Still wide open

By most accounts Tuesday’s Michigan primary will be quite close. Because of the rules in Michigan Democrats as well as Republicans and independents can vote in the Republican primary. It will be interesting to see the exit poll numbers on how the Republican vote breaks out by candidate.

McCain has certainly made a stunning comeback up to this point. He is not only ahead in many state polls but also in several national polls. He leads in South Carolina at only 28% and nationally is in the mid 30%. He won New Hampshire with only 37%. For a sitting U.S. Senator as well know as McCain who has run before the mid to high 30s is not exactly a mandate.

While McCain looks like the leader now what will happen as the inevitable shakeout happens? Will supporters of other candidates switch over to McCain as their first choice candidates drop out? Several conservative talk radio and print personalities are casting McCain and Huckabee as the moderate to liberal choices and Thompson, Romney, and even Giuliani as the conservative option. This alignment is somewhat surprising especially how the pro-life Huckabee is cast to the left of the spectrum and Giuliani is cast to the right. If McCain breaks out of the 30s into the high 40s or above then the primary may be his. If on the other had voters gravitate to a McCain alternative then the nomination may slip away from him for the second time.

Thompson may be next to drop out. His 3rd place in Iowa was respectable but his 1% in New Hampshire was a stunning disappointment. He has cast South Carolina for his comeback but is currently polling in 4th place there. Also watch for Huckabee to get out of the race. He was also looking forward to a win in South Carolina but now is in 2nd place. That leaves McCain, Romney, and Giuliani. If all three of them stay in to the convention then it may be a while before we know the nominee. If Romney or Giuliani get out in the next few weeks look for a whole different race with just one of them going up against McCain, especially in states with closed primaries.

Extra: Jay Cost has a well done article over at Real Clear Politics on how the convention might go if there is not a clear nominee by that time.


  1. Romney regrettably will stay to the bitter end. He is a rich man. I wonder what that will do to his family fortune.

    People are underestimating Romney’s message and his ties to Michigan. When he says he is not going to quit on Detroit, that plays better than the defeatist message of McCain.

    I really don’t like Romney. I think he is insincere and oily. I can not stand the fawning and hemming and hawing of Laura Ingram and Sean Hannity over Romney. I will probably do something I have never done which is vote democrat if it’s him at the end of the day. Unless, he is facing Hillary. Then maybe it would be a good time to retire to that abbey.

    What if Romney wins Michigan? The fact that he has made the race in MI this close means he is not out. But if he wins and he already leads the delegate count, this will strengthen his hand. Nothing would please me more that to see this man exit stage left. I just don’t see it happening.

  2. There’s a great article, “Motown Mitt,” in The New Republic, which discusses Gov. Romney’s resurgent campaign as he proposes increased government spending to help out recession-battered Michigan. The money quote on McCain’s failure:

    “McCain is a famous critic of earmarks–the targeted spending items that members of Congress quietly attach to bills, in order to finance projects back home. And in his speech at the summit, he boasts that he’s never once sponsored such a measure himself. It’s a noble stand. But earmarks also represent money flowing from Washington to the rest of the country–which, frankly, is precisely what should be happening in a recession. They often mean jobs, too, no small thing to the people who don’t have them–plenty of whom live in Michigan. Among the recent earmarks, for example, was a $4 million contract for a defense contractor here and another half-million for a group of hospitals.”

  3. Iris Lynch says

    Clearly, Romney is ahead of the pack with 2 wins and two seconds. So far, three front placers (winners!). How ironic it would be if Thompson comes in first in So.C.? 4 front runners! Idyllic. Of course the msm would likely need some Prozac instead of their usual.

  4. Iris Lynch says

    PS. It was hardly a close race and as for the remark that Thompson ONLY got 1% in NH is that the one percent was gratuitous since he chose not to run in NH. Agreed it would have been catastrophic HAD HE CAMPAIGNED.

  5. Iris,

    I hate being right about Romney especially in Michigan. Mormon Mitt had some rousing speeches Saturday that might have pushed him over the top.

    But your boy hit Huck with a sack of hot nickels during the debate. Fred needs to go after Romney and start going to town wild west style. What has he got to lose at this point?

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