Arizona: A new NBC News-Marist poll in Arizona finds Mitt Romney leading the GOP primary with 43% of likely voters, followed by Rick Santorum at 27%, Newt Gingrich at 16% and Ron Paul at 11%.
CNN Debate: In what may have been the last debate of the Republican nomination race, Mitt Romney challenged Rick Santorum's credentials as a fiscal conservative in a combative debate last night. Romney sought to dismantle Santorum's claim to be the authentic conservative in the race. At times, Romney received help from Ron Paul, who also largely targeted Santorum's record as a fiscal conservative. The consensus afterwards seemed to be that Santorum did not put in the performance needed headed into a critical last weekend of campaigning before Arizona and Michigan vote Tuesday.
Michigan: A new WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll in Michigan finds Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney in the by three points, 37% to 34%, followed by Ron Paul at 10% and Newt Gingrich at 7%. Another 12% are either undecided or refused to answer. The poll finds that among Republican voters, Santorum leads Romney by 41%. Among Independent voters, Romney leads Santorum by 30%.
Oklahoma: A new Rasmussen survey in Oklahoma finds Rick Santorum with a big lead over Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential race with 43%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 22%, Mitt Romney at 18%, and Ron Paul at 7%. The Oklahoma primary is on March 6.
Romney: Mitt Romney unveiled a plan to cut all six income tax brackets by 20%. Romney's earlier economic plan called for preserving the current top tax rate of 35 percent, while holding out the promise of lower rates later in an overhaul of the tax code. But facing a major challenge from Rick Santorum, the campaign unveiled the new plan in the hopes it would give him a boost among conservatives.
Santorum: The Red, White and Blue Fund Super PAC supporting Rick Santorum has bought an additional $600,000 television ad buy in Michigan. The group said the ad would be a contrast with Mitt Romney. The group spent $663,500 in the state last week. Mitt Romney and allied Super PAC's are heavily outspending their rivals in the state.
Maine: Andrew Ian Dodge, a former Tea Party organizer who was running in the Republican primary against Sen. Olympia Snowe, will now run as an independent. Snowe still faces businessman Scott D'Amboise in the Republican primary.
Michigan: A NBC News/Marist poll has Sen. Debbie Stabenow leading Pete Hoekstra by 53 percent to 32 percent among registered voters. Fifteen percent of Michigan voters said they were undecided. Hoekstra's disadvantage could reflect some fallout related to an ad run by his campaign in Michigan on Super Bowl Sunday. Hoekstra's campaign has now scrubbed the ad from its YouTube page and has taken down a related website.
Virginia: A Rasmussen poll of the Virginia Senate race has Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen both at 46% support. Three percent prefers some other candidate, and five percent are undecided. Polling so far of this race has shown it even, with no candidate at more than a couple point lead in any survey.
Wisconsin: A new Marquette Law School poll shows former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson leading Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin 48 to 42 percent. Baldwin leads Mark Neumann, 44 percent to 40 percent, and state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, 45 percent to 37 percent.
CA-21: Former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante says he is considering a run for the newly created 21st Congressional District. The former Fresno area state legislator rose during the 1990's to be Assembly speaker, was elected lieutenant governor in 1998 and served two terms, and then lost his run for governor in 2003. Democrats lost their star recruit here when state Sen. Michael Rubio dropped out of the race.
CA-30: Sen. Barbara Boxer has endorsed Rep. Howard Berman in his member versus member matchup with Rep. Brad Sherman. Boxer said she was angered by a Sherman mailer that tried to tie Berman to a San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010. Boxer joins Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Gov. Jerry Brown and 23 House Democrats from California backing Berman. Sherman has only two endorsements from his fellow delegation members, Reps. Judy Chu and Grace Napolitano.
NC-9: Former state Sen. Robert Pittenger will become the 10th Republican to announce for the seat of retiring Rep. Sue Myrick. If nobody gets 40 percent in the May primary, the race will go to a runoff in July. Jennifer Roberts is the only Democrat in the race.
PA-12: The campaign of Rep. Mark Critz is claiming that Rep. Jason Altmire does not have enough valid signatures on his nominating petition to qualify for Congress. Critz says of the 1,651 signatures submitted, enough were invalid that Altmire did not meet the necessary 1,000 signatures to qualify to appear on the ballot. The Critz campaign filed its complaint in court Tuesday, but a hearing has not been set.
Florida: 2010 Democratic nominee Alex Sink sounds like she's thinking about a rematch with Gov. Rick Scott. Sink is back on the speaking circuit and has launched a nonprofit think tank, the Florida Next Foundation, to promote a Democratic agenda on issues affecting families and small businesses. Some Democrats want a new face and think the party should look elsewhere, but their lack of a statewide bench leaves them with limited options.
Washington: A new PPP poll of the Washington governors race finds Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna tied with 42% each, with 16% of voters undecided. This poll differs from two polls out in the last few weeks from SurveyUSA and Elway that had McKenna with a 9 and 10% point lead.
Wisconsin: Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette is moving towards a run for a governor against Gov. Scott Walker should a recall campaign succeed. He will file the papers this week, he said, but has has not completely made up his mind.
National Journal Vote Ratings: Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma rates the most conservate, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley most liberal, according to the 2011 National Journal Congressional Vote Ratings. National Journal will release full House and Senate ratings for all members this week.