Polls suggest Arizona a dead heat

at 07:25 AM ET, 04/25/2012

Arizona looks competitive, Obama knows he can sing, Marco Rubio goes bipartisan and Jon Tester shows the beef.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Arizona is a dead heat, according to a new Rocky Mountain Poll, with 42 percent of registered voters supporting President Obama and 40 percent backing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. A Merrill/Morrison Institute poll earlier this week also showed a very tight race. In both surveys, Obama leads with independents and Hispanic voters.

* In an interview with Rolling Stone published today, Obama said there’s “understandable skepticism” about the economic recovery, “because things are still tough out there.” But he was confident about at least one thing. “I can sing,” he said of his Al Green moment at the Apollo Theater in January. “I wasn’t worried about being able to hit those notes.”

* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) struck a bipartisan note in a foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution today, declining to criticize President Obama the way he has in other venues. Instead, he talked about “how good a strong and engaged America has been for the world.”

* The Supreme Court appeared supportive of part of the controversial Arizona immigration law in final oral arguments today. Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an appointee of President Obama, told Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. that the government’s argument was “not selling.”

* More fodder for Republicans who claim that Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) timed his retirement to help his former chief of staff replace him . Jerry Clarke created his campaign website two months before Johnson dropped his bid. A Clarke spokesman said he “just kind got a sense” that Johnson would retire soon. Other candidates allege that Johnson intentionally dropped out after the primary so that party chairmen could hand-pick a candidate.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Another ad is out from Jon Tester touting his commitment to Montana over Washington. This time, the Democratic senator’s campaign is reminding voters that he even brings his own beef from his home state to the Senate.

* Rep. Jeff Flake (R) is narrowly trailed by former surgeon general Richard Carmona (D) in Arizona, 43 percent to 39 percent, according to an Anzalone Liszt Research poll done for the Carmona campaign. That’s pretty good considering Carmona’s low name recognition. But Republicans argue that Anzalone Liszt polls were way off on the 2010 Louisiana Senate race.

* A new WMUR poll finds that none of the candidates hoping to replace New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) are very well known yet. Former state Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley, both Democrats, beat either Ovide Lamontagne or Kevin Smith, both Republicans, in head-to-heads. But over a third of voters are undecided. Lynch himself, meanwhile, is only getting more popular. His current approval rating is 72 percent.

* The Republican Governors Association is launching a new ad in Wisconsin against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Previous ad buys targeted both Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk; the shift is a good sign of who the GOP thinks will be facing Gov. Scott Walker (R) on June 5. The Democratic primary is May 8.

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