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Mitt Romney has solidified his lead nationwide – the newest New York Times/CBS poll finds the former Massachusetts governor in the lead among Republican voters with 28 percent. Newt Gingrich has 21 percent, followed by Rick Santorum at 16, Paul at 15 and Perry at 7. It’s a lead, but it’s not a coronation – at least not yet. And again, if you combine Gingrich, Santorum and Perry, Romney’s no longer on top.

 

And that’s just the conundrum in South Carolina, where no single candidate from the conservative triumverate is breaking out of the pack. The Evangelical leaders back Santorum, and now Sarah Palin has come out for Newt, sort of.

 

Maureen Dowd compares Romney with the first President Bush, similarly patrician, moderate, and willing to do whatever the conservatives want to get elected. But once in office, would Romney be the conservative he’s playing as a candidate, or the moderate he was when he was governor? Remember what happened when Poppy Bush raised taxes after promising he wouldn’t…

 

And more fallout over Mitt Romney’s taxes after we learn he pays close to the lowest 15 percent rate despite being a multimillionaire. It won’t hurt him in the Republican party where being rich and paying less in taxes is a virtue, but in the age of the Occupy movement, it could be a problem down the road.

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Hardball - Let Me Start

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