Romney has a solid lead in Illinois, Bristol Palin wants Obama to call her, Santorum won’t let go of Seamus and there’s a new candidate in Wisconsin.

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Welcome to the Sweet 2016!

Behind the brewing voter ID war

Illinois House primaries set stage for major 2012 battleground

What Rick Santorum’s Puerto Rico sideshow tells us about his campaign

Why President Obama doesn’t talk about health care — in a single chart

President Obama raises $45 million in February

Could 2012 be a foreign policy election?


* An American Research Group poll shows former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with a double-digit lead over former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum in Illinois, 44 percent to 30 percent. A Public Policy Polling survey released Sunday gave Romney a similar 15 percent lead, suggesting he has little to worry about going into tomorrow’s race.

* Romney spoke today at the University of Chicago, where he argued that “the Obama administration’s assault on our economic freedom is the principal reason why the recovery has been so tepid.” Santorum spoke in Dixon, Illinois, comparing himself to former President Ronald Reagan (who grew up there).

* Bristol Palin (who now has her own blog) wants to know why President Obama didn’t call when Bill Maher mocked and insulted her. Obama called a Georgetown law student who was repeatedly attacked on air by Rush Limbaugh; conservatives are arguing that Maher, an Obama supporter, deserves at least as much condemnation for his sexist jokes.

* Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and his wife, Gail Huff, were interviewed in this month’s Esquire magazine. "Well, I don't want to characterize any of his politics because then I get in trouble," Huff said, "but we have — I'm just going to say — we have very, very, um, we have a lot of conversations about issues."

* Former senator Bob Kerrey (D) is taking issue with the way Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale (R) approved his eligibility to run for Senate in the state again. While Gale dismissed a GOP challenge, Kerrey argues that “It is as if you the statement for the expressed purpose of giving Karl Rove some language to use in one of his commercials against me.”


* Wisconsin firefighter and union leader Mahlon Mitchell is running in the likely recall election against Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R), rather than joining the crowded race against Gov. Scott Walker (R). Ira Robins, a private investigator, is also in the Democratic primary.

* The Iowa Republican Party has created a 17-member committee to review the state’s caucus process, a logistic disaster that led to confusion over the winner. “We will fix what went wrong and promote what went right,” said party co-chair Bill Schickel.

* Santorum’s campaign is continuing to make an issue out of Romney’s dog Seamus. "Well, you know, the family dog is one [that] resonates with some people," Alice Stewart said on MSNBC. "If you can't be nice to your dog, who are you going to be nice to?"

* The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $6.3 million and spent $3 million in February, leaving the Democrats’ House campaign arm with $16.4 million in the bank. The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $5.1 million last month and has $20.6 million on hand.

* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $5.3 million in February for $19 million on hand — narrowly beating the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which raised $5 million in February and has $16.2 million on hand.

* Sen. Marco Rubio’s memoir will come out June 19, about four months earlier than planned, the Florida Republican tweeted today. You can see the cover too.


Great background noise for going insane.

With Rachel Weiner