Related Content: Election 2012

Tough Guys on Illegal Immigration

On The Radar

"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally." That was Ronald Reagan speaking during his 1984 reelection campaign. After that election, he stuck to his guns, signing an immigration reform law that allowed illegal immigrants to apply for residency if they could prove they'd lived in the country for five years, held jobs and committed no crimes.

What Do Voters Prefer: Hubris or Humility?

On The Radar

Newt Gingrich has a lot of problems, but a healthy ego isn't one of them. "I'm going to be the nominee," the former House Speaker told ABC News. "It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee." In contrast, the candidate who's got the most money and the most consistently high poll numbers, Mitt Romney, always bends over backwards not to be presumptuous.

Can Romney Prevail if Few Are Excited About Him?

On The Radar

Talk to any Republican leaders or strategists and they will quickly point to the enthusiasm gap between their voters and President Obama’s as one reason they believe they will prevail next November. Listen to any Republican voters and a different enthusiasm gap appears. They are not truly excited about any of their likeliest nominees, least of all Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is rapidly becoming a one-man political experiment, testing the theory that empathy and the ability to connect with voters are prerequisites for a winning campaign.

Romney, Gingrich Proceed Carefully in GOP Showdown

On The Radar

The once-bursting 2012 Republican presidential field is narrowing to a two-man race, and GOP voters have one month before casting the first votes to winnow it to one. Barring a dramatic new turn, their chief options will be the steady but often bland demeanor of Mitt Romney and the idea-a-minute bombast of Newt Gingrich. Herman Cain's suspension of his campaign Saturday, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's continued struggles to regain traction, have focused the party's attention on Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and Gingrich, the former House speaker.

Despite Surge, Gingrich Faces Major Hurdles

On The Radar

Surging in polls is one thing. But as Newt Gingrich seeks to turn his impressive performance in surveys into votes, he is scrambling madly to build the kind of organization that Mitt Romney has methodically put in place for a year, one that will let him compete through all 50 contests, often in multiple states at once. Upending expectations, Mr. Gingrich has taken a decisive lead in new polls in several early-voting states, benefiting from the drift of Herman Cain supporters even before Mr. Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday.

Cain Train Went from Silver Bullet to Train Wreck

On The Radar

The slow-motion train wreck ground to a halt on Saturday when Cain announced that he would suspend his campaign. The breaking point was an allegation by Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White this week that she had engaged in a 13-year affair with the candidate. Cain's presidential bid unraveled in public as women complained of sexual harassment, he forgot U.S. policy in Libya in a video interview and confused the language spoken in Cuba.

The Endless GOP Audition for President

On The Radar

It's an audition without end, because the Republicans still can't figure out how to cast the lead role. Here's how the internal discussion goes: We need someone who is a true conservative. We need someone who is right on the matters we care about -- the deficit, immigration, cultural issues. We need someone we can trust, who won't betray us. And, by the way, we also need someone who can win.

In Gingrich, Romney Now Sees a Grave Threat

On The Radar

nside a drab office building here, Mitt Romney’s aides have been following all the rules. Now they’ll find out if the rules still apply. Build on Mr. Romney’s 2008 run to assemble a broad but lean campaign infrastructure? Check. Focus the candidate’s message, in strong debate performances and well-controlled campaign events, on the core issue of economic revival? Check.

December 2, 2011

Weekly Show

The unemployment rate fell last month to the lowest since March 2009. Is this a sign of the economy stabilizing? Also, Herman Cain faced allegations of an extramarital affair, Rick Perry had another “oops” moment, and Newt Gingrich surged in the polls. Joining Gwen: Jim Tankersley, National Journal; Greg Ip, The Economist; Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post; Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
 

Obama to Vie for Arizona as Latino Numbers Rise

On The Radar

Republicans in the State Legislature here push a law that would require President Obama to provide his long-form birth certificate in order to get on the Arizona presidential ballot in 2012. The governor uses Facebook to denounce the president’s “backdoor amnesty plan.” Cars traveling on State Route 260 are treated to a giant billboard bearing Mr. Obama’s mug on a mock $100 trillion bill that asks, “But Who Will Pay the Piper?” Given the openly hostile environment, Mr.