BACHMANN: “Our phones have been ringing off the hook," Bachmann told Fox. "Our Facebook has been lit up. Our donations are pouring in, and people are saying 'Michele, jump in. We want you to run. … We had announced earlier that we would be looking at a June entry date for a decision one way or another about this race. Possibly we may move that up.” The New York Daily News writes: “Her statements are the clearest indication yet that Bachmann is leaning toward a ‘yes’ decision and come as sources close to Bachmann say she's more likely to run now that Huckabee, who caters to the same social-conservative base, has pulled out.”
CAIN: Those voters who know Herman Cain think very highly of him, the Daily Caller notes of a new Gallup poll. “Cain, who only has a 29 percent name recognition according to Gallup, has a positive intensity score of 24, higher than any other candidate that Gallup polls. Michele Bachmann has the second highest score of 21.”
The Daily Caller also learns about Gloria Cain, Herman Cain’s wife, who Cain says is not looking for the limelight. “Cain — who is expected to formally announce his bid for president Saturday at an Atlanta rally — said she’ll appear ‘selectively with me at certain times as it relates to this campaign.’ He also said she has an implanted heart device, which cuts down on the stamina she may have to stump across the country.”
CHRISTIE: “According to a new poll from Monmouth University/NJ Press Media, 47 percent of New Jersey residents approve of Christie while 49 percent disapprove -- a gap well within the poll's margin of error,” the Wall Street Journal writes. “But the trendlines show the governor holding steady with supporters while undecided residents are moving into the anti-Christie camp. Since Monmouth's last poll, conducted in February, disapproving respondents swelled by nine percentage points. Those with no opinion dropped by seven points.”
GINGRICH: “Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is considering a return to the Sunday shows this weekend to help undo the damage caused by his appearance last week,” The Hill reports. (But not Meet the Press.) Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said, "The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep, not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail-party invite list, unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now, they are left exposed by their bylines and handles." He added that Gingrich had "emerged ... once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimidated by the political elite."
“While early gaffes, misstatements and blunders in strategy can swiftly cement an unhelpful narrative, they are not always deadly to a campaign,” the New York Times writes of Newt Gingrich’s missteps in recent days, listing a number of candidates who made early mistakes, some of whom dropped out but some of whom went on to win their party’s nomination.
HUNTSMAN: Jon Huntsman begins his first trip to New Hampshire today, with a stop at a meet-and-greet in Hanover today, the Boston Globe reports.
Huntsman will base his campaign out of Orlando, Florida, the New York Times writes. “Florida quickly became a leading choice, aides said, because of its critical role in the Republican primary — and general election — and because Orlando is the hometown of his wife, Mary Kaye Huntsman. Aides briefly discussed locating the campaign in New Hampshire or South Carolina, but concluded that it would make Mr. Huntsman look like a one-state candidate.”
ROMNEY: The Romney campaign has snagged attorney and businesswoman Susan Duprey, a key member of John McCain’s 2008 New Hampshire steering committee, the New Hampshire Union-Leader’s DiStaso reports.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said he will stop in South Carolina on Saturday with a trip to the Columbia area, the AP reports. Romney is also planning to announce a South Carolina staff hire today.
President Obama took a shot at Romney last night at a fundraiser in Bosotn, the Boston Herald reports. “While urging the crowd to instead look at his accomplishments, Obama took the time to tweak potential GOP rival Mitt Romney, who passed a health care law that set the groundwork for Obama’s national reform. ‘With a little assist from the former governor of Massachusetts we passed universal health care,’ Obama said.”