January 15, 2008


Romney, McCain Battle In Michigan (Chris Cillizza, 1/15/08, washingtonpost)

Romney, the son of a former Michigan governor, is counting on a strong showing to keep his campaign afloat after losses in Iowa and New Hampshire. He has vowed to spend billions to bail out the ailing auto industry if elected president. McCain, who won the Michigan primary in 2000 during an unsuccessful bid for the White House, hopes to win again in Michigan with strong support from independents and Democrats taking part in the open primary.

However, early exit polling suggests that fewer Democrats and independents were taking part in the Republican primary than did eight years ago, according to ABC News polling director Gary Langer, which would be good news for Romney if that finding holds up. Less than 10 percent of voters in Michigan's GOP race are Democrats while more than two-thirds are self-identifying Republicans, according to ABC News. Among that group, roughly half call themselves conservatives.

The exit polling also found that the economy was the most important issue for Republicans in Michigan, well ahead of the war in Iraq and immigration.

At a campaign stop in Grand Rapids this morning, Romney declared: "We're going to do it today."

It would only buy him another week, but if there's anywhere--other than Utah--that Mitt Romney can win it's here. A loss would be dispositive.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 15, 2008 7:10 PM

The state is even shaped like a mitt, is it not?

Posted by: ghostcat at January 15, 2008 8:16 PM

The question is: if McCain can't win in a state where the dems and indies can vote for him and couldn't come close to getting a good chunk of the repubs, in a state he won in 2000, what other states can he win ?

Posted by: jd watson at January 15, 2008 10:31 PM

He proven he can win New Hampshire! What more do you need to see?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 15, 2008 11:10 PM

Romney beat McCain, 39%-30%. Of the 16% who voted for Huck, it's reasonable to assume that only 3-4% would have gone for McCain, so that gives McCain probably a 35% ceiling in one of his strongest states. Not good. All those years of making Republicans the target of his bile are catching up with him tonight. His weakness on economic issues also hurt him, given Michigan's in-state recession of the past 5 years (while most of the rest of the country boomed).

The door is wide open now for Fred to surprise everyone with a win in SC. Another McCain loss and he will be on the ventilator. And it seems from Fred's latest salvos against McCain that he knows it.

In 1968, when LBJ won only 58% of an early race, he withdrew. Looks a lot like Hillary with her 55% in Michigan (against Mr. Uncommitted), eh? Plus, she drew a lot of anger from rank-and-file Dems in Detroit. She would have done better to just take her name off the ballot in MI, rather than be compared to a Soviet commissar by Don Riegle.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 16, 2008 12:19 AM

Still in the first quarter and one heck of a game.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 16, 2008 12:28 AM

Fred isn't polling anywhere close to a winning position in the SC polls. His early lassitude has cost him badly. Huckabee's not going to win anywhere evangelicals aren't a factor. Romney isn't where they are. McCain will be seen as the candidate with the fewest negatives.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at January 16, 2008 5:19 AM

A big question is: How many Democrats voted for McCain in Michigan?

Posted by: Genecis at January 16, 2008 10:12 AM

Romney won his home state, which was only a good one for Maverick in '00 coming off of the anti-Catholic hype in SC. McCain would have beaten Romney by 20%+ in AZ.

Posted by: oj at January 16, 2008 10:28 AM

jd makes a the right point.

What will happen to the McCain candidacy is what happened to the immigration bill. The strategy the powers that be are attempting is identical. The elites are trying to ram it (him) down the throats of the people. The widespread and vociferous anger and resistance to the immigration bill by the party grass roots killed it dead. The same will happen to McCain once he starts running in Republican primaries. He just lost in Michigan, where he spent the week pandering to independents and Democrats, whom he expected and hoped would be voting for him. In that sense, he was running the same way he'd run in the general once he got the nomination (abandoning Republicans and going for the center and the "glory"). He got clobbered in Michigan and he'd probably lose the general in the same way.

Decent man, good American. Terrible Republican and Conservative. Too in love with State Power and his own empowerment. Quite surprised the guy doesn't offend your sensibilities more, oj. I'm for amnesty too, by the way (after deporting every criminal/criminal record illegal and making it so warm for the Mexican government that they'll seal the border from their side.)

Both Fred and Mitt have a chance, as did Lincoln. This race is just beginning.

Posted by: ja at January 16, 2008 10:32 AM

President McCain will get to sign a Reaganesque amnesty, if W doesn't do it unilaterally on his way out.

Posted by: oj at January 16, 2008 2:32 PM