Kos said it was coming and now here it is. Chaos.

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker.

DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney.

“Democrats can get in there and cause havoc for Romney all the way to the Republican convention,” DiSano told CNN…

DiSano says over the last 7 days or so that he has been working on this, he has gotten some 12,000 commitments from Democratic voters to go to the polls and vote for Santorum.

Twelve thousand votes ain’t much in a big state like Michigan, where more than 850,000 people voted in the GOP primary four years. But (a) if national trends hold, turnout is likely to be down tomorrow so that 12K will count more and (b) according to the latest data, the final margin could be very close. Nate Silver’s model now gives Santorum a 36 percent chance of pulling the upset, up from 23 percent over the weekend, and PPP is reporting “encouraging things” for RS in the phone calls it made this afternoon. They’re predicting flat out that he’ll win among voters who go to the polls tomorrow; the question is simply whether he’ll win by enough to offset Romney’s advantage among absentees. If a few dozen votes could decide Iowa, why couldn’t a few thousand decide Michigan?

Even so, WaPo is skeptical:

Experts note that crossover voting must be viewed in a nuanced way, and that many, if not most, crossover voters are not mischievous members of another party trying to ruin the other party’s primary.

Just as often as someone crosses over to “raid” the other party’s primary, for example, they may also cross over for more wholesome reasons, such as simply wanting to take part in a competitive primary…

Similarly, studies on crossover voting show the effect of these “raiders” is rather small.

Fair enough. If a Michigan Democrat’s going to haul himself off the couch and drive to the polling place to vote for a Republican, he’s more likely to do it if he sincerely likes that Republican, not just to screw with the GOP. DiSano might convince a few hardcore Kossacks to make mischief but a real Democratic GOTV effort would likely require outreach from a Republican campaign.

Oh look: Here’s some outreach now.

It has been confirmed that a robocall making the rounds in Michigan the day before the state’s GOP primary comes from the Rick Santorum campaign and urges Democrats to vote for Santorum and against Mitt Romney. TPM obtained audio of the call Monday afternoon.

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed to TPM that the camp was indeed footing the bill. “If we can get the Reagan Democrats in the primary, we can get them in the general,” he told TPM.

It’s a controversial tactic. Bill Ballenger, a longtime Michigan politico and the editor of Inside Michigan Politics, spoke with TPM about the call earlier in the day. He said the call piqued his interest because it sounded like it could have come from a union targeting Romney ahead of the Feb. 28 primary. The call focuses on Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout and calls on Democrats to vote for Santorum Tuesday because of it…

“You talk about chutzpah: here’s Santorum who’s just as opposed to the bailout as Romney is, but he’s putting out robocalls to Democrats urging them to crossover and vote in the Republican for Santorum,” Ballenger said. “The only thing intellectually in the whole message that it seems to be the Santorum committee could use to justify this tactic is the one line that, you know, ‘Romney was all too happy to support bailing out Wall Street, but not Michigan.’ Santorum is in the position all along of ‘a plague on both their houses. No bailouts for anybody.’”

Listen to the two ads in sequence. The first, according to RCP, is DiSano’s mischief-making Democratic pitch and the second, via TPM, is the Santorum camp’s own call beating up on Romney for, er, opposing bailouts. Click the image to watch. Exit question: Second look at letting Democrats decide Republican primaries?