Just in time for his debut this evening as a top-tier candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. From the Washington Post:
Businessman Herman Cain has surged into the top tier of presidential candidates in Virginia, according to a new poll of the state, moving into a tie in the Republican nomination contest with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has faded considerably.
The Quinnipiac University Poll of Virginia released Tuesday shows Romney and Cain at 21 percent apiece among Republican voters, while Perry sits at 11 percent–less than half the support he registered in the same poll a month ago.
At today’s 8 p.m. Bloomberg/Washington Post debate in New Hampshire, Cain will be required to provide a sound defense of his “999” plan, the most sensitive part of which is a 9 percent national sales tax. The WP’s Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake reached out to Atlanta GOP consultant Paul Bennecke for this advice to Cain:
“He needs to provide substance and explain how his plan will fix the economy and create jobs,” explained Bennecke. “If he can do that, then he might remain a relevant part of the campaign.”
Look for this from NBC News to be a major topic of discussion tonight:
Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.”
A dozen meetings held in 2009 included one presided over by President Barack Obama.
Meanwhile, GOP presidential rival Jon Huntsman, who has pinned his hopes on a good showing in New Hampshire early next year, on Monday referred to the pastor of the most influential Southern Baptist church in Texas – and perhaps the nation — as a “moron.” That’s one way to get noticed:
What’s likely to become the most expensive state legislative race in Georgia history picked up a fourth player last night, as Atlanta native Hunter Hill, a Republican, formally jumped into the race to oust state Sen. Doug Stoner, D-Smyrna.
Hill, 34, is a former Army captain and West Point grad who served three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He ran against Stoner in 2008.
Two other Republicans are already in: Beth Beskin, an attorney who ran against state Sen. Horacena Tate, a Democrat, in 2010; and Josh Belinfante, a member of what was formerly called the State Ethics Commission.
Stoner’s south Cobb district had been safely Democratic, until Republicans in August redrew his lines to include most of Buckhead.
The Newnan Times-Herald now counts six candidates who have signed up for the special, non-partisan election to replace state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, who has been named deputy state treasurer:
Duke Blackburn and Dale Pepper made their announcements Thursday, joining Matt Brass and Mike Crane in the non-partisan race for the District 28 seat. Ed Stone introduced himself Saturday at the local Republican Party breakfast as a candidate. Cynthia Bennett has also announced her intentions to seek the post.
The election will be Nov. 8. Unless one of the candidates receives more than 50 percent of the votes, a runoff will be held Dec. 6.
Qualifying ends at noon Thursday.
And finally: University System of Georgia Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby said Monday that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the state’s 35 public colleges and universities will receive full funding next fiscal year.
From Dorie Turner of the Associated Press:
That could mean lower tuition increases for students and an infusion of about $100 million for cash-strapped campuses that have been cut by more than $1 billion since the economy tanked a few years ago, Huckaby told The Associated Press.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that if state revenues continue to grow, although modestly, that we will have a chance at really getting that,” said Huckaby, seated in his downtown Atlanta office.
The former state lawmaker took over the 300,000-student university system in July after his predecessor, Erroll Davis, retired. Huckaby inherited an organization facing deep budget cuts amid perceptions among state lawmakers that the system needed to bear a greater share of the state’s economic woes.
Last month, Huckaby announced plans to study whether any of Georgia’s colleges should be consolidated to save money. Huckaby said Monday he expects within the next 10 days to release the criteria that will drive combining any campuses.
State lawmakers have taken aim at historically black colleges in Savannah and Albany, saying they duplicate efforts at nearby predominantly white institutions. But Huckaby said it would be premature for him to say which colleges could face consolidation.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider