"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pulled into a virtual tie with President Barack Obama in the crucial swing states of Ohio and Florida, but Obama retains a solid lead in Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday," Reuters reports.
McKay Coppins on Mitt Romney’s Hispanic problem, as reported by Political Wire: "As his campaign hurdles toward election day — aggressively expanding its operation, and sharpening its focus on general election battleground states — Mitt Romney appears to be testing one of the central tenets of campaign conventional wisdom. The question: Can he win a national election in 2012 without courting the Spanish language media? While there's still plenty of time for a campaign course correction, Romney has exhibited little urgency in building a relationship with the Hispanic press, according to Latino reporters, activists, and political surrogates on both sides of the aisle."
In First Read, NBC's Jamie Novogrod and Garrett Haake report Rep. Michele Bachmann will endorse Mitt Romney today. The tea party favorite is expected to announce the endorsement during a campaign event in Virginia.
“[W]hen Massachusetts Republicans went to their caucuses on Saturday, many didn’t vote for Mitt Romney’s picks. Instead, they went for Ron Paul,” the Boston Globe writes. “Less than half of Romney’s 27 chosen delegates won, and the losers included some notable Massachusetts Republicans - including Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor, and the House minority leader, Bradley H. Jones Jr., according to two Republican State Committee members who did not want to be named. Even some prominent alternate delegates lost - including 2010 gubernatorial candidate Charles D. Baker and Sheriff Frank G. Cousins Jr., the Republicans said. … The complexion of the delegation may not matter much to Romney’s nomination: All delegates and alternates are committed to vote for him. But the delegates will get to choose the chairman, vote on a platform, and support whomever they choose for vice president. And the team that Romney brings to the convention may not all be rooting for the home-state nominee.”
Mitt Romney had a tough act to follow. The Republican presidential contender was stumping in the Virginia 'burbs on Wednesday, just hours after President Obama basked in the glory of a prime-time, nationally televised victory speech from an Afghanistan war zone. The contrast was one of the first of what will be many reminders in the 2012 campaign of the disadvantages of running against a sitting president," The Atlantic writes. "What's more, Romney's first trip to Virginia since he emerged as the presumptive nominee underscores the challenges he faces in catching up to a Democratic campaign that is well under way. Obama already has 13 campaign offices in Virginia, a decisive battleground in his bid for a second term. No wonder Romney decided to beat him to the state; Obama's first "official" reelection rally is slated for Saturday in Richmond."
The Los Angeles Times on the veepstakes: "Mitt Romney tries out potential running mates"