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Why is Mitt Romney so popular with senior citizens?
March 8th, 2012
03:41 PM ET

Why is Mitt Romney so popular with senior citizens?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While Mitt Romney may have issues with conservatives, independents and the South, there's at least one group, beside the very rich, that loves him: senior citizens.

Michelle Cottle writes for The Daily Beast about Romney's surge among seniors:

"The bulk of the American electorate may not consider mittens scintillating, but the 65-plus set clearly finds him pretty darn charming."

Exit polls from Super Tuesday show voters 65 and older were among Romney's staunchest supporters. In the crucial state of Ohio, he beat Rick Santorum in this age group by 15-points. Even in Tennessee, where Romney lost, he still won seniors.

Seniors were also key to Romney's earlier victories in Michigan, Nevada and Florida - and they were the only age group he won in Iowa.

Looking beyond the national nightmare of the Republican primaries, senior voters are the only age group where Romney outpolls President Obama.

Experts say the old folks like Romney because he focuses on things they care about - like the economy.

Also, they like the fact that Romney is generally more moderate in a field that keeps moving further to the right.

Even some of Romney's more awkward moments - like singing "America the Beautiful" - play well to the plus-65 crowd. Perhaps some of them couldn't hear it.

If he's going to be the next president, he has to pick up broader support among other voting blocs.

But remember this: on election day, seniors vote - maybe more than any other group. Gives them something to do that day.

Here’s my question to you: Why is Mitt Romney so popular with senior citizens?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney
Why can't Mitt Romney seal the deal?
March 7th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

Why can't Mitt Romney seal the deal?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was all there for the taking, but once again Mitt Romney came up a little short.

Romney's inability to score a knockout on Super Tuesday means the Republican blood bath continues - much to the delight of President Obama and the Democrats.

Romney scored a key victory over Rick Santorum in Ohio and won five other states as well, but his losses were far more telling.

For starters, the former Massachusetts governor has problems in the South, where he couldn't top 28% in any of the contested states. He lost both Georgia and Tennessee.

And as we've seen from the start, Romney has serious issues with the base. Some will never see him as a true conservative. They'd rather back Santorum, who is still fighting the culture wars - talking about birth control, religion and how JFK's stance on the separation of church and state made him want to vomit.

Independents are another sore spot for Romney. One poll shows his unfavorable ratings 16-points higher than his favorable ratings among them.

CNN's Howard Kurtz writes in The Daily Beast that there's something distinctly unimpressive about Romney's performance against Santorum - an underfunded former U.S. Senator who lost his last re-election bid by 18-points.

Kurtz says Romney, "projects competence but does not inspire."

Romney is still the party's likely nominee, but it could take a couple more months to wrap it up.

By the way, there is no way Gingrich, Santorum or Paul is going to be the next president. So isn't it past time for them to put their party ahead of themselves and drop out? Apparently not.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't Mitt Romney seal the deal?

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: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
Should Mitt Romney be allowed to go off teleprompter?
February 27th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Should Mitt Romney be allowed to go off teleprompter?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When Mitt Romney goes off teleprompter, he has a record of promptly stepping in it.

Take that botched campaign event in his home state of Michigan on Friday - the one where 1,200 people showed up in a football stadium that seats 65,000.

Romney told supporters he drives cars made in Michigan:

"I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually, and I used to have a Dodge truck, so I used to have all three covered."

Way to connect with blue-collar workers, Mitt. It's no wonder he's in a dead heat with Rick Santorum ahead of tomorrow's primary.

In that same speech, Romney made a repeated - and bizarre - comment about why he loves his home state, saying it feels good to be back in Michigan, "where the trees are the right height." Huh?

It appears that Romney has a serious problem when he goes off script: He sounds out of touch, elite or just plain strange. Examples abound.

He has said that he's "not concerned about the very poor," that there's a safety net in place for them.

Romney also said he likes "being able to fire people who provide services to me" in reference to choosing between different health insurance companies.

And he made the infamous $10,000 bet with former presidential candidate Rick Perry during an early debate. It's estimated that Romney is worth around $200 million.

In response to his latest gaffe about the cars, Romney says he can't be perfect. "I just am who I am," he said, adding that there's nothing wrong with being successful in America and that he wants to use his success to help the American people.

Here’s my question to you: Should Mitt Romney be allowed to go off teleprompter?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney
How close is Mitt Romney to becoming toast?
February 21st, 2012
04:00 PM ET

How close is Mitt Romney to becoming toast?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's growing concern among Republicans that Mitt Romney can't deliver. If he loses his home state of Michigan next week, expect those whispers to become shouts.

Rick Santorum has opened a 10-percentage point lead over Romney in one national poll - his largest lead ever. Gallup's latest daily tracking poll shows Santorum leading Romney 36% to 26%. Santorum is also leading in Michigan, where Romney's father was governor, and in the key swing state of Ohio.

And all the money in the world doesn't seem to matter. The Romney campaign spent nearly $19 million last month. The super PAC supporting him spent another $14 million, and he's still fighting off the likes of Rick Santorum. What's more, Romney spent nearly three times what he brought in last month.

One of the few things still working in Romney's favor is electability. A USA Today/Gallup Poll shows Americans think Romney is nearly twice as likely as Santorum to beat President Obama.

Meanwhile, some senior Republicans are so nervous about the state of the race that they are circulating a so-called Plan B: a scenario where another candidate - who's not even in the race yet - wins the nomination and faces off against Obama.

Some of the names out there include the usual suspects: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

While none of them seems all that interested, there's always Sarah Palin. The half-term dropout governor of Alaska says that if there were a brokered convention, she'd "do whatever I could to help." That prospect should help Republicans sleep well at night.

Here’s my question to you: How close is Mitt Romney to becoming toast?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney
How big a deal would it be if Mitt Romney loses his home state of Michigan?
February 14th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How big a deal would it be if Mitt Romney loses his home state of Michigan?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney grew up in Michigan. his father, George Romney, was the president of American Motors and later the governor.

Two weeks from today, there's a very real chance Romney could lose the Republican primary in his home state.

Now, it's one thing to lose any of the other 49 states, but it's another thing entirely to lose your home state where your dad was governor.

Michigan is a state especially hard-hit by the recession and chronic unemployment. We came within an eyelash of losing the domestic auto industry, which was born and almost died in Detroit.

So if there's ever a place where a wealthy Republican who seems out-of-touch with the common man might have a problem, it's Michigan - and he's got a problem there.

Polls show Romney trailing Rick Santorum - 33% to 27%.

In an attempt to connect with Michigan voters, Romney is out with an op-ed piece in today's Detroit news. In it, he calls himself a "son of Detroit" and says that American cars "got in my bones early."

He also defends an op-ed piece he wrote back in 2008 called Let Detroit go Bankrupt, in which he suggested managed bankruptcy would have been preferable to a bailout of America's car companies. Maybe so, but without the bailout many of the people Romney is looking for support from today probably wouldn't even be around.

Romney insists things in Detroit got worse after President Obama's intervention. He writes the government should sell off its auto stock - and turn that money over to the taxpayers.

Here’s my question to you: How big a deal would it be if Mitt Romney loses his home state of Michigan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Auto Industry • Mitt Romney
What advice would you give Mitt Romney?
February 9th, 2012
03:42 PM ET

What advice would you give Mitt Romney?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Mitt Romney has been running for president for six years – and he still can't seal the deal.

After losing the Republican nomination to John McCain in 2008, Romney became the presumptive nominee this time around.

The problem is, no one told the rank-and-file Republicans.

And instead of a coronation for Romney, Republican voters have spent the past year holding tryouts for candidates to fill the anyone-but-Romney slot.

They’ve gone from Rick Perry to Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and now Rick Santorum.

And if Santorum's sweep this week didn't shake Romney up, it should have. Compared with Romney, Santorum has little money or organization. But conservative voters like him.

For many, the bottom line is that Romney just hasn't been able to connect. He is seen as out of touch, too scripted and even aloof.

Think about the infamous $10,000 bet he offered during one debate or his comment that he's not that worried about the very poor.

Furthermore, it's not really clear what Romney's message is, other than attacking President Obama. As Howard Kurtz writes in the Daily Beast, Romney "lacks an animating idea that would bring voters to their feet."

Romney is still the likely Republican nominee. However, with low voter turnout and a lack of enthusiasm among Republicans, there are signs that he might not fare that well against Obama.

InTrade, the online betting site with a high accuracy in predicting elections, puts Obama's chances of winning in November at 60%. Romney's odds are only 32%.

Here’s my question to you: What advice would you give Mitt Romney?

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: 2012 Election • Mitt Romney
If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?
January 17th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a saying in politics that goes "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."

And it looks like it's about time for the remaining Republican candidates to fall in line behind the dominant front-runner, Mitt Romney.

If Romney wins South Carolina's primary on Saturday - where he's ahead in the polls, he will have pulled off a trifecta - winning the first three nominating contests in a row.

At that point, the other candidates - Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Rick Perry - ought to think about packing their bags and heading home.

It would be a fine time for them to go the way of Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman before them.

In case they haven't noticed, Republican voters for the most part are backing Romney, as he's opened up a commanding 23 point lead in one national poll.

The new Gallup poll shows Romney with 37% support from Republicans - that's a 13 point jump in this poll since just before the Iowa caucuses.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are at 14%, Ron Paul is at 12%, Rick Perry is at a measly 5%.

Pollsters suggest that historically, the post-New Hampshire leader in national polls has gone on to win the Republican nomination. Romney is not only leading by more than 20 points, but his margin is growing.

If the other Republicans choose to stay in the race and keep beating up on Romney, they're only giving the Democrats and President Obama more material to use against Romney in the general election.

Here’s my question to you: If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

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: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
Is the Republican race over?
January 11th, 2012
04:49 PM ET

Is the Republican race over?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If the Republican primary race was a movie, the director might be ready to yell "Cut, print. That's a wrap!"

Mitt Romney is plowing ahead into South Carolina with the wind at his back after becoming first non-incumbent Republican in modern history to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. He may now be all but unstoppable.

Not too bad considering the Republicans have spent the past year trying out a whole roster of other candidates as the anti-Romney.

They've kicked the tires of everyone from Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich and, most recently, Rick Santorum. And despite brief spikes in the polls, none of these candidates has been able to present a serious challenge to Romney. And if they're going to, they better start. Time is running short.

John Avlon writes for The Daily Beast that Romney is "ready for prime time" after his double-digit New Hampshire victory.

Consider this: Romney won almost every major demographic in New Hampshire. He won Catholic voters - even though he is a Mormon and ran against two Catholics. He also won evangelical voters and tea party supporters - despite all the talk that he wasn't conservative enough for the right wing of the party.

And the rest of the crowd doesn't seem to get it. Despite weak performances in New Hampshire - especially by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry - the whole group will stumble on into South Carolina.

There's an old expression that goes, "When it's over, it's over."

Here’s my question to you: Is the Republican race over?

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: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Gov. Rick Perry • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Republican Party • Republicans • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
If Romney wins the nomination, who should be his VP?
January 11th, 2012
03:48 PM ET

If Romney wins the nomination, who should be his VP?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With Iowa and New Hampshire in his rear view mirror and South Carolina and Florida looking like two more potential victories, Mitt Romney is looking like he's going to be tough to beat.

If Romney goes on to win the Republican nomination, the next question becomes: Who is the best pick for vice president to round out the ticket?

For starters, nominees usually take a look at their former competitors, although it's hard to imagine Romney picking Newt Gingrich to be his No. 2.

A recent column on TheStreet.com suggests the Republican winner should look for a VP with a strong business background, experience, and someone who can avoid the so-called Palin syndrome. Translation: They should be able to name some newspapers they read and a couple of Supreme Court cases.

This could include politicians like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie has been campaigning for Romney to sell-out crowds in New Hampshire. Sort of a political odd couple.

Christie brings healthy doses of his signature straight talk. When protesters at a New Hampshire rally recently yelled: "Mitt kills jobs. Christie kills jobs," Christie shot back with this:

"Really? You know something may go down tonight, but it ain't gonna be jobs sweetheart."

Christie would certainly spice up the ticket and might be more willing to go on the attack so Romney wouldn't have to.

As a side note, here is my political fantasy: President Obama convinces Hillary Clinton to replace Joe Biden on the Democratic side.

Then a series of debates is scheduled between Clinton and Christie: It would be much more entertaining than debates between Romney and Obama. It would be huge. Hey, we can dream, right?

Here’s my question to you: If Mitt Romney goes on to win the nomination, who should be his VP?

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 • Mitt Romney
Should President Obama be more afraid of Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?
December 19th, 2011
12:46 PM ET

Should President Obama be more afraid of Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the Democrats wait to see whether President Obama faces off against Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich come November, a lot of them think Gingrich would be easier to beat. They may be very wrong. The latest CNN-Opinion Research Corp. national poll has them tied at 28%.

But as one Democratic adviser tells Politico: "Romney is playing not to lose, and Newt thinks he has nothing to lose."

Sure, Gingrich has his weaknesses and his dirty laundry: like his lack of discipline, no campaign infrastructure, his infidelities and three marriages, and the $1.6 million he took from Freddie Mac.

But when you get past all that, what you have is a more dangerous, talented and unpredictable rival than Romney.

Politico points to several reasons why team Obama should not take Gingrich for granted:

- For starters, Gingrich is smart. Very smart.

While Romney is no dummy, Gingrich knows his stuff. Gingrich has risen to the top of the Republican pack mostly based on his dominant debate performances. He has even offered to debate Obama, saying the president could use a teleprompter.

- Next, Gingrich fires up the base. He leads Romney when it comes to support from self-described conservatives. And Gingrich can reach out to the GOP’s wealthy donors while still taking swipes at Washington.

- Then there's Newt's mouth. Republicans love the way he attacks Obama. True, there's always the chance he'll go too far, come off as arrogant or self-destruct.

- Finally, Gingrich would be harder to target on Medicare or immigration, since his policies are more moderate than Romney's.

Here's my question to you: Should President Obama be more afraid of Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney?

Tune in to "The Situation Room" at 4 p.m. ET to see if Jack reads your answer on the air.

And we'd 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 • Barack Obama • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
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