Well, it won’t be Mitt Romney. Even if he ekes out a narrow victory in the primary tonight (Feb. 28), he can not claim it as a win.
This is a state that should have just fallen into his pocket. His father was a popular governor in Michigan. He grew up there. The trees are just the right height. He said so. The streets are just right, too. And he likes cars. Lord, how he likes cars. And he’s not so much of a NASCAR fan as he is friends with millionaires who own NASCAR teams. And his wife drives a couple Cadillacs. How could he lose?
Could it be he’s horribly out of touch with the common folk? Could it be that he told Detroit to “drop dead” when a cash infusion from the government got GM back on its feet and thriving — a cash infusion he still opposes?
So, if Romney loses, then the winner must certainly be…
Rick Santorum. Right?
It may seem that way. For the moment. Perhaps. And let us not forget that Washington state will hold its caucuses on Saturday, March 3. Romney has squandered a narrow 4 pt. lead in January and now trails Santorum by 11.
But how much momentum will the former Pennsylvania senator be able to maintain going into Super Tuesday if he keeps saying things that the vast majority of Americans disagree with. JFK’s speech in 1960 about how he would not govern according to the dictates of the Vatican made him want to throw up? Is he saying that, as a devout Catholic himself, that if the Pope decides everyone should wear blue shirts on Thursdays he will make it the law of the land, since the Pope is supposedly infallible on matters of faith?
It seems unlikely that the good, Christian, protestant folks of the south (where a lot of Super Tuesday primaries will be held) are going to have much tolerance for that kind of stuff. Oh, they like their old time religion way down yonder in Dixie, but not so much of the Catholic brand. And although Newt Gingrich is, ostensibly, a Catholic now… a twice-divorced, serial adulterer, but a Catholic… he talks like a Baptist, and that’s what the folks south of the Mason-Dixon line like to hear.
So, if Romney loses and Santorum can’t maintain his momentum, will tonight’s winner really be…
Scratch that thought. Ron Paul is nuzzling Mitt Romney’s neck in order to get preferential treatment for his boy, Rand, should Romney somehow get the nod. Ron Paul seriously wants this nomination as much as you want your mother-in-law to come live with you.
So then, that means the winner of tonight’s Michigan primary has to be…
He may benefit more from a Romney loss or narrow victory than Santorum. On Tuesday, March 6, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia will pick their delegates. Depending on how quickly Santorum wastes whatever momentum may come from a win or a narrow loss in Michigan, Alaska may go Santorum, or it may go Gingrich. Georgia would seemingly be a lock for Gingrich, although Santorum has been creeping up on him from behind. Idaho? Mitt’s organization may be enough to pull out a win there. Same in North Dakota. But how are the polls looking in Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia?
As of today, Santorum has a Real Clear Politics average of 7.3 points over Romney in Ohio. Again, we will have to see how Santorum holds up after Michigan.
Santorum’s up by 18 pts. in Tennessee, but if he fades those votes will go to Gingrich.
The Real Clear Politics average has Santorum up by 20.5 with Romney holding a 0.5 pt edge over Gingrich in third. Now if Santorum starts to foam at the mouth and speak in tongues, or kills someone in a religious rage, those votes will certainly go to Gingrich.
There are no recent poll numbers from Vermont and Romney has a 48 pt. lead in Massachusetts, and it would be a failure of epic proportions if Romney didn’t win both of those.
Virginia is a lock for Romney, since only Ron Paul opposes him on that ballot due to the other candidates’ failure to file on time.
So, given the way the numbers look now through Super Tuesday…
Romney ekes out a narrow win in Michigan, clobbers everybody in Massachusetts and Vermont, takes Virginia by default, perhaps wins in the Idaho and North Dakota caucuses, although either could just as easily go to Santorum or Gingrich.
Alaska voted for Sarah Palin. No way they vote for Romney in the caucus. Either Santorum or Gingrich gets the Frontier State.
Assuming no Santorum meltdown, he wins Washington, Alaska, maybe Idaho and North Dakota, definitely Oklahoma, Tennessee and Ohio.
If there is a Santorum meltdown between tonight and Super Tuesday, it will be a great day for Newt.
Perhaps Ed Rollins, the noted GOP strategist said it best.
“Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a f—ing mess.’ ”
YOUR TAKE ON THE NEWS? Use the “comment” form to answer.
Could it be that the real winner of tonight’s Michigan 2012 GOP Presidential Primary is…
President Barack Obama?
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