Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Republican Candidates Battle as Arizona and Michigan Races Tighten

At New York Times, "In Tightening Race, Top G.O.P. Candidates Race to Capture 2 Battleground States":

In the brilliant sunshine of Arizona, Rick Santorum aggressively challenged Mitt Romney in a state where the Tea Party is strong and the politics of immigration are poised to take center stage at a debate on Wednesday night.

And in the gritty cold of Michigan, the advertising air war intensified, as Mr. Romney increasingly faced questions about his conservative credentials from voters in his home state, a place of grim economic news and plenty of cultural conservatives.

Together, the two states — separated by about 1,700 miles — are the immediate battlegrounds for a Republican presidential contest that appears to be tightening drastically in the week before voters go to the polls to award the biggest single-day cache of delegates since the race began.

Mr. Santorum held two events in Arizona on Tuesday as he sought to seize on anecdotal and polling evidence that Mr. Romney’s large lead in the state may be quickly evaporating.

Speaking to about 500 people at the Maricopa County Lincoln Day luncheon, Mr. Santorum tipped his hat to the Tea Party movement, many of whose members had packed into the large Shriners’ hall to hear him speak.

“We need to take everything from food stamps to Medicaid to housing programs to education training programs,” he said. “We need to cut ’em, cap ’em, freeze ’em, send ’em to the states and say that there has to be a time limit and a work requirement,” he said, the rest of his words drowned out by thunderous applause.

Mr. Santorum is scheduled to address Tea Party activists near Tucson on Wednesday.
More at that top link.