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So say Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin of the Center for American Progress. They have authored a big study titled “The Path to 270” which includes advice for rivals:

“Republicans likely cannot win with their base alone and instead need to find a way to cut into the president’s support among Latinos, professionals, Millennial generation voters and moderates,” the pair observe. “Republicans can maximize their chances of appealing to disaffected Obama voters and more moderate Americans by focusing almost exclusively on the economy and downplaying their more divisive positions on religion, social issues, immigration and the more extreme tea party positions.”

ASSIDUOUS DEFENDER

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich still has deep connections in the halls of power, evidenced by his new national security advisory team.

Among the luminaries: former Undersecretary of State Bill Schneider, former Reagan administration National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, former Undersecretary of the Navy Adm. James Woolsey (ret.) and Tina Ramirez , who founded the Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus and now works for the Becket Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting “free expression of all faiths.”

Mr. Gingrich declares the group will “assert our vision of an exceptional America that, contrary to what Barack Obama may believe, will continue to be both the world’s leading power and most assiduous defender of freedom for generations to come.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 45 percent of Americans would vote for President Obama in an Obama/Mitt Romney match if the 2012 election were “held today.”

• 4 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents agree.

• 30 percent of Protestants, 35 percent of Catholics, 22 percent of evangelicals and 39 percent of military voters would vote for Mr. Obama.

• 44 percent of voters overall would choose Mr. Romney in an Obama/Romney vote.

• 91 percent of Republicans, 8 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of independents agree.

• 60 percent of Protestants, 52 percent of Catholics, 68 percent of evangelicals and 49 percent of military voters would vote for Mr. Romney.

• 26 percent of Republican voters currently support Newt Gingrich in the GOP primary, 22 percent support Mr. Romney, 19 percent “don’t know,” 14 percent would vote for Herman Cain.

Source: A Quinnipiac University survey of 2,552 registered voters conducted Nov. 14 to 20; the sample included 637 Republicans.

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