In 2012 Michigan enjoyed a chance to shine on the national stage as Republican candidates and their proxies criss-crossed the state in a desperate fight for votes and probably more importantly in this volatile race, momentum.
Santorum asks RNC to investigate Michigan delegate allocation – The Michigan Republican Party’s credentials committee’s 4-2 decision Wednesday gave Michigan native Romney a 16-14 victory over Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who believes he and Romney tied for delegates.
A fight to the finish in Michigan GOP primary – With 99% of precincts reporting, Romney has a 41% of the vote, followed by 38% for Santorum, 12% for Ron Paul and 7% for Newt Gingrich. According to the Michigan Republican Party, Romney won at least 14 delegates, Santorum 12, with four still to be allocated.
Democratic crossover in Mich. didn’t stop Romney - Nearly 1 in 10 voters in the primary were self-described Democrats and at least some attempted to play the spoiler role, an exit poll of voters showed. Slightly more than half said they voted for Santorum, while Romney carried about 18 percent and Paul got 17 percent.
Romney’s hard-fought Michigan victory reveals obstacles ahead – Mitt Romney may have fended of Rick Santorum, but the hard-fought battle in a state he was expected to win handily signals a long, bruising road to the GOP nomination. Romney had to spend more time and money in Michigan to win the popular vote while losing among the west Michigan districts — conservative pockets he captured four years earlier.
Watch Romney’s Victory Speech in Michigan via PBS – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney adressing a crowd of supporters last night in Novi after he was projected the winner in both the Michigan and Arizona primaries. “We didn’t win by a lot but we won by enough.”
Tuesday – Game over!
Santorum admits using robocalls in Michigan primary campaign – Rick Santorum has admitted authorizing robocalls to encourage Democrats to participate in the Michigan Republican primary and to vote against rival Mitt Romney. Romney says it’s a “new low” but in this dirty of a campaign, how surprising is it? Here’s Michael Moore saying Democrats will vote for Santorum in “Operation Hilarity” Do you think that Rick Santorum ever thought he would be joining forces with Michael Moore?
Has Romney already won? – a Feb. 26 poll of Michigan Republicans found that 16% of Republican primary voters have already voted and it splits 62% – 29% for Romney.
Gingrich Could Be Handing Michigan Primary to Santorum – pundit Tim Skubick says that “Newt the no-show could indirectly hand the Michigan victory to Rick Santorum leaving Mitt Romney to wonder, where was Newt when I needed him?”
Bitter GOP ad campaigns highlight close Michigan primary battle – and the beneficiaries of the slugfest are Michigan television and radio stations. “I just tune them out now. I go and get my coffee. I don’t listen to the details because it is just overwhelming.” ~Michigan Republican voter Norma Frane
Should you vote? – Jack Lessenberry explores various reasons for voting.
Monday Updates – we’re on the home stretch!
Ann Romney recalled her Michigan roots in Northern Michigan “I liked to go on the road and catch the blue racers and sort of scare my brothers. I’d drape them around my neck and around my wrist. I was the ultimate tomboy when I grew up here in Manistee and I loved the Great Lakes. I would swim in that Lake Michigan and I’d climb the sand dunes here.”
Romney & Santorum deadlocked According to USA Today Romney leads Santorum 39% to 37% among likely GOP primary voters in the PPP survey in Michigan and by 4% in the We Ask America survey. The Mitchell poll has Santorum 37% – 35%. “Momentum in Michigan is completely on Mitt Romney’s side. He’s amassed a large lead with absentee voters and it will take a huge turnout on Election Day from Santorum voters to overcome that,” observes Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.
What Business Thinks … is basically Romney – 40% to 18% for Santorum. Business owners and managers came out strongly in favor of making Michigan a right-to-work state and the proposed New International Trade Crossing in a recent poll by Crain’s Detroit Business.
Republican strategists are discussing drafting a new candidate if Mitt Romney loses the Michigan primary.
Never mix politics and religion? Michigan pundit Tim Skubick writes that the line is crossed so often that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Fat Tuesday updates…
The Ad Wars Come to Michigan: The airwaves in Michigan will soon be thick with political ads as a number of “super PACs” and at least one presidential campaign went on a buying spree Tuesday … Making its first major ad buy this year, the super PAC supporting President Obama, Priorities USA Action, has secured $238,000 worth of air time in the Detroit and Flint markets.
Auto Bailout Fact Check: Michigan has become squirm central for Republican presidential candidates who are trying to explain their opposition to the auto bailout before the big primary in the home of automakers.
GM to Gingrich: You can put a gun rack in a Volt: “You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt,” Gingrich said in a line that drew cheers at a speech in Georgia this weekend, and is now appearing in his stump speech. “We believe in the right to bear arms and we like to bear the arms in our trucks.” Confession: they had me at the headline. Of course you knew wit would be disproven on YouTube. On a possibly related note Gingrich has dropped plans to campaign in Michigan.
In The Michigan GOP Primary: Where All Politics Is National, TIME magazine observes that politics in the online age is increasingly borderless and says:
The upshot of a nationalized contest is that no state is safe. Michigan should be a cakewalk for Mitt Romney, a native son whose father was a venerated auto-company executive and a popular governor.
…To local analysts, the specter of Romney losing Michigan is unthinkable. “There isn’t any reason in the world Rick Santorum should be a factor in Michigan at all. He’s never been here. He has no connection to the state. He’s only seemingly doing well because he’s viewed as the latest anti-Romney in the party,” says Bill Ballenger, a former Republican lawmaker and Michigan political analyst. “But the nature of American politics has changed so radically. It’s become so nationalized and media driven.”
Much has been made about Romney’s family ties to Michigan. Here’s more about Mitt’s dad, Gov. George Romney from Michigan in Pictures that includes some photos and links. One of these is to a really interesting look at Mitt and his father from the Boston Globe that looks at their similarities and differences with photos.
Some (such as fellow candidate Newt Gingrich) suggest that if Romney loses Michigan his race is over. FYI Gingrich did not make the same statement about his own candidacy if he loses Georgia. Certainly a Rick Santorum victory in Michigan would be a total game-changer.
The Freep reports that Public Policy Polling (who showed a 15-point lead for Santorum last week) has him leading Romney 37% to 33% with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 15% and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 10%. Both Romney and Santorum remain opposed to the auto bailout.
On the blog front, Republican Michigander has an analysis of the PPP poll around the state.
Longtime Michigan columnist Jack Lessenberry feels that Romney’s edge means he probably won’t lose. Check out his take on Romney and the auto bailout, and especially on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s endorsement of Romney.
Here’s a video showing Romney & Santorum’s recent speeches on the economy in Michigan from Reuters TV: