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Today’s Opinions poll

Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 06:44 PM ET, 02/15/2012

Happy Hour Roundup

* Fun read: James Downie calls on the media to challenge the 2012 GOP candidates’ “cafeteria Catholicism,” their tendency to feast on birth control outrage while ignoring teachings about the safety net and wealth distribution.

* Matt Miller floats the “Dimon Rule,” a higher tax rate on the super duper rich that seems to have been endorsed by ... JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Take note, Dems.

* A second national poll, this one from CNN, finds Obama again cracking the 50 percent approval mark, mirroring the new NYT/CBS survey.

Key nugget: CNN finds that independents have a net positive view of Obama, and he’s also cracked 50 percent in the suburbs, a key swing constituency.

* Ed Kilgore on the slow but steady reemergence of Obama’s 2008 coalition, and why it’s now possible to envision his reelection.

* Fun fact of the day, courtesy of Rachel Weiner: The Romney camp is outspending the Santorum camp in Michigan by 29 to one. The question is whether this blows back on Romney, as it has in the past.

* Reid Wilson offers a detailed, state-by-state breakdown of the Romney camp’s truly massive spending advantage over rivals, and concludes, tellingly: “He’ll need it.”

* Steve Kornacki on why the Romney tear-down of Santorum might fall flat this time, given that unlike Gingrich, Rick possesses a measure of basic competence.

* Relatedly, a striking finding from robopolling firm Rasmussen: “Santorum now trounces Romney 55% to 34% in a one-on-one matchup among likely GOP primary voters.” The not-Romney vote is pretty large, it seems.

The five most recent national polls show Santorum roughly tied with Romney when the whole field is included.

* Jed Lewison on Romney’s rapidly evaporating electability argument.

* Time for a support group for GOP Congressmen and Solyndra critics who themselves pushed for government backing for energy companies in their states. The latest? GOP Rep. Fred Upton.

* Steve Benen, on the widespread public support for a birth control mandate: “By the reasoning of many congressional Republicans, nearly two-thirds of the country likes contraception access so much, they’re willing to endorse an outrageous assault on religious liberty.”

The serious point here is that polling suggests the American public has completely rejected opponents’ framing of the issue.

* Also, an interesting suggestion from Jonathan Cohn: Dems should “use this issue as a way to reframe the debate over the Affordable Care Act, about which the public remains, at best, ambivalent.”

* And the question of the day: Rick Santorum ran for Congress in the 1990s as a “progressive conservative.” How long until Romney — who’s also described his views as “progressive” — attacks him for it?

What else?

By  |  06:44 PM ET, 02/15/2012

 
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