If today's snow storm has provided you with a little extra time, spend it reading Matt Bai's profile of Newt Gingrich in yesterday's New York Times Magazine.
If today's snow storm has provided you with a little extra time, spend it reading Matt Bai's profile of Newt Gingrich in yesterday's New York Times Magazine. Gingrich came in fifth among potential presidential candidates in a straw poll at CPAC, which Romney won. One candidate not considered there was Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., who argues that the GOP needs to widen its tent. He may be right: Democrats continue to lead handily in party identification.Over on the legistlative side, Democratic congressmen are also seeing higher approval ratings than their Republican counterparts. Almost across the board, approval ratings are up, though Republicans are even more down on the Democratic congress these days.A few new politicians will join the House soon. HuffPo runs down the IL-5 race to replace Emmanuel, including fundraising numbers, ads and odds. The race has generated a lot of candidates but not so much voter enthusiasm. Up in NY-20, meanwhile, Democrat Scott Murphy is still behind in polls but appears to be closing slightly. Murphy secured the Independence Party line on the ballot, as well, though that didn't help Republican Sandy Treadwell in November.Republican ill-will in the Senate continues as sources suggest that Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning might resign as a last-laugh revenge over his party. The state's Democratic governor would then be able to appoint a Democratic senator, sealing a filibuster-proof majority. Bunning denies the reports, however.Up in Illinois, anyone thinking about replacing Burris has to be ready at a moment's notice: The race to replace him could happen in weeks or in years.Final odds and ends: The RNC finance director has been ousted, seemingly involuntarily; and the GOP is looking at U.S. attorneys as potential candidates in '09 and '10.