Tuesday Must-Reads: Leadership Vacuum

Republicans scored a victory today as the SCOTUS set a limit on what districts must preserve minority voting power—but the party still seems to lack a leader to take advantage of that gain.


Republicans scored a victory today as the SCOTUS set a limit on what districts must preserve minority voting power—but the party still seems to lack a leader to take advantage of that gain. In a Rasmussen poll that should surprise no one, 68 percent of Republicans say their party has no leader while another 17 percent were undecided. So who might fill those shoes? Politico takes a look at the rising profile of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, while the Globe examines the surprising resilience of Mitt Romney.RNC Chair Michael Steele—who, at just 5 percent, tied John McCain as the poll-approved leader of the GOP—underscores that leadership problems as he comes under criticism for supposedly slashing former Chair Mike Duncan's intended contributions to the party's congressional committees and for firing so many staff members at the RNC (though supporters say that's a necessary overhaul). Some former RNC staffers are declaring that the length of Steele's tenure depends entirely on the outcome of the NY-20 special election, scheduled for three weeks from today.(While we're on the subject of NY-20: The Rothenberg Report details who is behind recent ads there.)More bad news for the GOP: The number of "secrecy envelopes" that are back in play in the Minnesota election slog are not as many as former-Sen. Norm Coleman had hoped and won't be enough to put him back in office; other ballots are still being considered, though. And Virginia Democrats are hoping that the smoking ban that Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine signed yesterday will provide campaign fodder against GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, who they hope to tie to big tobacco.We'll finish off with a race that Republicans can be a bit more hopeful about: the Times profiles New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and the steep challenges he faces for reelection this year.


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