National Journal Online

Branstad Stuck In Neutral -- For Now

Observers of the 2012 presidential race turned their attention to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on Thursday after the Washington Post's David Broder suggested in his column that Branstad "is generally counted" in the camp of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R).

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 2:59pm

West Virginia Sets Special Election Dates, Again

The West Virginia Legislature has finally settled on primary and general election dates for the special gubernatorial election this year: both the state House and Senate passed compromise legislation that set the primary date at May 14 and the general election date for Oct. 4. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) indicated he will sign off on the compromise.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 2:21pm

The Top Operatives in Iowa and New Hampshire

No presidential campaign amounts to anything without a top-notch staff and a cadre of key activists and volunteers. Candidates are already courting potential aides and supporters in hopes of building those connections, a process that's a key part of the Invisible Primary.

Throughout the campaign, The Hotline will keep track of prominent activists and superstar staffers, charting which candidates they decide to back.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 1:34pm

Census Quick Cuts: Katrina's Impact and a Demographic Hurricane

The Census Bureau released its first round of state-level data Thursday evening, giving us a glimpse into the demographics that are destiny in the states of Louisiana, Virginia, New Jersey and Mississippi.

Here are a few key takeaways:

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 12:29pm

As DNC Heads To Charlotte, Perdue Faces Probe

Right on the heels of Democrats announcing that their 2012 convention will be in Charlotte, an investigation into North Carolina Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue appears to be intensifying.

The State Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe looking into Perdue's campaign finances. At this point, the details of what they are looking for is unclear, but Perdue lawyering up is a clear indicator that the investigation is progressing.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 11:17am

Unemployment Falls to 9.0 Percent

The nation added only 36,000 jobs in January, its most anemic total in many months and far lower than most analysts had been expecting.

Though the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 to 9.0 percent, an unexpectedly big drop that brought it to its lowest level in nearly two years, the new report highlighted once again that the labor market remains the weakest link in the recovery.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 9:48am

Starting Lineup: A Country, Divided

Good Friday morning and welcome back to the Starting Lineup. Here's our take on the day's political news.

A Polarization Problem: With all the focus on Pres. Obama's shift to the center in preparation for his reelection campaign, new numbers from Gallup shed light on an uncomfortable statistic for the president: He is one of the most polarizing presidents in recent history.

Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 - 8:18am

Crossroads Takes On The DCCC

Crossroads GPS is coming out swinging against ads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released against 19 House Republicans earlier this week -- and they're putting more cash behind their effort in new radio ads supporting the targeted freshmen.

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 7:44pm

A Phone Call Would Have Saved Miller

Even in politics, sometimes it pays to be nice.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) told Dan Rather this week that after Joe Miller beat her in the Republican primary last August, she might not have launched a write-in campaign against him if he'd just been less of a sore winner.

"As for Joe Miller," Rather writes, "Murkowski told us she might not have challenged him at all had he been more gracious during her concession call."

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 4:58pm

Mitt Romney's Lamontagne Problem

Earlier this week, Sean Sullivan pointed out a new rising star in New Hampshire politics: 2010 Senate contender Ovide Lamontagne (R).

That reminded me of something I'd heard a lot during a recent swing through the Granite State: Lamontagne's campaign, which almost upset front-runner Kelly Ayotte, proved to be a challenge to one presidential contender that is going to have an impact on the 2012 primary.

Posted: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 3:50pm