NPR : News

Monday Political Grab Bag: Romney Wins In PR; Race Heads To Illinois

Mitt Romney won Puerto Rico's Republican presidential primary Sunday, adding the commonwealth's 20 delegates to his commanding lead over the other candidates as they compete to reach the 1,144 needed for the nomination. Rick Santorum hurt himself with the island's voters by saying English had to become its official language before it could achieve statehood.

Heading into Tuesday's Illinois primary, Romney appeared to hold a lead over Santorum, his main rival, with the former Massachusetts governor attacking Santorum as an economic lightweight and Santorum hitting Romney as a false conservative. Meanwhile, the state's conservative party has shifted right, clouding predictions about what could happen Tuesday.

President Obama's re-election campaign raised $45 million in February, which was more than January but less than he raised at a similar stage four years ago. The campaign said 97.7 percent of the contributions were $250 or less and some noted that Obama had fewer big donors than in the past. His total for the election cycle now nears $300 million.

During debt negotiations last summer with Speaker John Boehner and other House leaders, President Obama raised his demands during negotiations in attempt to make any deal more palatable to his Democratic base, a move which caused the speaker to break off negotiations, according to a lengthy Washington Post piece.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., son of the famous civil rights leader and Democratic politician, is in an unaccustomed fight for his political survival against former congresswoman Debbie Halvorsen in the Democratic primary Tuesday. Jackson has been hurt by the revelation of a past extramarital relationship and fallout from the Rod Blagojevich scandal.

A new Indiana poll shows Sen. Richard Lugar, the long-time Republican senator, with a six-percentage point lead over Richard Mourdock, the state treasurer with Tea Party support who hopes to unseat him in the May primary.

Brian Lamb, CEO of C-Span since its founding 34 years ago, is stepping down from that post on April 1.

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