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Today, Republicans hold primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, and caucuses in Hawaii. Mitt Romney’s in the running in those two Southern states largely because Newt Gingrich is still in the race, splitting the conservative vote with Rick Santorum. And after weeks of trying to usher Gingrich off to the sidelines, Romney’s thrilled that his one-time main rival has stuck it out. And as Politico points out, if Romney wins both Alabama and Mississippi tonight, he’ll not only have Gingrich to thank, he’ll have this nomination all but sewn up.

 

The other interesting race in Alabama tonight is the fight that powerful Congressman Spencer Bachus finds himself in. He’s being targeted by that same Super PAC that helped defeat Rep. Jean Schmidt last week in Ohio. Could Bachus be next to go?

 

Next Saturday, March 24, the race moves over to Louisiana, where a new poll finds Rick Santorum with a four-point lead.

 

The New York Times-CBS News poll finds President Obama’s poll ratings dropping – he’s down to 41% approve in today’s poll. Sounds bad, until you read this: Among independents and women, and in head-to-head match-ups with his Republican rivals, the President is doing well. He’s recapturing the groups Democrats lost in the 2010 midterm elections.

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