Visual source: Newseum
A majority of Republicans say for the first time that the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that comes as the continuing U.S. presence in that country is emerging as a key point of contention in the presidential race.
It isn’t whether to get out, it’s when and how.
More than six weeks after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old with no criminal record, George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch coordinator at a small gated community in Sanford, Fla., was charged by a special prosecutor on Wednesday evening with second-degree murder and taken into custody.
Mitt Romney moved Wednesday to confront one of his most vexing general election problems — how to narrow the gender gap he faces against President Obama — but his campaign immediately found itself squeezed between its intensifying efforts to appeal to women and its need to avoid alienating conservatives.
Gee whiz, Mr. Wizard. No one saw that coming!
Rick Santorum’s departure from the presidential race could not come soon enough for Mitt Romney. In proving himself more tenacious than anyone predicted, Santorum dramatized one of Romney’s major problems, created another and forced the now-inevitable Republican nominee into a strategic dilemma.
Does he lose by alienating his base or does he lose by alienating everyone else? it must be astoundingly painful to be Republican these days.
Charles Blow on Santorum’s wingnuttery:
I could go on, but it’s all just too exhausting and depressing.
At the same time, Santorum continuously chipped away at Romney as a dishonest man and a weak conservative, as well as the worst candidate to run against President Obama.
The shift in the debate, which Santorum helped create, and his withering attacks on the front-runner forced Romney to move further right than was politically prudent.
As a result, Romney is now weaker than any post-primary party nominee in recent political history. According to an analysis of CNN polling data stretching back to 1996, complied by Zeke Miller of BuzzFeed, Romney is the only presidential nominee to emerge from the primaries with a net negative favorability rating.
No free pass just because he’s out of the race. Journalism does the country a disservice by not recognizing that Santorum’s political positions were to the right of Attila the Hun. EJ and Blow dosn’t make that error, but plenty of others do.
Chris Christie has improved numbers in NJ, but that doesn’t help him secure the state for Romney. The Garden State is quite polarized:
There is a large gender gap with or without Gov. Christie on the ticket. Men would vote for a Romney-Christie ticket 50 – 42 percent, while women would vote for President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden 55 – 35 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Independent voters split 42 – 42 percent.
But the whole-hearted support of evangelicals, who accounted for nearly one fourth of all ballots cast in recent presidential elections, will not come without conditions, some leaders warned. During the bitterly fought primary campaign, many conservatives questioned the depth of Mr. Romney’s opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and government spending. They say that to win the presidency, Mr. Romney may need a fired-up base to produce a large evangelical turnout in swing states like Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
Missouri is up for grabs? Who knew?
I love that Atrios has Mark Halperin as WANKER OF THE DECADE – Runner Up #4. So did Tom Friedman make the list? Did David Brooks?
Good Reads: Why Americans Don’t Walk (And Why They Should)
A Slate series of articles that unpacks walking – its health benefits, its decline in the United States, and whether we can ever get back to putting one leg in front of another – is well worth your time this week.