Morning Briefing: April 2, 2012

The wave of enthusiasm that swept dozens of Republicans into Congress in 2010 appears to be ebbing. The New York Times reports that Republican turnout across the first 28 primary states is lower than in 2008, despite the prolonged nomination battle and a higher number of registered GOP voters.

President Obama is opening up a comfortable lead over Mitt Romney in key swing states on the strength of growing support from women under 50. A USA Today/Gallup poll shows that in one month, President Obama’s support among women has jumped more than 10 percent, and he now leads the likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney by a more than 2-1 margin.

The stock market had its best first quarter in 14 years this year, prompting analysts to raise their outlooks for the year. Some on Wall Street are now predicting that stocks could rise 10 percent more before the end of the year, pushing the Dow to an all-time high.

The U.S. and dozens of other countries moved closer to direct intervention in the fighting in Syria yesterday, with the “Friends of Syria” group pledging $100 million to pay opposition fighters and the Obama administration agreeing to send communications equipment to rebels.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s party in Myanmar (Burma) is on track for a landslide victory, poised to win every seat it contested in elections on Sunday. The National League for Democracy won 43 of the 44 seats it competed for and leads in the vote count for the 44th district, giving it representation in the 664-member Parliament dominated by President Thein Sein’s party.

Geraldo Rivera apologized to Trayvon Martin’s parents on his radio show this weekend. Rivera came under fire last month for saying that Trayvon’s hoodie was as much at fault for his death as shooter George Zimmerman. But on his show, he apologized for the accusation: “I never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings and certainly, Sybrina and Tracy, I never intended to hurt your feelings.”

Two months after she stepped down from Congress, Gabrielle Giffords is still holding on to nearly $1 million in her congressional campaign account, leaving the possibility open that the former Democratic House member from Arizona will run for a House or Senate seat again.

Senior citizens still owe about $36 billion in student loans. New research from the Federal Reserve shows that seniors are still making payments for their college days, and that when they fall behind they can see their Social Security checks seized for payment.

And finally: Now you too can start your our own super PAC with a franchise from Stephen Colbert. The comedian announced on his show the Colbert Super PAC Super Fun Pack. “All you need is a burning desire for civic engagement and $99,” he explained.