- - Thursday, February 16, 2012

CAMPAIGN

Romney struggling with working-class whites

Republican Mitt Romney is faltering with white working-class voters crucial to his party’s drive to capture the White House. That’s a problem for him because he’s trying to fend off a rising GOP challenger, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who appeals strongly to that group.

Combined polls of voters in the first five states that held presidential nominating contests show Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has led his rivals by comfortable margins among white college graduates.

But the exit and entry surveys show only a modest Romney advantage among whites who lack college degrees. The imbalance was most pronounced among less-educated white men, with whom his lead disappeared completely.

More recently, a national poll of Republicans by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center shows Mr. Romney leading Mr. Santorum narrowly among whites with degrees but trailing him among working-class whites.

HOUSE

Boehner: Do more to stop Iran nukes

House Speaker John A. Boehner says the U.S. needs to do more to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The Ohio Republican said the Iran Sanctions Act approved by Congress gives President Obama several options for pressuring Tehran to abandon its nuclear program. He said Mr. Obama has used some of those tools, but that others are also available.

He did not specify what actions he thinks the U.S. should take, but said he agrees with Mr. Obama that all options should be considered — a phrase that is often used to threaten military action.

Iran denies that it is developing nuclear weapons.

Mr. Boehner made his remarks a day after Iran said it might soon halt its shipments of oil to European nations and said it has progressed in developing nuclear fuel.

LABOR

Unemployment applications drop to a 4-year low

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