National Journal Online

Taking a Second Look at Iowa’s Economic Success

In the run-up to an election that will hinge on the economy, Iowa looks pretty good.

As the national unemployment level remains staggering at 8.6 percent, the rate in Iowa is just 5.7 percent. Thirty-six states lost a larger percentage of jobs than Iowa during the recession.  

“One of the things that strikes me is that the general mood [in Iowa] is not as upbeat as the data might suggest,” said Charles Whiteman, an economics professor at the University of Iowa and director of its Economic Research Institute.

Posted: Monday, January 2, 2012 - 8:40am

Huntsman in N.H.: Just Days to Sell His Moderate Message

DEERFIELD, N.H. - It took about 30 minutes Sunday night for Jon Huntsman to demonstrate yet again why, in a Republican race marked by ideological sermons, his campaign's message stands apart as a paean to moderation.

Posted: Monday, January 2, 2012 - 4:40am

Romney: Obama Strategy Will Fail, Like His Presidency

ATLANTIC, Iowa – Mitt Romney predicted Sunday that President Obama’s re-election strategy of blaming Congress for policy gridlock will backfire, and also took aim at the president’s “failed” policy toward Iran in the wake of the country testing a surface-to-air missile.

As the primary season counts down to the first caucus on Tuesday, Romney keep his sights trained on his potential adversary in the fall, but he also took pains to draw a contrast with Rick Santorum, a Republican rival for the nomination who has crept up in the polls as a conservative alternative to Romney in Iowa.

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 9:40pm

Santorum's Specter Problem

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's newfound popularity brings with it not only rising poll numbers but increasing scrutiny of his decades-long tenure in the public eye. And few blemishes jeopardize his standing with conservative voters more than the former Pennsylvania senator's 2004 endorsement of Arlen Specter. 

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 7:40pm

Gag New Year's Resolutions (Statewide Edition)

As we flip the calendar to 2012, here at The Hotline, we've all made our lists of New Year's resolutions. But who wants to read those? Instead, we imagined what some of your favorite political figures might resolve to do in 2012. Here's a sampling of our list (Hotline subscribers can check out the complete list here):

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 7:40pm

Gingrich: Romney Wants to “Buy Election”

AMES, Iowa — As he struggles to eke out a top-three finish in Tuesday’s Iowa caucus, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich launched one of his harshest attacks yet on front-runner Mitt Romney, saying the former Massachusetts governor would “buy an election if he could.”

As he was leaving a campaign event, the former House speaker was asked by journalists about a report that he, earlier in the day, had accused Romney of attempting to buy votes. Gingrich  replied, “No, I didn’t say he was. I said he would if he could. … He would buy an election if he could.”

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 5:40pm

Forbes: Perry Will Get a Boost

ATLANTA – Steve Forbes, the publishing tycoon and former presidential candidate who’s backing Rick Perry, said the roughly 30 percent of voters still showing undecided in pre-caucus polls could give Perry the kick he needs to carry him past Iowa and into New Hampshire and South Carolina.

(RELATED: Perry's Fade Leaves Evangelicals and Tea Partiers With Muddle Choices)

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 4:40pm

RNC Compiles 500-Page Book of Clips to Be Used Against Obama—Report

The Republican National Committee has developed a 500-page opposition research handbook that will be used to unseat President Obama in 2012, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 4:40pm

Perry's Dramatic Fade Shapes GOP Nomination Race

BOONE, Iowa -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry can still fill a room with his Texas swagger and frontier good looks. But Perry may have exerted his greatest influence on the 2012 GOP race through a vacuum he has created -- a dynamic that is powerfully shaping the Iowa caucuses now hurtling toward Tuesday’s vote.

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 2:40pm

Iowa Pols: Few Attacks, Few Endorsements

Prominent Iowa politicians kept their powder dry Sunday, avoiding attacks on top candidates in Tuesday’s Iowa Caucuses.

Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, said the field remains “wide open.” Branstad said he had “predicted all along” that former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would surge late due to diligent grassroots campaigning in the state.

Posted: Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 2:40pm