Rasmussen in MI: Opening for a surprise?

posted at 12:10 pm on February 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Republicans have seven contests in February, two of which fall on the last day of the month and which come just seven days before Super Tuesday, when ten states simultaneously go to the polls in the presidential sweepstakes.  Arizona and Michigan are the final opportunities to have game-changing moments in votes that could swing momentum in a short period of time.  A new poll by Rasmussen in Michigan suggests that Newt Gingrich — or Rick Santorum — might have an opportunity to generate just that kind of result:

Mitt Romney, coming off his big win in the Florida Primary on Tuesday, is the clear front-runner in the first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Republican presidential race in his home state of Michigan. Voters in this hard hit state see Romney as the much better choice to manage the economy. The Michigan Republican Primary is on February 28.

Romney earns 38% support from Likely Republican Primary Voters in Michigan, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a distant second with 23% of the vote. Seventeen percent (17%) prefer former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, and nearly as many (14%) favor Texas Congressman Ron Paul. One percent (1%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

Yes, Romney’s leading by double digits in this poll, so it’s not bad news — but Michigan should be a stronger state for Romney.  His father was a popular governor, and Romney got about 39% of the vote in the 2008 primary closer to the beginning of that cycle, beating John McCain by nine points and Mike Huckabee by 23.  At least in this poll, it doesn’t appear that Romney has gotten any stronger, and the blowout win in Florida doesn’t seem to be influencing Michigan voters.

This looks like an opening for one of the two conservative alternatives to get their potential game-changer.  Arizona certainly doesn’t; Romney has a 24-point lead and almost half of the voters at 48%.  For that reason, although the February 22nd debate will be in Arizona, expect the candidates to talk a lot about Michigan and blue-collar, Reagan Democrat issues.  The question will be which of the two can make that case best and hope to steal a big prize from Romney, weakening him before Super Tuesday.

Santorum has better favorability than Gingrich, although that’s hardly news by now, and in Michigan the difference is a little narrower: 65/27 and 55/44, respectively.  The most important issues to Michigan voters are the economy (50%) and fiscal issues (23%), and Gingrich has a ten-point lead over Santorum on handling the economy (21/11), although Romney has a wide lead over both (43%).  Santorum does much better on social issues than Gingrich (27/16, with Romney at 32%) but only 6% of likely voters believe that to be the most important issues in the election.  Santorum does have an opening on the auto bailouts, of which a majority of likely voters disapprove by a wide margin, 35/54, and his character number is the best in the field at 40%, against 30% for Romney and 6% for Gingrich.

Both Gingrich and Santorum will undoubtedly spend time in both Arizona and Michigan in the two-week gap between the other contests in February and those two primaries.  Don’t be surprised to see them spending most of it it Michigan, though, and I’d suspect that Santorum especially might use the strategy with which he succeeded in Iowa to try to turn out the vote and seek a miracle.


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Still, whatever happens in the primaries, I’ll vote for an elephant-shaped ham sandwich over Obama.

Do you think this post will get me on his enemies list?

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM

..you’re aces in my book. I’ll buy you a beer to go with that sammich.

The War Planner on February 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Romney’s father was the governor of Michigan almost 50 years ago, what’s the expiration date on any political benefit that might give the son?

jnelchef on February 3, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Michigan’s problems don’t come from G. Romney, but more from the failures of Detroit that rippled into failures statewide. Flint went down hard when the big three slid. Kalamazoo was once a vibrant manufacturing center, in large measure supporting the auto industry, now it’s a pathetic mini-San Francisco, only fail-ier. Holland and Battle Creek barely hang on to their manufacturing, and Grand Rapids is propped up with Amway money.

Greek Fire on February 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM

You keep forgetting one thing, Newt and Rick would have to campaign hard to even have a chance. Why would they? They have no money, they’re not going to piss away what little they have on a longshot with Super Tuesday a week away.

lowandslow on February 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM

You may be right, but what I’m saying is that Mitt’s numbers won’t be that impressive, opponents or no opponents. He could be running unopposed and not break 50% here. (I’d be surprised if he makes close to 50%, given the voter demographics here) I hesitate to underestimate the the effect an open primary can have.

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I live in Michigan too. Snyder won the GOP nomination with 40% of teh vote as the three more conservative candidates split the other 60%.

bw222 on February 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Yep. I sense a lesson in there, somewhere. ;)

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Why don’t you tell me why Mitt being nominated is a good thing?

fiatboomer on February 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM

He is NOT Obama!

Gunlock Bill on February 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I predict that the economy is going to bite Romney in the ass. Obama is saying that the economy is recovering that the unemployed % is going down. Romney is ALSO saying that there is a recovery. This is a BIG lie. Romney the big finance guy is SO OUT OF TOUCH, he’s not looking beyond his own nose. The financial apocalypse is coming soon to a theatre near you. THIS YEAR. The numbers coming out of D.C. are complete bullshit. There indicators all over the world. Canada just reported they are at NEGATIVE GDP, and it’s been widely held that Canada was riding things out better than almost any other country, world wide. That graveyard of anchored cargo ships off the coast of Indonesia is STILL growing. Meanwhile, the cargo ships that are employed are SAILING SLOWER to save fuel, this is visible in the fact that delivery times are extended almost 50% compared to 2008. Romney not seeing that we are in an actual DEPRESSION is going to look like a fool.

bigmike on February 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

They are laboring under the misconception that “Mitt will help our state.” Nothing but right to work will help this state, and I’m betting it will be a cold day in hell before that happens, Governor Snyder, or no. (Note: he was not my choice in the gubernatorial primary as I consider him a big government, nanny-state RINO.)

No one really cares about the Romney/Michigan “connection”. This state is union-owned and Romney’s antipathy to the auto bailouts in the face of his TARP support will hurt him in this very open of primaries. He may not lose, but he won’t have as an impressive a win as he should if you believe in the Romney/Michigan connection.

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 12:57 PM

This post sums it up…as a fellow Michigander you can take this to the bank.

moo on February 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM

So do we have to all go buy the magic underwear or will it be shipped to us with our tax returns?

Malachi45 on February 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM

They are laboring under the misconception that “Mitt will help our state.” Nothing but right to work will help this state, and I’m betting it will be a cold day in hell before that happens, Governor Snyder, or no. (Note: he was not my choice in the gubernatorial primary as I consider him a big government, nanny-state RINO.)

No one really cares about the Romney/Michigan “connection”. This state is union-owned and Romney’s antipathy to the auto bailouts in the face of his TARP support will hurt him in this very open of primaries. He may not lose, but he won’t have as an impressive a win as he should if you believe in the Romney/Michigan connection.

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Well stated. Mitt is going to help push the Democrat agenda. Anybody who called Ted Kennedy their collaborator and friend is not going to do anything but work with Democrats.

JellyToast on February 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM

He is NOT Obama!

Gunlock Bill on February 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

LOL! My sides are splitting!

JellyToast on February 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Technically Romney is not 0bama, but he’s trying as hard as he can. I hear he’s been in the tanning salons almost every night, but the UV rays don’t even want anything to do with him.

There is no Romney connection with Michigan as far as I’m concerned. George Romney laid the path for a Blanchard governorship that nearly completely destroyed this state. Yay unions, may they all rest in the deepest depths of hell.

Wolfmoon on February 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Michigan’s problems don’t come from G. Romney, but more from the failures of Detroit that rippled into failures statewide. Flint went down hard when the big three slid. Kalamazoo was once a vibrant manufacturing center, in large measure supporting the auto industry, now it’s a pathetic mini-San Francisco, only fail-ier. Holland and Battle Creek barely hang on to their manufacturing, and Grand Rapids is propped up with Amway money.

Greek Fire on February 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Battle Creek is barely hanging in there. It is the HQ to Kellogg’s, but even Kellogg’s screwed the town by moving most of its production to Mexico (union guys followed the equipment trucks to Mexico, took pictures, and thus the laid off workers qualified for NAFTA unemployment supplements when that happened back in the 90′s). Ironically, Ralston Purina and Post Cereals are still going strong there.

The Grand Rapids area has a very diverse economy. Amway is part of it, but there are several very wealthy families here who have been loyal to the home town and built a lot of impressive venues that bear their names. The state has also moved the Michigan State medical school to this town from Lansing, and thus, there is a growing “medical mile” concentration of hospitals and research institutes downtown.

Holland has been devastated with plant closings, as has Muskegon. GM bailed out of Wyoming, MI and they just finished tearing down that huge plant that used to make body parts. (Wyoming is adjacent to Grand Rapids – the city alone lost millions in taxes from this plant closing). You can drive anywhere in MI and see empty commercial buildings EVERYWHERE. Very cheap to find commercial space for a business here right now, including office space.

Flint got hammered since the 70′s with the auto industry depression. It is so bad there that they are tearing down empty, abandoned homes.

The city of Detroit is now at about 715,000 in the latest Census. However, they raised such a stink about going below 750,000 people, I think the Obama administration invented another 35,000 people to put them back up over 750K. Apparently cities over 750K get extra tax bennies from the fed. Detroit has problems keeping their mayors out of jail, similar to IL with their governor problems!!

Dearborn has a LARGE population of Arab people, but by and large, I don’t discern any particular problems from this demographic fact.

This state is a union thug state, however, the percentage of union workers has declined so dramatically, that I perceive it likely that the new governor may feel brave enough to tackle that next year. Governor Snyder won the election based on his first political ad, which aired during the superbowl. He called himself The Nerd. He rode that theme to his election. He may be called a RINO because he ignores social issues, but he is a fiscal conservative. He cut a lot of pork out of the budget and has taken on the public unions in some areas – nibbling around the edges compared to Walker. I believe he is taking this approach because Walker was hammered so badly. Again, Snyder is a pragmatist.

Our former very liberal Dem governor tried to convert the Michigan economy to green jobs. She promoted car battery plants, plants that make the big turbines for wind, and I think there is some sort of large solar plant in this area nearby. Not sure how many of these businesses will stay open in the long run once all of the stimulus subsidies and tax incentives are gone.

You can look at Michigan as 2 different types of a state. The SE corner is hard core lefty union blue, and the rest of the state is pretty much moderate red. As the population in the SE corner keeps dwindling, they are losing influence in state wide elections. Thus, we now have a red state government. 2012 will be interesting to watch. Our liberal Reid kiss butt senator is up for election for her 3rd term. She might get beat. There are some good GOP candidates up to take her seat.

Our Grand Rapids area Congress peep, Justin Amash is one of the FEW tea party freshmen who has broken ranks and voted against Boehner every time Boehner has sold us out on the debt ceiling, spending, etc. Justin almost has a perfect tea party voting record. He is very popular here. He got Battle Creek added to his district to help shore up the Republican seat in the southern central border congressional district. I don’t perceive adding Battle Creek voters to Amash’s district is going to make it all that hard for him to win again.

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Hey karenhasfreedom, The plant layoffs in Holland would be Farm equipment?

bigmike on February 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Hopefully none of these guys waste much time in Michigan. It’s going to go to Obama in the general anyway. Focus instead on states that you actually have a chance to pick up.

xblade on February 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I live in Michigan too. Snyder won the GOP nomination with 40% of teh vote as the three more conservative candidates split the other 60%.

bw222 on February 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Yep. I sense a lesson in there, somewhere. ;)

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM

The GOP primary field was very strong in 2010. Snyder ran (former CEO of Gateway computers, was a consultant at one of the elite firms) and won the primary. Peter Hoekstra, a long term GOP Congress peep from the west side of the state also ran (not that well known state wide, but VERY POPULAR in the Grand Rapids area), a sheriff from one of the SE counties was on the ballot, so he pulled in the voters from that side of the state, and some lady ran on a pure tea party platform and garnered about 5% of the primary vote. I don’t remember if Hoekstra or the Sheriff came in 2nd. The Snyder ads ran statewide, with this “nerd” theme. He basically touted his successful business background, told people he would fix the state finances, get some budget discipline and sanity, and then turn Michigan into a business friendly state.

He got budget sanity back and got budgets done early. I know he did some public union reforms, but not dramatic ones. He eliminated state subsidies of various industries that wasted MILLIONS of dollars and produced little with regards to real jobs. He has zero interest in the social issues that conservatives feel are important, thus some might consider him a RINO. However, he is the type of GOP candidate that can win in Michigan AND implement fiscal conservative policies.

Hoekstra is running for the Senate. I can’t remember who else might be running to try to unseat Debbie Stabenow. She is just a lock step voter for everything Reid wants, so the right candidate, with the right ads, can probably beat her. She doesn’t have the kind of personality that will keep her popular as an incumbent, so in a non Dem year, she can be swept from office. She was elected in 2000 and 2006, both years favorable to Dems in Michigan.

We have Carl Levin as our other Senator. He is as old as dirt and it is time for him to go toes up because he is so fossilized. Michigan lost a Congressional seat in this census, and fortunately, MI was a red legislature, so they carved up the blue districts in the Detroit area, and that is where to seat was lost.

The doctor who replaced that Dem in District 1 will get re-elected easily. The Dem lost because he was that Obamacare vote that allowed that “no abortion funding” compromise to get bamboozled. The good people in the northern part of Michigan voted his butt out and put a tea party patriot in that seat. That doctor was just minding his own business but Obamacare compelled him to run for that seat and he won easily.

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Hey karenhasfreedom, The plant layoffs in Holland would be Farm equipment?

bigmike on February 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Holland lost auto parts plants, food processing plants, pharmaceutical plants, etc. They had a diverse manufacturing economy, but lost plants everywhere over the past 2 decades.

Kalamazoo was a pharmaceutical town, but Upjohn’s was bought and sold several times over and along with that, they lost their HQ and manufacturing base in that county. Kalamazoo also used to have a fisher auto body parts plant that opened back in the early 70′s. It is now a large building that they have carved up and tried to lease to several different companies. I think Kalamazoo lost a lot of auto jobs, too.

One thing Battle Creek did that was pretty smart, was to buy the former army base, Fort Custer, from the DOD for $1 back in the 1960′s. The city formed a non profit corporation called “Battle Creek Unlimited”. Their job was to redevelop that base and turn it into a manufacturing center. The base is HUGE. It straddles Calhoun and Kalamazoo county. They attracted a LOT smaller manufacturing type of companies over the past 4 to 5 decades. However, the unionized cereal plants were paying their workers over $25+ generous benefits and the jobs in Fort Custer generally were in the $10 to $12 per hour range, with sparse benefits.

So few people wanted to work those jobs long term, all kept hoping to get into the cereal plants. Well, over the past 4 decades, the cereal plants are much more automated than they used to be, and Kellogg’s alone, eliminated a few thousand local jobs. So when you drive by the cereal factories, while Post and Ralston Purina are still going strong, their parking lots are only about half full. Kellogg’s, they just tore down the buildings where they shipped those jobs to Mexico and their parking lots look like a wasteland. They just kept a very automated production facility there, and their warehouse.

So funny thing is, Battle Creek survived the royal screw by Kellogg’s because the city leaders a few decades ago worked hard to create new business opportunities for companies looking to locate in a good area central to anywhere in the Midwest along a highway and rail lines. The companies in the Fort Custer area, while they are not high wage payers, at least they are allowing people to put food on the table and keep a room over their head. Without those companies, I think Battle Creek would have looked like Flint.

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Oh, one more thing. I think Obama can be beat in Michigan. There are active tea party peeps here. Perot did really well in this state back in 1992. Those are the same types of peeps active in the tea party now. If Romney can somehow manage NOT to sound like Obama lite, AND somehow avoid being completely demonized by Obama as a “Mr 1%”, he could possibly carry the state.

The ONLY way he can do that, however, is to model his ads and campaign after what Governor Rick Snyder did to win his election. So if any of you Romney operatives are reading this, do some homework and clean up your anti Newt ads. Model your ads like Governor Snyder and you could walk to a win in this state.

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Hey karenhasfreedom, Thanks for all the information. I think that when we get a resurgence, it’ll be dozens and dozens of medium size companies ( 500 employes or less ), and access to relatively cheap space and manpower and existing infrastructure will draw them. The days of huge factories and huge staffs has come and gone. What I see is high volume, high quality niche manufacturing and production, which WILL NOT HAVE INSANELY LONG lead times as in the late 20th century.

bigmike on February 3, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Heh – Rasmussen called yesterday – I was a Newt vote – Romney as 2nd – Romney has NAME recognition in Michigan. Unfortunately, there are TONS of uninformed people here also.

I am in the “Palin camp” – Let’s keep this thing going !!!! I haven’t even VOTED yet – and ‘they’ want to just GIVE it to Romney ??!!! Let the other 46 states have a say in who is gonna win !! Give Newt or Santorum 15 million bucks & see what a difference THAT makes…..

at least I got to give obummer a BIG #5 – DISAPPROVE !!!! ;)

kennedyk49 on February 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Thanks for all your insight. I love this kind of informed comment. You sound like you are really plugged in to the political scene there.

bluealice on February 3, 2012 at 5:06 PM

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Thankyou for the write up of whats going on. I have family up in the Grand Blanc/Flint area and farther north so its interesting to hear an informative bearkdown on whats going on there.

Sultanofsham on February 3, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Romney is the only Republican that has a remote chance of winning Michigan in the general election.

I’m amazed how many conservatives are obsessed with beating Romney (the fat lady sang in Florida) but really don’t have a plan after they win the primary.

Have you seen the polls for Newt against Obama? He makes Palin look electable.

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

His father was a popular governor

45 years ago.

angryed on February 3, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I’m amazed how many conservatives are obsessed with beating Romney (the fat lady sang in Florida) but really don’t have a plan after they win the primary.

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

That’s funny. I’m amazed at how many Republicans only want to beat Gingrich and are not the least bit concerned with winning after that.

Goal #1 for the RNC/Elite: Destroy Tea Party
Goal #2….we’ll get back to you.

angryed on February 3, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Mitt Romney out. After he is POTUS, it will utterly fail.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 5:38 PM

The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Mitt Romney out. After he is POTUS, it will utterly fail.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.

angryed on February 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I’m amazed how many conservatives are obsessed with beating Romney (the fat lady sang in Florida) but really don’t have a plan after they win the primary.

Have you seen the polls for Newt against Obama? He makes Palin look electable.

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

I’m amazed how many moderates are obsessed with with stopping the primary process after four states and when Romney isnt primetime ready yet. I could see if he was polished but hes not. He’s gotten better at debate but at this point Obama would still handle him at it. He still has no answer for Romneycare (see Santorum destroying him on it in the last debate). He’s been doing a great job gaffing this week. He needs more work before he is ready.

Sultanofsham on February 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Ron Paul will ride the Arab-American vote in Detroit and surrounding areas to victory over the forces of Mitt!!

/overthetopoptimism

JohnGalt23 on February 3, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Hey, maybe he should use Dearborn as his base of operations

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Romney is the only Republican that has a remote chance of winning Michigan in the general election.

I’m amazed how many conservatives are obsessed with beating Romney (the fat lady sang in Florida) but really don’t have a plan after they win the primary.

Have you seen the polls for Newt against Obama? He makes Palin look electable.

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

It’s insane.

Mitt does better than Newt versus Obama everywhere… yes, even in Georgia, Newt’s homestate:

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=774e93a3-2218-4c03-85da-37eeaa04047e

Newt is so unelectable that he’d probably propel the Democrats to a Senate supermajority and a new House majority. Tax raises, Fairness Doctrine, single payer socialized health-care with free abortions anyone?

joana on February 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.

angryed on February 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Then why do you do it?

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM

He is NOT Obama!

Gunlock Bill on February 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Are 100% positive?

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Pollsters and MSM desperate for a horse race.

galtani on February 3, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I would say the Romney name still has a fairly positive image here, although the union people probably don’t like Mitt as much.
echosyst on February 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

When McCain was asked about jobs shipped overseas, he said they are never coming back. The press ran to Romney who stated “of course they can come back”. No question Dems crossed over to vote Romney. Their party was settled

Florida had low turnout. I find apathy in Michigan towards the primary, and rage towards the world. Seniors will turn out, and Romney can talk bigger than TARP

I’ve lived in Michigan 50 years and I don’t remember George Romney at all. I don’t understand why it’s important. SueM on February 3, 2012 at 12:29 PM

The ones who remember will turn out . Seniors hate how things have changed. His name means ‘JOBs’ more than Newt or Santorum. That could change

No one really cares about the Romney/Michigan “connection”. This state is union-owned and Romney’s antipathy to the auto bailouts in the face of his TARP support will hurt him in this very open of primaries.
totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Single issue in Michigan: jobs. ‘Green jobs’ is not the winner, nor is bridge or high speed rail. Problem with TARP is they already did it and where is MI? Dems will cross for jobs in a primary

Dearborn has a LARGE population of Arab people, but by and large, I don’t discern any particular problems from this demographic fact.
karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

This former Dearborn resident expects them to vote for the party of the Palestinians

Hoekstra is running for the Senate. I can’t remember who else might be running to try to unseat Debbie Stabenow. She is just a lock step voter for everything Reid wants, so the right candidate, with the right ads, can probably beat her. She doesn’t have the kind of personality that will keep her popular as an incumbent, so in a non Dem year, she can be swept from office.karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

She won because she was in the right party. Hoekstra is a weak choice. To blowout a top Dem, you have to be someone who transcends party

I think Obama can be beat in Michigan. …
. So if any of you Romney operatives are reading this, do some homework and clean up your anti Newt ads. Model your ads like Governor Snyder and you could walk to a win in this state.
karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Snyder couldn’t beat Obama. He has dug a deeper hole in MI than Romney. The odds are against Romney. If he comes up with a ‘These jobs can come back’ campaign, he might be able to beat the Obama juggernaut. Depends on the economy, the news, what happens after the primary

entagor on February 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

It’s insane.

Mitt does better than Newt versus Obama everywhere… yes, even in Georgia, Newt’s homestate:

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=774e93a3-2218-4c03-85da-37eeaa04047e

Newt is so unelectable that he’d probably propel the Democrats to a Senate supermajority and a new House majority. Tax raises, Fairness Doctrine, single payer socialized health-care with free abortions anyone?

The Christine O’Donnell/Sharon Angle wing of the party doesn’t view primaries the way rational people do (nominating a candidate that can, you know, actually win the real election that counts so we can change public policy) To them, the primary is like getting a chance to stick your middle finger up at some imaginary enemy.

What more evidence do you need that Newt is a complete non-starter that would only empower Obama and the Democrat agenda. Does Newt need to start losing these poll match ups against Obama by 30 points? 40 points? What will it take?

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I’m amazed how many moderates are obsessed with with stopping the primary process after four states and when Romney isnt primetime ready yet. I could see if he was polished but hes not. He’s gotten better at debate but at this point Obama would still handle him at it. He still has no answer for Romneycare (see Santorum destroying him on it in the last debate). He’s been doing a great job gaffing this week. He needs more work before he is ready.

Sultanofsham on February 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Except that he’s always been the only real candidate–and the only one with a half-way decent campaign sufficiently funded to knock out Obama. Compared to the others he’s loaded with potential. Perry was inarticulate, Bachmann lacked gravitas, Cain was a lightweight with a woman problem, Huntsman is a certified jerk, Santorum can’t get traction, Paul is an acquired taste, and Newt has too much baggage. That leaves Romney, ready or not. Fortunately he’s ready. His need for polish is a minor point–some would argue he’s already too smooth and perfect, a talking Ken doll. None of that matters because the deal in running against Obama will be all about money and getting down and dirty, not charm–which neither man has in any great abundance. But for money and campaign machinery, combined with experience and steady temperament, Romney’s the man. Not gaffe-prone, not our ideal–but lean and mean and clearly up to the job.

writeblock on February 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

What will it take?

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Romney looking competent perhaps? Newt not being a winner doesnt mean Romney at this point is one either.

Sultanofsham on February 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Except that he’s always been the only real candidate–and the only one with a half-way decent campaign sufficiently funded to knock out Obama. Compared to the others he’s loaded with potential.

Potential. If he can live up to it. Hes not atm and that why this needs to go on so hopefully he will become what that potential shows. Its not enough to have the ability, you must be able to use the ability or its the same as not having it.

Perry was inarticulate, Bachmann lacked gravitas, Cain was a lightweight with a woman problem, Huntsman is a certified jerk, Santorum can’t get traction, Paul is an acquired taste, and Newt has too much baggage.

What they are doesnt matter. It would if they were a threat to win the primary.

That leaves Romney, ready or not.

It may leave him but there’s time for him to get better. Its best to use it.

Fortunately he’s ready. His need for polish is a minor point–some would argue he’s already too smooth and perfect, a talking Ken doll.

No hes not ready. Some might argue that being like a talking Ken doll is too much polish but I dont see how that could be? He looks stiff and not at ease, certainly not as bad as he did months ago. Hes gotten better at debating and interviews than he was months ago. The more time he has in the spotlight the better for him before he has to deal with Obama.

None of that matters because the deal in running against Obama will be all about money and getting down and dirty, not charm–which neither man has in any great abundance.

Charm may not matter but coming off as a person does. On one side you have a ken doll, stiff as wood. On the other you have an ahole with a temper and a big ego. Its worth it to fix Romney cause Obama cant fix what he is.

But for money and campaign machinery, combined with experience and steady temperament, Romney’s the man.

Romneys money and machinery dont match up to Obamas, not even close so he needs to grab any other advantage he can and fix any weakness he has.

Not gaffe-prone,

Not having a good week on handling questions is he? Maybe not gaffe prone as some but he has a problem dealing with questions.

not our ideal

Not in the least but probably the best in a week field.

–but lean and mean and clearly up to the job.
writeblock on February 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Hes not. Ready to win the primary? looks like it. Ready to beat Obama? No

Sultanofsham on February 3, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Romney will take out Obama. Romney is very well-suited for the fight, which is going to get VERY intense and ugly. I expect a close finish, with all the attention coming down to a couple of states. Obama is going down!

I’m very pleased to see that voters are rejecting the stupid advice from idiots like Sarah Palin who said we should go with the unelectable Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich is a disaster. Thank goodness we are finally coming to the point where we can close the book on Sarah Palin’s days of having significant pull in national politics. Palin’s failed, embarrassing endorsement of the corrupt Newt Gingrich will hopefully be her last major gasp for attention for attempt to influence.

bluegill on February 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

He is NOT Obama!

Gunlock Bill on February 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

That seems to be the only good reason for Mitt to be the nominee.

But like other posters, of the Four Remaining Possibles my vote is ABO!

Who is John Galt on February 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Have you seen the polls for Newt against Obama? He makes Palin look electable.

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

So, come Convention 7 looooong months from now, SARAH!!!

/snark /i wish

Who is John Galt on February 3, 2012 at 8:20 PM

He is NOT Obama!

Gunlock Bill on February 3, 2012 at 1:30 PM

A day-old ham sandwich is not Obama, either.

If I had to choose between Mitt and the sandwich, I’ll go with the sandwich.

Myron Falwell on February 3, 2012 at 9:23 PM

The Christine O’Donnell/Sharon Angle wing of the party doesn’t view primaries the way rational people do (nominating a candidate that can, you know, actually win the real election that counts so we can change public policy)

And Mitt, who has been deemed the nominee by the entire Charles Krauthammer/Hugh Hewitt/National Review editorial board/Ann Coulter NON-CONSERVATIVE wing of the party, is anything BUT someone that can change public policy.

If you’re lucky, it’ll be a weaker version of W’s last two years with less accomplishments. Pathetic.

To them, the primary is like getting a chance to stick your middle finger up at some imaginary enemy.

To the establishment wing, their forcing of Mitt down our throats – and attempting to squash all dissent in the process – is akin to sticking their middle finger up the collective eye of the conservative movement’s own base.

And guess what? If the GOP commits electoral suicide, they have no one to blame but the non-successful, non-conservative wing that HATES the successful, conservative wing.

What more evidence do you need that Newt is a complete non-starter that would only empower Obama and the Democrat agenda. Does Newt need to start losing these poll match ups against Obama by 30 points? 40 points? What will it take?

BradTank on February 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Mitt will eventually start losing in the same polling matchups if he continues on his current campaign trajectory. He’s been doomed from the start, and will lose to Obama.

By August, there will be a LOT of pining for McCant.

Myron Falwell on February 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Okay, been wanting to comment on this, but I’ve been away from a proper keyboard all day.

This poll reflects two things, that Romney is starting out with a strong lead in Michigan, but that there are still many undecided voters. This later fact isn’t entirely unexpected a month out from the vote, but it does indicate that Romney is performing a little less strongly than he should. The most likely reason is the fact that Romney came out against the auto-bailout. Yes I know he didn’t come out against it as strongly as some people would have liked him to, but he did come out against it. This displeased many in Michigan, he was skewered for this stance even by many Republicans in the state.

This does not mean he is particularly weak in Michigan. For starters to effectively hurt Romney on this issue, in the state you’d have to suggest somehow you wouldn’t have opposed an auto-bailout. While I could see Gingrich making this pander in other years, I think he knows full well that it’d destroy what little credibility he has left everywhere else. The second problem is that there are going to be few opportunities to hit Romney over this, in a highly visible manner, before the vote.

To put it simply, the closer we actually get to the vote, the more those undecideds are likely to fall behind Romney. It is possible Gingrich could pull it out by taking undecideds disproportionally, but he’d have to take nearly all of them and that is very unlikely.

Also, if Santorum takes Missouri, its just as likely that Gingrich will be finding himself locked in a life or death battle for second place. If Santorum doesn’t take Missouri it’ll be because he lost it to Romney, in which case Romney will have even more momentum going into the state.

Either way it’s very unlikely Gingrich can pull it off.

WolvenOne on February 3, 2012 at 10:06 PM

There aren’t going to be the sort of huge swings in the polls we saw in the earlier states.

Lots of candidates soared to the front on the basis of a good week and debate performance or just the base’s hope to find a suitably conservative Not Romney. Bachmann, Trump, Perry, Cain, and then Gingrich. All fell back to earth before too long. Santorum never really got his turn, as his win in Iowa was only weeks later on the certification.

It takes something big to affect the polls that much. Gingrich doesn’t have the money for a major negative ad assault in the state and will probably concentrate on Arizona, his best chance for a win before Super Tuesday. Even a Southerner doesn’t want to limp into the Southern states having lost five or six in a row.

Adjoran on February 3, 2012 at 11:20 PM

They are laboring under the misconception that “Mitt will help our state.” Nothing but right to work will help this state, and I’m betting it will be a cold day in hell before that happens, Governor Snyder, or no. (Note: he was not my choice in the gubernatorial primary as I consider him a big government, nanny-state RINO.)

No one really cares about the Romney/Michigan “connection”. This state is union-owned and Romney’s antipathy to the auto bailouts in the face of his TARP support will hurt him in this very open of primaries. He may not lose, but he won’t have as an impressive a win as he should if you believe in the Romney/Michigan connection.

totherightofthem on February 3, 2012 at 12:57 PM
This post sums it up…as a fellow Michigander you can take this to the bank.

moo on February 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM

DITTO!

KOOLAID2 on February 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

karenhasfreedom on February 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Then again at 3:06 PM and 3:12 PM
G I R L !

I saw this earlier today- and now came back when I had time to read it. Good job! Exactly! (I went for the Sheriff in the primary)
You about hit it all! Nice job!
There is Michigan for you.

KOOLAID2 on February 4, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Nice try for viewer hits.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

scotash on February 4, 2012 at 2:36 AM

RonMe isn’t about to take MI for granted as proven by his ‘Romney Campaign MI Team Presentation’ which will happen on the 8th., and promises to be chocked full of GOP insiders such as:

Attorney General Bill Schuette, ChairmanSenate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Co-ChairmanSpeaker Jase Bolger, Co-ChairmanScott Romney, National Finance Co-ChairmanSaul Anuzis, Republican National CommitteemanHolly Hughes, Republican National Committeewoman

For those out of the loop you should know that Saul Anuzis was McLame’s chief cheerleader here in Michigan back in 2008.

I’m sure Newt will do very well here when the time comes. If not there is always a third party option. /s

DannoJyd on February 5, 2012 at 5:16 AM

A new poll by Rasmussen in Michigan suggests that Newt Gingrich — or Rick Santorum — might have an opportunity to generate just that kind of result:

Sorry, no coattails for GOP supporters and Mittens in this purple State (Michigan).
Now, Newt might be a whole ‘nother matter.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

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