Romney called Santorum but did not concede Iowa

at 05:34 PM ET, 01/19/2012

Romney called, Perry and his super PAC both called it quits, Tammy Baldwin is doing well, Marianne Gingrich is talking and there’s a debate tonight.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney called former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum to “congratulate him on the Iowa results,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. Romney did not concede Iowa, where the final vote count found Santorum actually beat him by 34 votes. And we’ll never know who really won, because some precincts’ votes are missing.

* Now campaigns don’t end on their own — they take super PACs with them. Make Us Great Again, a super PAC supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is closing shop. “Donors to Make Us Great Again contributed with the intent to help elect Governor Perry as our next President,” said executive director Scott Rials in a statement. “It would be inappropriate to utilize their contributions for any other purpose or candidate.”

* Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) raised $1.1 million last quarter for her Senate bid, and has $1.8 million on hand. On the GOP side, ex-Rep. Mark Neumann (R) raised only $518,000; Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and former governor Tommy Thompson have not released their numbers. So right now it looks like Baldwin has a solid cash advantage.

* Both Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and challenging state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) are a bit less popular than they were a few months ago, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. But Brown still has a hefty lead, 47 percent to 32 percent. In October, he led 49 to 34 percent.

* An Anzalone Liszt poll commissioned by Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) finds the congressman leading fellow Democratic Rep. Mark Critz by 16 points in the new 12th district, 50 percent to 34 percent. Altmire and Critz were forced together by redistricting. Altmire currently represents more of the new district, but Critz has been racking up support from labor unions.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has a new challenger — state Sen.  Joe Kyrillos (R), a close friend of Gov. Chris Christie (R). A recent poll showed Menendez beating Kyrillos by over ten points, but the senator was under fifty percent.

* Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence (D) told supporters in a letter that she’s getting into the race for Michigan’s new 14th district, a race that already pits Democratic Reps. Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters against each other. Lawrence will likely split the black vote in this majority-minority district with Clarke, so her entry helps Peters.

* The wildest day of the cycle isn’t over: There’s a debate tonight, and it should be a doozy. Perry won’t be there, unfortunately. But former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Santorum will surely be out for (Romney) blood. We will be liveblogging, as always. And after the debate, ABC News’ full interview with Marianne Gingrich (Mrs. Gingrich #2) will air. Gingrich has called the interview “tawdry and inappropriate” . He refuses to answer questions about her allegations that he wanted an open marriage.

* Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) will deliver the GOP’s State of the Union response next Tuesday, which will surely spark more chatter about his future plans. Former presidential candidate Herman Cain is delivering the Tea Party Express response; hopefully he’ll do a better job than Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last year.

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