Peter Hamilton examines recent developments in the US presidential election

With the upcoming primaries over two weeks away, viagra sale Mitt Romney comfortably holds the delegate lead over his republican competitors. On the back of his lead a veritable confidence has become apparent with Romney. On Friday he made remarks regarding his plans for the future and where Obama has gone wrong. “He spent the last three or four years laying the foundation for a new government-centred society. I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of our opportunity society, hospital led by free people and their free enterprises.” The renewed confidence of Mitt Romney is somewhat justified with his recent victory in the NBC news/Marist poll, in which Romney led Rick Santorum 40% to 33%.

Last week saw an improvement in America’s economy as the Dow Jones and the Standard and Poor’s 500 ended their best first quarter in more than a decade. While undoubtedly positive for Obama, this is a negative measure for the republican candidates. Mr. Romney remarked: “President Obama did not cause the recession, but he most certainly failed to lead the recovery.”

He continued in his critique of Obama, saying: “This is a president who was not elected on the strength of a compelling record of accomplishment, but by a compelling personality and story.” Romney’s appraisal of Obama stems from his belief that Obama is not in touch with America and that he takes his cues from the “Social Democrats in Europe.”

Whatever the belief of Romney, the NBC news poll showed that 50% of those polled approve of the job that Obama is doing as president. In all of the hypothetical head-to-head match ups with the republican candidates, Obama fared the best against every candidate.

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum has received much criticism for his negativity in attacking the other potential republican presidential nominees. He recently referred to Romney as “the worst republican in the country.” His infantile remarks got him a considerable amount of criticism from party colleagues who believe that he is crossing a line by criticising his co-runner.

The negativity confirms Santorum’s struggle to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and simply leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran candidate. Despite this recent disapproval of Santorum’s continued condemnation of Romney, he still reserves plenty of derision for Romney, mocking him as the “Etch-a-sketch” candidate whose conservative views are pliable and insincere.

Similar to most US presidential elections, one of the key issues is healthcare. On this issue, Santorum views his colleague as incapable (although now he refrains from his previously sharp language). “Mr. Romney is uniquely disqualified,” Santorum mildly remarks. “I’ve got a long strong, consistent record on the issue of health care” he said.

His attacks, however, seem to be his most potent campaign weapon, given how overwhelmingly Romney and his allies are outspending him. (They have committed $3 million to advertising compared with Santorum’s $700,000.) Santorum is certainly getting a similar amount of criticism to that which he infers on his colleagues. His opponents attacked him last week when he said in Illinois: “I don’t care what the unemployment rate is going to be.” Although he made the comment in a broader context, he was forced to spend the ensuing week explaining himself.

Most recent polls show that Santorum’s unpopularity is on the rise. A Washington Post survey showed that 50% of Americans now express unfavourable views of him, a new high for the contestant. This may be a reflection of his rough comments, nevertheless, Santorum will need to work hard to overturn the results of the various polls and indeed to overtake Romney and the number of delegates he now has which leaves him firmly in the lead of the republican race.