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What does Mitt Romney have to do to recapture his front-runner status?
December 13th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

What does Mitt Romney have to do to recapture his front-runner status?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, the pressure is squarely on Mitt Romney. It wasn't supposed to go this way at all. The Republican presidential nomination was supposed to be a coronation for Romney. But instead, Romney finds himself chasing Newt Gingrich, and Gingrich is pulling away.

In New Hampshire, Romney and Gingrich took off the gloves, throwing direct jabs at each other. Romney can no longer simply remain above the fray. The fray has frayed his lead rather badly.

New Hampshire was once considered a sure thing for Romney. Now it could be a make-or-break contest for him.

One New Hampshire pollster tells The New York Times that expectations are so high for Romney there that Gingrich could lose by 10 percentage points and still spin it as a win.

Gingrich – who is leading in the national polls as well as in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida – has narrowed the gap in New Hampshire to just 9 points in one recent poll.

What's working in Romney's favor is that New Hampshire voters think he's much more likely to beat President Obama than Gingrich is.

But these voters don't appear excited by Romney ... and the momentum is clearly with Gingrich.

For example, Gingrich held a town-hall-style meeting for a 1,000-person overflow crowd at a New Hampshire high school on Monday night. The applause was described as "deafening."

Meanwhile, Howard Kurtz writes in the Daily Beast that it's not time to rule out Romney just yet. Kurtz suggests that Romney is still a plausible president in these tough economic times and that his campaign is financed for the long haul. Maybe so, but remember, Romney already lost this race once. He's the same guy voters rejected four years ago.

Kurtz says Romney needs to demonstrate real passion and can't simply wait for Gingrich to self-destruct.

Oh, and he should probably stop making $10,000 bets.

Here’s my question to you: What does Mitt Romney have to do to recapture his front-runner status?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
What do you fear most: big government, big business or big labor?
December 13th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

What do you fear most: big government, big business or big labor?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Fear of big government is close to record highs here in the U.S.

According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of those surveyed say big government is the biggest threat to the country. That's one point off the all-time high.

Compare that to 26% who are most worried about big business... and only 8% who say the biggest threat comes from big labor.

Americans have always been more concerned about big government than about big business or big labor since this question was first asked in 1965.

But what's interesting here is that Democrats actually lead the increase in concern about big government... this during the term of a Democratic president, Barack Obama.

Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the U.S. That's up significantly from two years ago And more significantly, it's higher than the number of Democrats who worry about big business.

These poll numbers may also suggest that the Occupy Wall Street movement isn't catching on.

Despite the movement's targeting of corporate America, most Americans don't view big business as the greatest threat to the country.

In fact, the public's concerns about big business are down since 2009. Worries about big business actually peaked in 2002 - after the scandals at Enron and Worldcom.

But what the American people are worried about is big government and the role it plays in their day-to-day lives.

A government that has only gotten bigger under a president who's running for re-election.

Here’s my question to you: What do you fear most: big government, big business or big labor?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Economy • Government • On Jack's radar