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GOP watch: Republicans and the census

CongressDaily's Carrie Dann reports that the top House Republican overseeing the census -- North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry -- is enlisting his GOP colleagues "to maximize participation in the decennial count by constituents who may be reluctant to disclose information to government officials." This effort comes after the apparent murder of a Census worker in Kentucky (although it is still unclear whether his death was due to his work with the Census), as well as critical comments about the census by some GOP members, including Rep. Michele Bachmann.

More from Dann: "In an interview Thursday, McHenry declined to point fingers at other Republicans, emphasizing that his goal is to underscore to his colleagues that encouraging participation in the census is 'in their own self-interest' because it affects the allocation of federal aid and congressional seats. 'If none of their constituents answer the census,' he said, 'then they do not have any constituents, and they don't have a district.' McHenry may be keenly aware of the need for full participation because his home state narrowly won a 13th House seat after the 2000 census. A legal battle ensued between North Carolina and Utah, which fell 857 residents short of qualifying for that extra seat."

Palin Watch: "POLITICO surveyed nearly 50 prominent Republican Party officials and politicians, representing every region of the country and ranging from statewide-elected officeholders to state legislators to state and county party chairs. Some refused to talk about her at all. Others, mostly her critics, would do so only off the record. But taken as a whole, the body of interviews revealed that despite Palin's high negative ratings in recent national polls, Republicans at the grass-roots level and their leaders still hold a very favorable impression of the former Alaska governor. Westerners have a particular affinity for Palin, with many noting that she embodied the values of freedom and self-reliance."

A Star Tribune poll finds that only 30% want to see Tim Pawlenty (R) run for president in 2012, versus 55% who don't want him to run. "But in a mixed message for Pawlenty, 25 percent of Minnesotans said there was a 'good chance' they would vote for him if he became the GOP nominee, while another 25 percent said there was at least "some chance" they would vote for him. A solid 43 percent said there was no chance they would vote for a President Pawlenty."

"Despite his rising national profile, Pawlenty's job approval rating among Minnesotans stands at 49 percent, similar to his rating in April. Last September Pawlenty's approval rating was 54 percent, while two years ago at this time it was 59 percent."

"While it didn't help him win the White House in 2008, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has continued to maintain close contact with his one-time House GOP backers and put a premium on their needs for 2010 as he weighs his next move," Roll Call writes.