CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 22, 2012
March 22nd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 22, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

JUST IN: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint expressed support for Mitt Romney’s presidential bid Thursday, but stopped short of publicly endorsing the former Massachusetts governor, during an interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan and Ted Barrett. DeMint, an influential voice in the conservative movement, said he was “very impressed” with Romney, who met with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“His leadership skills, the fact that he hasn't lived his life in Washington, there's a lot to like there," DeMint said. “We were just looking for … his strategy. What is he going to do once he's elected? He's got it pretty well mapped out, so it was a good meeting. I think everyone was really impressed."

While DeMint said he doesn’t have any plans to make a formal endorsement, he did note that it might be time for the Republican primary to come to a close.

"I don't have any immediate plans to do an endorsement, but I think we all need to look at this presidential primary and encourage the candidates to do a little self-reflection here, ‘What's good for our country?’” he said. “The sooner we can make a decision, I think the sooner we can focus on the real problem, which is Obama."

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

Gut check. Why do we spend such little time talking about Asian voters?

Search all “U.S. Newspapers & Wires” in Lexis and you will find only 148 mentions of Asian voters in the last 2 years. Search Latino or Hispanic voters and you get 1,135 mentions in the last 3 months.

This can be explained by sheer numerical muscle; Asians made up only 2% of the presidential electorate in 2008, while Hispanics made up 9%, according CNN’s national exit poll.

However, new census figures reveal that Asians grew faster than any other racial group in the United States in the last decade. We write often about how studying demographics teaches you about politics, so stop and read these sentences twice: Asian-Americansgrew by 43.3% in the decade from 2000 to 2010, while the total U.S. population increased by 9.7% in the same period. A combination of Asian and another races grew by 60% in that decade. (Adding to the oddity of such limited media coverage is that there are more than 1.1 million Asian-Americans in the media capital of the world: New York City.)

How will this large population growth affect politics? If you want to shrug your shoulders, stop and look at which states experienced the most growth of Asians or Asians in combination with another race:

1. Nevada (116% growth – six electoral votes, swing state)
2. Arizona (95% growth – 11 electoral votes, swing state)
3. North Carolina (85% growth – 15 electoral votes, swing state)

What’s interesting is that there have been only five Asians who have served in the U.S. Senate, including current Democratic Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye. It is not surprising that Akaka and Inouye both hail from Hawaii, a state that is more than half Asian (57% is Asian or combination Asian). As for the House, there are 11 Asian-Americans serving in the 112th Congress (which includes delegates from territories), compared to 43 African-Americans and 31 Hispanic-Americans, according to the House press gallery and CRS reports.

But isn’t it surprising with all this potential – and growing power – that we aren’t seeing or writing about a concentrated play for the growing Asian vote? In fact, the only ad of this cycle that we can think of that played to Asian votes was an offensive one.

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics.com: Obama defends his policy on oil pipeline
President Barack Obama took on critics of his energy policies Thursday, saying in a speech at a proposed new pipeline site that they weren't paying attention to increased oil production at home and were misleading the public about the cause of rising gas prices.

Leading Drudge: Liberals Move to Silence Rush
Rush Limbaugh’s opponents are starting a radio campaign against him Thursday, seizing upon the radio star’s attack of a Georgetown law student as a “slut” to make a long-term effort aimed at weakening his business.

Leading HuffPo: Health Care Law After Supreme Court Ruling: Experts Sound Off
Supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act have spent more than two years battling in federal courts and for public opinion over the constitutionality of the individual health insurance mandate. But what's to happen come late June after the Supreme Court justices make their final ruling, then skip town for their summer recess, leaving the combatants to push forward or pick up the pieces?

Leading Politico: Joseph Kony captures Congress’ attention
The global movement to bring Joseph Kony to justice has reached the halls of Congress.

Leading New York Times: In Oklahoma, Obama Declares Pipeline Support
President Obama stood in a red-dirt field before acres of stacked pipeline pieces on Thursday to illustrate his support for expedited construction of the southern half of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. But his public declaration of support for the project has pleased neither the industry and its Republican supporters nor environmentalists.

Leading Bloomberg: Etch A Sketch Maker Ohio Art Triples After Romney Aide’s Mention
Ohio Art Co. (OART) surged based on one trade after its Etch A Sketch drawing toy became a metaphor for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The thinly traded toymaker more than tripled to $12.50 on one transaction of 500 shares at 10:41 a.m. in New York on the over-the-counter market.

Leading Leading Times-Picayune: Louisiana presidential primary may mean less than expected
For a state that's usually relegated to watching presidential politics from the sidelines, Saturday's suddenly significant Louisiana GOP primary offers a rare chance to get in the game. Well, sort of.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)
Which legendary broadcaster played keyboard in a band called the Monkeys?

TRAIL MOMENTS
The political bites of the day

- Santorum: You win by being different –
RICK SANTORUM USES ETCH A SKETCH PROP AT A CAMPAIGN STOP IN SAN ANTONIO: “You win by giving people the choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who is just going to be a little different than the person in there. If they’re going to be a little different, we may as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk in what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

- Mckinnon: The Etch A Sketch = This cycle’s I voted for it before I voted against it –
FORMER MCCAIN ADVISER MARK MCKINNON ON CNN’S “STARTING POINT”: “One, the problem is that every time Romney has a big win, they step on their message. Two, there's nothing more powerful than using a campaign's own words against them. Three, it's the perfect metaphor. Four, it immediately reminded me yesterday when I heard that of the time in 2004 when I heard the words ‘I actually voted for it before I voted against it.’ This is problematic. This is something that has lasting damage.”

- Oil rig on the South Lawn? Newt would love that –
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA JOKES ABOUT DRILLING AT THE WHITE HOUSE AT AN EVENT IN CUSHING, OKLAHOMA: “Even if we opened up every inch of this country – if I put an oil rig on the South Lawn, if we had one right next to the Washington Monument. Even if we drilled every little bit of this great country, we'd still have to buy the rest of our needs from someplace else if we keep using the same amount of energy, the same amount of oil.”

- Gingrich charges of pipeline to nowhere –
NEWT GINGRICH AT A CAMPAIGN EVENT IN HOUMA, LOUISIANA: “Today, the president announced he was going to open up half of the Keystone Pipeline. That’s right – this is the pipeline to nowhere. That’s a good line, actually, I am going to steal that. So, Obama is going to match Santorum’s `Bridge to Nowhere’ with a `Pipeline to Nowhere.’”

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

CNN Natl Security (@natlsecuritycnn)
NEW LOOK at North Korea's launch site from @GeoEye – http://on.cnn.com/GG4tw7 #NorthKorea.

Eric Fehrnstrom (@EricFehrn)
Etch A Sketch stock is up? Psst, I'll mention Mr. Potato Head next. Buy Hasbro

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (@MicheleBachmann)
So grateful to learn that I’ll be in the courtroom on 3/28 for the #SCOTUS #Obamacare arguments. #REPEAL

Rick Klein (@rickklein)
no election night party for Newt in Louisiana on Saturday. Just another loss, I suppose...

Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks)
Disappointed with Obamacare. Felt sick last night, called the White House, he wouldn't even talk to me.

Political Wire (@politicalwire)
City manager in Texas decides a top manager needs to go so he lays himself off... http://t.co/bvJqHpUW

Ben Domenech (@bdomenech)
After all the scandals, drugs, guys who shot themselves in clubs, the real controversy begins when NY gets a guy who believes in Jesus.

TRIVIA ANSWER
CNN’s own Wolf Blitzer, also known as “Blitz” thanks to Herman Cain, was not only a keyboarder in a band that predated those other Monkees (notice the difference in spelling as well as accent), but the bearded great was also a linebacker on the Kenmore West Senior High School football team in his native Buffalo, New York. Blitzer celebrated his birthday on Thursday, as is Blitz custom, by doing a little dance in CNN’s Situation Room with his Wolfpack.

ANSWER
CNN’s own Wolf Blitzer, also known as “Blitz” thanks to Herman Cain, was not only a keyboarder in a band that predated those other Monkees (notice the difference in spelling as well as accent), but the bearded great was also a linebacker on the Kenmore West Senior High School football team in his native Buffalo, New York. Blitzer celebrated his birthday on Thursday, as is Blitz custom, by doing a little dance in CNN’s Situation Room with his Wolfpack.

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Filed under: 2012 • CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. chuck

    Is Limbaugh THE PIG really fired, really??? Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. GI Joe.

    Jim DeMint is the red slime of the earth. He's such a sleaze he has to have rails on his bed so he doesn't slide out. People like him (hiding behind false religion) should be voted out of office.

    Beware false prophets that come in my name -– Jesus said that.

    March 22, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Mikey

    Newt Gingrich from above “Today, the president announced he was going to open up half of the Keystone Pipeline. That’s right – this is the pipeline to nowhere."
    *********************************************************
    Does Newt not know that the top half already has a pipeline that stops in Oklahoma and that the President would then be fixing a "pipeline to nowhere"? Or like many in the GOP, is he lying on purpose. Does he care?

    March 22, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. madmaninthemiddle

    Limbaugh can't be "fired.". He works for his own company, the EIB network.

    Stations pay for the show but also have to air the national spots. They get to sell some local spots to make a profit.

    If he keeps losing national sponsors he'll simply make less money. He can charge more for the show and give up some inventory – it will only be if individual stations lose money and start dropping him that he'll be in trouble. Frankly I don't see that happening.

    March 23, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Mikey wrote:

    Does Newt not know that the top half already has a pipeline that stops in Oklahoma and that the President would then be fixing a "pipeline to nowhere"? Or like many in the GOP, is he lying on purpose. Does he care?
    --------------
    Newt knows. What he is counting on is that people hear the phrase "blah to nowhere" and associate it with Pres. Obama. What Newt is relying on is that when people hear that phrase they don't realize that public money isn't paying for the pipeline.

    March 23, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. mike

    DeMint is one of the leader's of the American Taliban. Be very afraid for your freedom if they take over.

    March 23, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |