Mittmentum, Meet High Unemployment

Winning the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary puts Mitt Romney in a good place for the remaining primaries in South Carolina and Florida this month. But a grimmer economic picture in these states has the potential to damage his momentum. New Hampshire, with an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in November, had the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and Iowa's 5.7 percent was similarly below the national rate. South Carolina and Florida, with unemployment rates of 9.9 and 10 percent respectively, will be much more focused on the candidate's economic credentials, and perhaps be open to platforms offering more radical change—like those of Ron Paul or Rick Santorum—than Romney's comparably moderate economic plan. 

The latest barrage of anti-Romney attacks in South Carolina aim to capitalize on local disappointment with the current state of affairs. But if the documentary painting Romney as a “predatory corporate raider," and Romney's economic stance aren't enough to dissuade voters in the next two primaries, he will lock up the GOP nomination.

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Chart of the Day

Good news on the economic front continues in 2012 as new data shows economic confidence has hit a seven-month high at -27—a 24-point improvement from two months ago.

Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

The Corner Perk in Bluffton, South Carolina might be the ideal coffee shop in a time where frugality often trumps good will. A woman who leaves behind $100 every few months to pay for the tabs of those after her has started a trend of communal caffeinating, with many customers joining in to leave change behind to pay for those who could use a free cup of joe.