Can Romney win Michigan?

posted at 2:41 pm on March 12, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

No, this isn’t a rerun of the Republican presidential primaries or the 2012 general election — and we’re not talking about Mitt.  Rather, it’s his brother Scott who may soon vie for the US Senate seat being vacated by retiring incumbent Carl Levin, and the son of the former governor may end up battling against the most recent former occupant of the office. In a poll sponsored by Conservative Intelligence Briefing, Romney outpolls all other Republicans in the field and manages a dead heat against the top Democratic possibility, Jennifer Granholm:

In a hypothetical Republican Senate primary for the 2014 Michigan U.S. Senate race, Scott Romney (brother of Mitt) would begin the race as an early, though modest, front-runner   Romney leads with 26% followed by Congressman Mike Rogers at 17%, Congressman Justin Amash at 11% and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land at 9%. …

Democrats hold a +4% advantage on the generic ballot for Senate (43%-39%), which closely follows the partisan breakdown of the poll: 41% Democratic, 38% Republican, 21% Other.  President Obama’s job approval among 2014 likely voters in Michigan is -4% (44% approve, 48% disapprove).

In general election match-ups  Granholm holds slim margins over the field of Republicans, ranging from +8% over Amash to +2% over Rogers.

Granholm can’t get outside of the margin of error against either Rogers, Land, or Romney, and even the eight-point lead against Amash might be a warning to Michigan Democrats.  After all, Granholm won statewide office while most of her opponents have not, and yet can’t get above 43% in matchups against any of them.  She only manages to get the lead over Amash due to his lack of recognition; only 18% know who the Congressman is.  As one of John McCain’s so-called “wacko birds” of the Tea Party, Amash might be Granholm’s preferred candidate, but his upside is a lot more significant than hers.  Her favorability is only 47/43, leaving only 10% to address, while Amash’s is 18/8 while unknown to 53%.

Scott Romney didn’t have a high profile in the presidential campaign, but Mitt’s older brother has been active in Michigan politics for some time.  In 2008, he lost his seat on the Michigan State University board of trustees after one term, but had tried originally to run for Attorney General in 1998.  That sparked an intraparty fight which Romney lost despite having the endorsement of Republican governor John Engler at the time; John Smietanka ended with the nomination, but lost to the Democrat.  Her name?  Jennifer Granholm.

Don’t underestimate Democratic power in Michigan, but if Granholm is the best they have, it might be a horserace no matter who Republicans nominate.  Don’t forget, too, that the recent change of Michigan to a right-to-work state will weaken union support.  Levin’s unexpected retirement should be a gift to the GOP.


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Black smoke!

Rusty Allen on March 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Oh God, please. NOT Hurricane Jennifer. Not again. Keep that carpet-bagging **** in CA. She already has two pensions from my state, now she wants a Federal one? Hasn’t she done enough damage? Rhetorical questions.

totherightofthem on March 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM

The Michigan GOP has a biting sense of humor.

http://www.migop.org/index.php/details/news/video-the-reality-of-our-time/

If they can avoid candidates with “Let GM Go Bankrupt” on their morning coffee mugs, they might do well.

IlikedAUH2O on March 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Pardon my pessimism but I don’t have high expectations for this race. Michigan is a pretty blue state. It usually takes either a wave election or a rock star candidate for the GOP to pick up a seat in a state like Michigan. None of the mentioned candidates are rock stars, and I see 2014 as being a modest to negligible GOP win.

LukeinNE on March 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

In 2008, he lost his seat on the Michigan State University board of trustees after one term, but had tried originally to run for Attorney General in 1998. That sparked an intraparty fight which Romney lost despite having the endorsement of Republican governor John Engler at the time;

So, like his brother, he’s a loser?

Seriously, he has a history of losing.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

1.) Jennifer Granholm might be one of the few MI Dems who could lose this race. MI voters still have very painful memories of her two terms’ worth of failure as Governor…there’s a reason Rick Snyder won in such a landslide, after all.

2.) If the GOP nominates Justin Amash, they have no chance. First of all, he’s WAY too conservative for the state, second of all he’s an absolute unknown in the key population center of the state (the SE corner, i.e. the Detroit suburbs where winning GOP statewide candidates mine votes).

3.) Even if they nominate Romney they still probably don’t have much of a chance. This is Michigan after all.

4.) Does anybody trust this random polling company? I sure don’t.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Granholm is reviled here. I hope she is on the ballot.

karenhasfreedom on March 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Romney’s brother lost the nomination battle in the late 90′s.

Whats with this family losing most of the time?

portlandon on March 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Scott’s ex wife Ronna Romney ran for the US Senate in Michigan and lost in both ’94 & ’96.

Scott lost his bid to be Attorney General in ’98.

portlandon on March 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM

If the GOP candidate runs against DC overall, whoever it is can win.

karenhasfreedom on March 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Black smoke over the White House…Four more years of hell.

d1carter on March 12, 2013 at 2:59 PM

God, I hope they are stupid enough to nominate Granholm. Not exactly a stellar record as governor.

BuzzCrutcher on March 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Scott Romney has served as a missionary and bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

IOW, he has no chance (just sayin’) …

ShainS on March 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

George Romney:
2 wins (Mich. Governor in ’62 and ’66)
2 losses (Presidential nomination in ’64 and ’68)

Lenore Romney:
1 loss (Mich. Senator in ’70)

Mitt Romney:
1 win (Mass. Governor in ’02)
3 losses (Mass. Senator in ’94, Presidential nomination in ’08, President in ’12)

Scott Romney:
1 loss (Mich. AG nomination, ’98)

Ronna Romney:
2 losses (Mich. Senator nomination in ’94, Mich. Senator in ’96)

Romney Family Record:
3 wins, 9 losses (a 25% success rate)

steebo77 on March 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

That being said, anyone decent could beat Granholm.

steebo77 on March 12, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Granholm is reviled here. I hope she is on the ballot.

karenhasfreedom on March 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

On your side of the state, sure. In the southeast corner, it’s a closer call, sadly. I’ll admit I know no one who thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips, but I do know people who defend her as a great governor. Turns my stomach.

totherightofthem on March 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Pardon my pessimism but I don’t have high expectations for this race. Michigan is a pretty blue state. It usually takes either a wave election or a rock star candidate for the GOP to pick up a seat in a state like Michigan. None of the mentioned candidates are rock stars, and I see 2014 as being a modest to negligible GOP win.

LukeinNE on March 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Yup, Detroit is such a shining example of great governance and leadership by the Democratic Party.

Cherokee on March 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM

If this Detroit EM thing gets really ugly (it’s just the beginning, remember) I think Granholm could come in and take SE Michigan. She’s a union stooge and they’ll pull out all the stops to get her elected, including bribery and rides to get out the vote.

totherightofthem on March 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

steebo77 on March 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM

In fairness, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees are elected on a statewide ballot in partisan races. Thus, Scott won as a Republican in 2002, and lost in 2008, a very strong year for Democrats.

Daft Punk on March 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Being a native Michigander I can say that the Democratic party is in full retreat almost across the board. The typical Dem consituency of Unions have been battered and broken here like in almost no other previously-blue state and freaking Obama only got to 54% here in ’12.

The Governor is (marginally) Republican and the state house is considerably more so.

Granholm is viewed as presiding over the disaster the state has suffered over the past 10 years, for good reason.

And Snyder beat a Big Labor candidate by almost 20 points in 2010, 58-39.

39%. For a Democratic Gubernatorial candidate in a Union state.

As long as they don’t go Full Akin Amash or Romney could win by 5+ without much difficulty.

PoliticsinHD on March 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

My first reaction to hearing that Levin was going to retire, was that the internals in MI must be tending Red, and that the Progressives had reached their Sell-Date.
That Granholm is not the overwhelming choice just confirms the electorates dis-satisfaction with where the Progressives have taken the State, and Detroit.

Another Drew on March 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

The Michigan GOP has a biting sense of humor.

http://www.migop.org/index.php/details/news/video-the-reality-of-our-time/

If they can avoid candidates with “Let GM Go Bankrupt” on their morning coffee mugs, they might do well.

IlikedAUH2O on March 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Too bad they didn’t help the candidate as much as they needed to in SE Michigan. They ran a horrible campaign on my side of the state.

totherightofthem on March 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Slightly O/T:

Woman (and big Obama supporter) in Cincinnati charged with voting up to 6 times last November.

Bitter Clinger on March 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

OT as well:

Even better in my mind, a dean at the local College of Mt. St. Joseph–who’s also a nun–took it upon herself to vote for Obama with the absentee ballot of a fellow nun who died before the Ohio absentee ballots were lawfully issued to voters. Her rationale: she voted the way she believed the decedent would have voted, doncha know.

When the county board of elections hauled her in for an original inquiry, she immediately confessed. Last week, she resigned as a dead, I imagine under consider pressure.

The dean and the poll worker are being prosecuted by the local prosecutor who’s a “hang ‘em high” GOP prosecutor. There’s a third person who’s being prosecuted, a 75-year-old guy from an upper-class area who voted for his deceased wife. I’m not sure who he voted for, though it’s widely known that the poll worker and the dean voted fraudulently for Obama.

To be sure, these votes and other votes still being investigated (they had a lot of absentee voters who also voted in person because they were “afraid their absentee vote wouldn’t get counted”) didn’t swing Ohio. But don’t tell me there’s no voter fraud and that it’s something to snicker about.

BuckeyeSam on March 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

In 2008, he lost his seat on the Michigan State University board of trustees after one term, but had tried originally to run for Attorney General in 1998.

One-term winner, eh? That has never happened in the Romney family!/

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on March 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM

In 2008, he lost his seat on the Michigan State University board of trustees after one term, but had tried originally to run for Attorney General in 1998. That sparked an intraparty fight which Romney lost despite having the endorsement of Republican governor John Engler at the time; John Smietanka ended with the nomination, but lost to the Democrat. Her name? Jennifer Granholm.

Wow! Now that just screams ready for the big time.

William Eaton on March 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

The Dems get a half a million votes out of Detroit before anyone shows up at the polls, that’s tough to overcome

If it weren’t for voter Fraud Michigan would be a red state

halfbaked on March 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Never mind Romney. The scariest thing is that Jennifer Granholm could have a shot. Ruined the state, in bed with unions, and could literally win here.

shar61 on March 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

For all those establishment types who scream about Sarah Palin not being this and not being that….she did win Governor in Alaska.

However the establishment would say…”Scott Romney is a great choice to run for Senate in Michigan.”

To me that is what makes no sense about establishment types. They attack some Tea Party picks yet they make even dumber picks. How the heck is Scott Romney going to be any different than O’Donnell in the final outcome? Just that in Romney’s case he has a proven track record of getting defeated. Might as well go with a complete novice who might surprise us.

William Eaton on March 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

If the polls don’t show the R up by +10, I am not investing any emotional capital. Too many lies of recent from poll interpreters.

Carnac on March 12, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Looks to me like Kwame Kilpatrick is only a pardon away from a Senate seat

halfbaked on March 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM

PoliticsinHD on March 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

As a FELLOW Michigander-gone-rogue(south), I tend to agree with your assessment.
Still have plenty of family, there, and even some libbie-leaners have been repulsed by Granholm.
I was delightfully shocked to discover that, but, perhaps some clouds are beginning to lift, up yonder.
Pray hard. ;-)

pambi on March 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Does anybody trust this random polling company? I sure don’t.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I so want to bring up an UnSkewed Polls joke…

Myron Falwell on March 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Is Scott a Conservative or a liberal like his brother Mitt?

RJL on March 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM

the top Democratic possibility, Jennifer Granholm

…that B!TCH did enough damage in eight years…you may as well drop a nuke on our state if she gets in!
She’ll just move from California…to DC….We’d just be a paycheck!

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2013 at 8:04 PM