A look ahead to the presidential election

The 2012 Pennsylvania primary is sched­uled for April 24, and the pres­id­en­tial elec­tion will top the bal­lot.

Pres­id­ent Barack Obama is likely to win the Demo­crat­ic Party nom­in­a­tion without a chal­lenge, while at least eight Re­pub­lic­ans are ex­pec­ted to seek their party’s nod.

By late April, the GOP might already have settled on a nom­in­ee, mak­ing the Pennsylvania primary an af­ter­thought.

Ea­st­on-based Com­mu­nic­a­tion Con­cepts LLC last week re­leased the res­ults of a poll, and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bach­mann of Min­nesota led the way with 23 per­cent, fol­lowed by former Mas­sachu­setts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney with 16 per­cent.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick San­tor­um took 13 per­cent. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former House Speak­er Newt Gin­grich each had 5 per­cent. Former Min­nesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was at 4 per­cent. Her­man Cain, a former busi­ness­man and me­dia com­ment­at­or, re­ceived 3 per­cent. Former Utah Gov. Jon Hunts­man man­aged 1 per­cent.

An­oth­er 29 per­cent were un­de­cided or pre­ferred oth­er can­did­ates.

In a gen­er­al elec­tion match­up, 77 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans said they would vote for the GOP can­did­ate, while 5 per­cent would back Obama.

The firm con­duc­ted a statewide sur­vey of 622 Re­pub­lic­an voters in Pennsylvania.

• • •

Al Tauben­ber­ger, a Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for a City Coun­cil at-large seat, be­lieves the city’s pub­lic edu­ca­tion sys­tem can im­prove only with new lead­er­ship.

Tauben­ber­ger, a Fox Chase res­id­ent and pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce, is call­ing for the resig­na­tions of Ar­lene Ack­er­man, su­per­in­tend­ent of the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia, and mem­bers of the School Re­form Com­mis­sion.

The school dis­trict is fa­cing a de­fi­cit of more than $600 mil­lion. City Coun­cil re­cently ap­proved a prop­erty tax in­crease of 3.85 per­cent, with rev­en­ue ear­marked for the dis­trict.

“The fail­ure of Su­per­in­tend­ent Ar­lene Ack­er­man and the School Re­form Com­mis­sion to prop­erly man­age the Phil­adelphia school dis­trict is tox­ic to Phil­adelphia’s growth,” said Tauben­ber­ger, a North­east High School gradu­ate who has sent his chil­dren to pub­lic schools.

Mean­while, Tauben­ber­ger is happy that May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter ve­toed a bill that would re­quire busi­nesses to of­fer paid sick days to em­ploy­ees.

Coun­cil had passed the meas­ure 9-8. Tauben­ber­ger test­i­fied against it.

“The may­or and I both be­lieve the paid sick leave bill puts Phil­adelphia at a com­pet­it­ive dis­ad­vant­age at a time when the city should be fo­cus­ing on job cre­ation and growth,” said Tauben­ber­ger, who lost to Nut­ter in the may­or’s race four years ago.

The mu­ni­cip­al elec­tion is Nov. 8.

• • •

Patrick Murphy, a Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al in 2012, re­cently col­lec­ted sev­er­al uni­on en­dorse­ments.

The state chapter of the Amer­ic­an Fed­er­a­tion of Teach­ers is the latest uni­on to an­nounce its sup­port for the former con­gress­man, who once served in the U.S. Army Judge Ad­voc­ate Gen­er­al Corps and as a spe­cial as­sist­ant U.S. at­tor­ney for the South­ern Dis­trict of New York.

“With Patrick Murphy’s back­ground in law en­force­ment, he has seen firsthand the pro­found con­nec­tion between get­ting a good edu­ca­tion and stay­ing out of trouble with the law,” said Ted Kirsch, pres­id­ent of the state chapter of the AFT. “He knows the vast ma­jor­ity of people in pris­ons today had aca­dem­ic and be­ha­vi­or­al prob­lems long be­fore they dropped out of school and turned to crime.”

A Park­wood nat­ive, Murphy has also won the sup­port of the Laborers Dis­trict Coun­cil of the Met­ro­pol­it­an Area of Phil­adelphia and Vi­cin­ity, Sheet Met­al Work­ers Loc­al Uni­on 19 and Bakery, Con­fec­tion­ery, To­bacco Work­ers’ and Grain Millers’ Loc­al 6.

Murphy won the 8th Coun­cil­man­ic Dis­trict seat in 2006, oust­ing fresh­man Re­pub­lic­an Mike Fitzpatrick. He was eas­ily re-elec­ted two years later, but lost a re­match to Fitzpatrick in 2010.

Former Lack­awanna County As­sist­ant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Kath­leen Kane is also run­ning in the Demo­crat­ic primary. Dan Mc­Caf­fery, the run­ner-up in the 2009 Phil­adelphia dis­trict at­tor­ney’s Demo­crat­ic primary, also plans to run.

Pos­sible Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates in­clude state Sen. John Raf­ferty, Cum­ber­land County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Dav­id Freed and Mont­gomery County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Risa Vetri Fer­man. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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