- Overshadowed by the Cainwreck and Newtmentum, Ron Paul Climbs into Second Place (By Alex Altman, Time/ Swampland) In a Public Policy Polling survey this week, the Texas Congressman leads President Obama 48% to 39% among independent voters — the only Republican hopeful to earn that distinction.
- The Economy Isn’t Obama’s Only Challenge (By MATT BAI, NY Times/ The Caucus) Simply put, Mr. Obama now has to run for president as a conventional Democratic nominee. And this, at least in the modern political era, isn’t an especially easy thing to do. Mr. Obama did not have to deal with this in 2008, when a bunch of mitigating factors came together to make him something more than his party’s choice for the presidency. The war in Iraq, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the market, the erupting fury at Washington’s impotence, the way Mr. Obama himself seemed to embody generational change and a renewal of the American story — all of this made it possible for him to run, essentially, as an independent candidate who rarely talked in terms of party.
- Two-party presidential race faces challenge (By Richard McGregor in Washington, Financial Times) Michael Toner, a former head of the Federal Election Commission, said third-party candidates have traditionally struggled to get over electoral laws and ballot-access rules to allow them to run. “A third-party candidate likely would need to be a major self-funder to be potentially viable, someone capable of contributing $100m-$200m of their own money into their campaign,” he said. “In short, someone like Michael Bloomberg.”