- The misunderstood independent (By Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza, Washington Post/Post Politics/The Fix) In politics, it’s often tempting to put independents somewhere in the middle of Republicans and Democrats, politically. They identify somewhere in between the two, so they must be moderates, right? A new study from the Pew Research Center suggests that’s not so true anymore. Independents, in fact, are a fast-growing and increasingly diverse group that both parties are going to need to study and understand in the years ahead. ENTIRE REPORT ON PDF
- Dead-Cat Bounce Continues (Time-CNN/The Page) “But they have not changed their minds about his stewardship of the economy. The number of people opposed to his reelection has dropped, although they seem to have moved to ‘undecided,’ rather than to the pro-Obama column,” Brown added. “The good news for the president is that his largest improvement is among two key groups, men and independent voters.” Independent voters go from a negative 41 – 52 percent overall approval as of Sunday to a positive 47 – 41 percent today. But only 36 percent of independent voters say today he deserves reelection, compared to 41 percent Sunday.
- America fears the revenge of Bin Laden’s followers (Gladkov Vladimir, The Voice of Russia) At first sight, the killing of Osama bin Laden should become a guarantee of Obama’s re-election as president. By successfully liquidating of the terrorist №1, Obama not only gained the support of the independent voters but even received the approval of many of his Republican opponents. But, as the latest polls show, the killing of bin Laden can’t solve all the problems facing the American president. More than half of Americans believe that the threat of terrorism against the USA can only grew now.
South Carolina Primary Debate Will Take Place Tonight, Despite The Lack Of A Compelling Reason To Do So (Jason Linkins, Huffington Post) The first scheduled debate of the campaign season, jointly sponsored by NBC News and Politico, was supposed to have been held on May 2. But back at the end of March, the debate organizers rather astutely observed that the presumed frontrunners weren't yet running and that the campaign season had not yet really begun. Presciently, they realized that these conditions were not likely to change during the month of April, so they postponed the event until mid-September, when they might be able to present a debate that voters would find credible. That's how tonight's debate, sponsored by Fox News and the South Carolina GOP became the first debate of the 2012 campaign… Instead, the field for the debate will be a bunch of lower-tier and lightly-regarded candidates, including Texas Representative Ron Paul, Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. In that coterie, I count one candidate with an active and devoted base of support (Paul) and one candidate who could potentially obtain the approval of independent voters and elite conservative pundits (Pawlenty). The long-played out joke of this debate is that plenty of seats are available ... on the stage.
Illinois Bill, Which Restricts Who can be an Independent Candidate, May Have Been Sidetracked (Ballot Access News)
- First Thoughts: Ground Zero vs. Greenville (By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg, msnbc/First Read) Who’s coming to the debate and who isn’t: Meanwhile, more than 700 miles away from New York City, five Republicans will share a debate stage tonight in Greenville, SC at 9:00 pm ET. Those five include just one top-tier candidate (Tim Pawlenty), two second-tier ones (Rick Santorum and Ron Paul), and two others (Herman Cain and Gary Johnson), who all registered a combined 11% in the Quinnipiac GOP trial heat. Those who aren’t attending: Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich, as well as those mulling a bid (Daniels, Huntsman, Huckabee, and Trump). On split-screen days, it will always be difficult for the GOP field to compete with the president, especially before there’s an official Republican nominee.
- GOP's top candidates to skip S.C. debate (By John O'Connor, The State (Columbia, S.C.) - Sacramento Bee) Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the highest-profile GOP candidate to say he will take part in the debate. The S.C. GOP will announce the final lineup today, and it is expected to include Godfather’s Pizza founder Herman Cain, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.