controversy dogging his front-runner campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination by saying that he "probably" pays a tax rate of 15 percent, far lower than the 35 percent top rate one might assume that a multimillionaire pays. | 01/17/12 18:11:00 By - David Lightman

Romney's private equity record: Jobs lost, jobs created

Did Republican front-runner Mitt Romney create jobs or destroy them when he ran the private equity firm Bain Capital? The question has dominated debate ahead of South Carolina's heated presidential primary Saturday, and the answer to both questions, oddly enough, is yes. | 01/17/12 16:15:00 By - Kevin G. Hall

DNC shortens Charlotte convention to 3 days

The Democratic National Convention Committee announced today that its upcoming Charlotte convention program will be shortened from four days to three days, and that the event will begin on Labor Day with a party at Charlotte Motor Speedway. | 01/17/12 12:18:11 By - Steve Harrison

Romney, Paul continue S.C. push with stops in Rock Hill

The front-runner and an underdog vying for the Republican presidential nomination will make their first stops in Rock Hill today and tomorrow, days before the state's first-in-the-South primary. | 01/17/12 07:30:54 By - Jamie Self

South Carolina Mormons welcome GOP spotlight on their faith

As in 2008, the S.C. Republican Presidential Primary offers the political spectacle of Mitt Romney's Mormon beliefs running head on into a Bible Belt electorate. | 01/17/12 07:21:11 By - Michael Gordon

Obama to speak at Bank of America stadium on DNC's final night

On the final night of this fall's Democratic National Convention, President Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech at Bank of America stadium, party sources told the Observer on Monday night. | 01/17/12 07:17:20 By - Jim Morrill

GOP rivals gang up on front-runner Romney in South Carolina debate

His rival Republican presidential candidates slammed Mitt Romney Monday night in an increasingly desperate effort to stop his momentum toward possible victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary — and with it a likely unshakable grip on the party's presidential nomination. They took turns in a fiery debate portraying him as a cold corporate titan who cast aside workers to pocket millions and a secretive millionaire whose record would eventually lead Republicans to regret choosing him. | 01/16/12 22:22:20 By - David Lightman and Steven Thomma

Billionaire Wyoming investor backs Santorum 'super' PAC

A billionaire Wyoming investor has pledged to give up to a half-million dollars in matching money to an outside spending group that supports Rick Santorum for the GOP presidential nomination. | 01/16/12 18:36:00 By - Peter Stone

Gingrich, Santorum court S.C. tea party

Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum spent part of Monday touting themselves as the true conservative in the race and urging S.C. Tea Party members to back them before it’s too late and frontrunner Mitt Romney runs away with the S.C. primary. | 01/16/12 18:30:24 By - Gina Smith

Huntsman drops GOP bid, endorses Romney

Jon Huntsman dropped his struggling campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination Monday and endorsed rival Mitt Romney.

The former governor of Utah and ambassador to China bowed to the inevitable, hastening the end of a beleaguered campaign that had little money, next to no popular support and no prospect for significant gains in any states coming up on the primary calendar. | 01/16/12 12:11:37 By - Steven Thomma

Black Republicans raise their profile, focus on character

The isolation of being African-American and Republican rang clear to Sam Bain when he joined a group of about 100 other sign-waving protesters at a 2010 speech by President Barack Obama at Ohio State University. | 01/16/12 11:38:43 By - Mara Rose Williams

Perry says South Carolina isn't his campaign's Alamo

Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday that he is undaunted by his failure to win the backing of leading social conservatives and expressed confidence that he can still rally conservative voters in Saturday's South Carolina primary with his message of job creation and economic recovery. | 01/16/12 07:36:34 By - Dave Montgomery

Sen. DeMint kicks off S.C. tea party convention in Myrtle Beach

This year’s election is a fight, and U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint is certain conservatives can win.

“If they won’t see the light, make them feel the heat,” he told Tea Party convention attendees from all over South Carolina as he opened the two-day party convention in Myrtle Beach on Sunday. | 01/16/12 07:33:00 By - Lorena Anderson

Romney's rivals hope to catch a wave in Myrtle Beach debate

Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach is likely to be the most important one yet for both South Carolina and the national Republican Party. | 01/16/12 07:27:42 By - Gina Smith

Big banks have picked their candidate, and it's Romney

Employees at the five largest U.S. banks by assets, including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., have given Romney about $600,000 through the first three quarters of 2011, according to the most recent filings available from the Federal Election Commission. No. 2? President Barack Obama, with $200,000. | 01/15/12 19:22:37 By - Andrew Dunn

Huntsman to leave GOP race Monday and endorse Romney

The former governor of Utah never caught on with the Republican primary electorate, suspect for accepting President Barack Obama’s nomination to be his ambassador to China, and branded as too moderate for his acceptance of the science of global warming. Polls showed him tied for last place with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas in both South Carolina and Florida, which votes on Jan. 31 and where Huntsman once based his campaign. | 01/15/12 16:53:00 By - Steven Thomma and Gina Smith

Predicting the South Carolina GOP vote is a challenge

As the campaign for South Carolina's first-in-the-South Republican presidential primary enters its final week, many GOP activists and analysts in the state warn against portraying it as an ultraconservative bastion dominated by single-minded evangelicals. While true in some aspects, they say, such a simplistic depiction ignores a shifting swirl of demographic, religious and historical currents that belie pat predictions about the outcome of Saturday's voting. | 01/15/12 14:58:00 By - James Rosen

'Stop Romney' Christian conservatives decide to back Santorum

With South Carolina's Republican presidential primary a week away, former Sen. Rick Santorum on Saturday received the endorsement of 150 influential Christian conservative leaders who are hoping to prevent former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney from becoming the GOP nominee. | 01/14/12 16:04:00 By - William Douglas and Adam Beam

Is it too late for Newt Gingrich in Florida? He thinks not

Newt Gingrich started to turn Florida’s Republican primary into a two-man contest Friday by hitting opponent Mitt Romney from the right, left and center at Miami’s Versailles Restaurant and during a headquarters opening in Orlando. | 01/14/12 10:40:41 By - Marc Caputo and Patricia Mazzei

Romney's Bain made millions as S.C. steelmaker went bankrupt

Bain Capital spent $24.5 million to acquire GS Industries in 1993, according to an investment prospectus for the company. By the end of that decade, Bain Capital estimated its partners had made $58.4 million off its investment. During that time, the steel manufacturer cut more than 1,750 jobs, shuttered a division that had been around for 100 years and eventually sank into bankruptcy. | 01/14/12 09:48:09 By - David Wren

Romney's record at Bain dominates another campaign day

With the Republican presidential race in South Carolina tightening Friday, front-runner Mitt Romney launched a TV ad that portrays his tenure as the head of a private equity firm positively, while Newt Gingrich unveiled a Web spot mocking Romney's ability to speak French. | 01/13/12 18:51:00 By - William Douglas

S.C. tea party to hold convention in Myrtle Beach before GOP debate

The South Carolina Tea Party Coalition is hosting its first-ever state Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach prior to the GOP presidential debate. | 01/13/12 07:24:58 By - Brad Dickerson

Romney defends his record at Bain Capital as GOP rivals attack

After enduring days of blistering attacks from his rivals, Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney on Thursday defended his record at Bain Capital, a private equity firm that sometimes laid off workers while attempting to turn companies around. | 01/12/12 18:46:00 By - William Douglas and Adam Beam

Social conservative leaders to huddle in Texas, assess 2012 GOP candidates

Social conservative leaders from across the nation will gather at a Texas ranch this weekend to discuss their choice of candidates in the Republican presidential race, including the possibility of uniting behind a candidate other than front-runner Mitt Romney. | 01/12/12 18:12:00 By - Dave Montgomery

Obama's campaign rakes in $68 million in 4th quarter

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign raised $68 million in the last three months of 2011, closing out a healthy year that dwarfed his Republican opponents. | 01/12/12 17:59:00 By - Lesley Clark

Super PACs are making their rich presence felt in 2012 campaigns

Super PACs are living up to their early billing as potential game-changers in the 2012 elections. Free to flood a campaign with as much money as they can, these souped-up political action committees have already impacted the Republican presidential contest. | 01/12/12 16:12:00 By - David Goldstein

In S.C., Gingrich says he can unite Republicans

Trailing another disappointing fourth place primary finish, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich added himself to a growing list of underdogs pinning their White House hopes on South Carolina voters Wednesday morning in Rock Hill. | 01/12/12 07:22:09 By - Jamie Self

Poll: Florida voters narrowly prefer Romney to Obama

Florida voters disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance, say he doesn’t deserve to be reelected and narrowly prefer Republican Mitt Romney in a theoretical matchup, according to a new poll. | 01/12/12 07:06:07 By - Marc Caputo

In South Carolina, Romney's GOP opponents attack his business record

The Republican presidential sweepstakes shifted Wednesday to South Carolina, where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes to keep running the table of contests while his rivals try desperately to halt his momentum toward the GOP nomination. | 01/11/12 18:19:00 By - William Douglas and David Lightman

Perry throws jabs at Romney, Bain Capital in S.C. stop

While New Hampshire cast its votes Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry immersed himself in South Carolina voters – shaking hands at a breakfast meet-and-greet in Rock Hill and dishing out harsh criticism of front-runner Mitt Romney for lunch in Indian Land. | 01/11/12 07:40:43 By - Don Worthington and Jamie Self

Paul, Perry are a tale of two Texans in New Hampshire

With New Hampshire in the rearview mirror, the two Texans in the Republican presidential campaign face vastly differing sets of challenges as the race turns toward the first Southern primary in South Carolina. | 01/11/12 07:33:17 By - Dave Montgomery

South Carolina is now in GOP spotlight

South Carolinians, be careful where you step over the next 10 days. You might trip over a Republican presidential candidate. New Hampshire’s GOP primary offered no knockout blows Tuesday night, meaning the Palmetto State will be flooded by the half-dozen-member Republican field in the run-up to this state’s first-in-the-South primary Jan. 21. | 01/11/12 07:21:22 By - Wayne Washington

Romney looks like the nominee, but his flaws could hurt come fall

Mitt Romney heads out of New Hampshire on Wednesday on a probable march to the Republican presidential nomination — but with scars and weaknesses that could lead him to limp weakly into a general election against President Barack Obama. | 01/10/12 20:19:00 By - Steven Thomma

Romney wins in New Hampshire, strengthens claim to GOP nomination

Mitt Romney won a decisive victory Tuesday in New Hampshire's Republican primary, scoring a solid triumph that firmly establishes him as the favorite to win the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He became the first Republican non-incumbent presidential candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire's early contests. | 01/10/12 20:14:00 By - David Lightman and Steven Thomma

Perry: Romney, Wall Street firms are 'vultures'

Banking on South Carolina's Jan. 21 primary to "give us our second wind," Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday likened front runner Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, the private equity firm he used to run, to "vultures" that swooped in to buy and sell companies, leaving behind many unemployed workers with nothing. | 01/10/12 17:06:28 By - Tim Funk

Don't call Mitt Romney ‘The 25 Percent Man’ any longer in Florida

Once mocked as "The 25 Percent Man" due to his poll numbers, Mitt Romney can now boast he's leading the GOP presidential race in Florida, where a new poll shows him earning more than a third of the vote. | 01/09/12 17:30:28 By - Marc Caputo

Romney retains big lead in polls as voting begins in New Hampshire

The race for the Republican presidential nomination has two tiers in this state, which votes Tuesday in the first 2012 primary. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, can take a giant step forward with a big win here, while his five major challengers are vying for the mantle of chief Romney opponent. | 01/09/12 17:20:00 By - David Lightman and Steven Thomma

S.C. voters wonder: Will Rick Perry play the spoiler?

Heath Stephens, a 48-year-old auto repair shop owner, has decided he is not voting for Mitt Romney. After that, it gets kind of tricky. At the Beacon Drive-In Sunday afternoon, Stephens listened to Rick Perry talk about his faith in Jesus Christ and how Texas, where Perry is governor, is the “most competitive state in the nation” — two things Stephens liked to hear. But with Perry at 5 percent in the polls, Stephens is troubled. | 01/09/12 07:37:46 By - Adam Beam

ACLU raises concerns over ordinances in Charlotte, N.C., for DNC

The city of Charlotte's proposed crowd-control ordinances for the Democratic National Convention have concerned the American Civil Liberties Union, which fears the new rules would give police too much power. | 01/09/12 07:25:24 By - Steve Harrison

California Republicans resigned to irrelevance in GOP presidential race

While the Republican presidential campaigns fast-forward to New Hampshire on Tuesday and South Carolina on Jan. 21, hardly anyone in California is off the couch. Republicans here know the race may be over before they vote on June 5. "Sadly, we are irrelevant," said Celeste Greig, president of the conservative California Republican Assembly. | 01/09/12 06:49:11 By - David Siders and Torey Van Oot

New Hampshire voters take their time to make their minds

Don't tell a New Hampshire voter what to do.

These Yankee stoics will make up their minds about Tuesday's Republican primary when they're good and ready. They spent the weekend seeing and studying the candidates in their own deliberate way. And frankly, they'll tell you, none of 'em are all that impressive. | 01/09/12 06:44:40 By - David Lightman

Commentary: Romney might wish to decline Haley's endorsement

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney would have been better off had he won the endorsement of President Barack Obama instead of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. | 01/09/12 06:07:52 By - Issac J.Bailey

Romney takes his lumps at last New Hampshire debate

Republican rivals ganged up on front runner Mitt Romney in a nationally televised debate Sunday, their last high-profile chance to challenge his lead in New Hampshire and slow his momentum toward the nomination. "Pious baloney," one candidate sneered at Romney. | 01/08/12 20:34:37 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Ron Paul running a solid second in New Hampshire

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is pushing for a strong second-place finish in Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, where his Libertarian-style campaign seems to resonate with the state's independent-minded voters and young people. | 01/08/12 00:01:00 By - Maria Recio

GOP candidates target Romney, each other, in spirited debate

Mitt Romney coolly defended his solid New Hampshire lead Saturday night in a high-stakes debate as his rivals took aim at each other as they struggled to emerge as Romney's main challenger. | 01/07/12 23:19:45 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Gingrich, Santorum accused of racially insensitive remarks

Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are fending off accusations that they made racially tinged remarks about African-Americans and public assistance. | 01/06/12 18:29:00 By - William Douglas

Santorum will be in the spotlight at Saturday night's debate

Republican presidential candidates face off for their first debate in three weeks on Saturday night, a high-stakes showdown as Mitt Romney hints that he's poised to run away with the nomination and Rick Santorum grabs the spotlight for the first time in the battle to be the main anti-Romney. | 01/06/12 17:55:00 By - Steven Thomma, David Lightman and William Douglas

Independents may hold key to New Hampshire primary

The outcome of Tuesday's New Hampshire primary probably depends on this state's historically flinty, unpredictable independent voters. About 40 percent of the state's registered voters are formally unaffiliated with any political party, and they can vote in the GOP primary. | 01/06/12 16:22:17 By - David Lightman

Rick Santorum's presidential ambition is rooted in his faith

For former Sen. Rick Santorum, it's always been about faith. Deep religious faith fuels Santorum's conservative politics. It's what propelled him into becoming one of Congress' leading opponents of abortion, same-sex marriage and wrongdoing by fellow lawmakers, regardless of party affiliation. | 12/13/11 14:35:00 By - William Douglas

Romney's changes of heart worry conservatives

Mitt Romney: flexible pragmatist, or a politically soulless flip-flopper too eager to please? Add this shifting nuance on health to position changes or tweaks on abortion, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays, and a host of other issues, and Romney has a reputation as someone without a strong political core, an opportunistic flip-flopper who adjusts his stands as majority opinion shifts. | 12/07/11 03:00:35 By - David Lightman

Santorum's S.C. campaign gets boost from BlueCross BlueShield execs

Rick Santorum’s S.C. base — at least financially speaking — is BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, located in northeast Richland County. The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania had raised $80,080 from S.C. donors as of the end of 2011’s third quarter. More than a quarter of that money, $21,000, came from top executives of BlueCross. | 01/06/12 07:35:20 By - Gina Smith

Analysis: Romney tax plan would most benefit wealthy

Mitt Romney's tax plan would cut taxes for fewer than half of American households, with the wealthy getting most of the benefits, according to an independent analysis released Thursday. | 01/05/12 19:22:00 By - Lesley Clark

Santorum faces a GOP crowd in New Hampshire different from Iowa

He surged out of nowhere in Iowa. Now, can Rick Santorum do the same in New Hampshire? How he navigates here will determine whether he's another Pat Buchanan, who scored an impressive populist protest vote against an establishment choice here in both the 1992 and 1996 GOP primaries, or another Mike Huckabee, who in 2008 watched his Iowa success stopped cold here. | 01/05/12 18:15:00 By - Steven Thomma and William Douglas

It's Romney vs. the field in New Hampshire, and he's way ahead

New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary campaign evolved Thursday into two different races: Mitt Romney trying to expand his huge lead, while everyone else scrambled to become the chief alternative to him. | 01/05/12 17:38:00 By - David Lightman and Steven Thomma

GOP candidates get ready to rumble in South Carolina

The brawl, known as the S.C. Republican presidential primary, is on. After he nearly bowed out of the race Tuesday, Rick Perry’s new plan is to claw his way back to the top of the pack in the Palmetto State, regaining his mantle as the anti-Mitt Romney candidate for conservative Republicans. | 01/05/12 07:27:43 By - Gina Smith

Romney could face test from Santorum in South Carolina

Rick Santorum has lagged near the bottom of the pack in South Carolina, mired below 3 percent in most polls. That's despite the fact that he's spent more time in the state than any of his Republican presidential rivals. | 01/05/12 07:19:38 By - Jim Morrill and Tim Funk

Bachmann's future still undecided

As the reality of Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential bid set in on Wednesday, the Minnesota Republican gave no indication of what’s in store for her future — or whether she even plans to stay in politics. | 01/04/12 19:34:25 By - Kevin Diaz and Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

As GOP race's pace quickens, Romney's on top — and the target

The Republican presidential campaign shifted to New Hampshire on Wednesday with one key question hanging over it: Can Mitt Romney deliver the landslide win his polls and organization suggest is within reach, or will he fall to sharp new attacks and the state's history of turning on the winner of Iowa's caucuses? | 01/04/12 18:36:00 By - Steven Thomma and David Lightman

Michele Bachmann gives up the race after finishing sixth in Iowa

Wasting little time to assess her disappointing loss in the Iowa caucuses, Rep. Michele Bachmann quickly closed the door Wednesday on her hopes to win the White House. | 01/04/12 16:36:00 By - David Goldstein

Santorum is peaking in Iowa, but then what?

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has gone from afterthought to X Factor in the Republican presidential field during the closing days before Tuesday's Iowa caucuses. | 12/31/11 14:57:00 By - William Douglas and David Lightman

GOP’s Iowa race tightens poll finds as contenders urge support

Republican presidential candidates spent the last day of 2011 Saturday making their closing arguments to curious, often uncertain voters as the race remained fluid. | 12/31/11 17:19:00 By - David Lightman, Steven Thomma and William Douglas

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