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Rick Santorum’s surge in the polls is showing up at his campaign events, where big crowds are turning out to see the upstart Republican presidential candidate. But with his lofty new status will come heightened scrutiny. And Santorum has said and done plenty over the years that will make independent and swing voters think twice about supporting him, should he win the Republican nomination.

 

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat looks at Santorum’s pincer strategy – how he is at once running to the right – and the left – of Mitt Romney.

 

Politico has a great story about why Mitt Romney must win Michigan.

 

And elsewhere in the Midwest, check out this new Quinnipiac poll showing Santorum now leading Romney in Ohio by seven points.

 

Nate Silver looks at President Obama’s improved re-election chances in a new article for the New York Times magazine. The president has come a long way in the past three months.

 

And Congress reached a tentative deal on the payroll tax cut. It’s a big winner for the president.

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Hardball - Let Me Start

Let Me Start...

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