Peaking ahead to next week, Michigan will play a large role, as some of us suspected it would. On one hand, Romney would seem to have the advantage with a strong family connection, name recognition and ad spending( his TV spots have been up for weeks). On the other hand, McCain won there in 2000 and this time will have the Independents all to himself since the Democrats have in essence cancelled their primary. I asked John Yob, who is heading McCain's effort there, what is the same and what is different from 2000. He answered: "The dynamics are almost exactly the same as 2000: McCain momentum at crucial time, strong potential for success in New Hampshire, no competitive Democratic primary so therefore Independents will vote Republican. This time we have a MUCH stronger team on the ground with the support of GOP District Chairs, County Chairs, Elected Officials, both National Committee members, etc as well as most of the Bush Michigan establishment from 2000.Thus the environment is the same, but the support of the ground is much stronger." What about the Detroit News endorsement? "The Detroit News endorsement matters because they did not endorse McCain in 2000 and were thought to have been leaning towards Mitt Romney given he is the hometown guy. It is the conservative paper in the state that GOP primary voters hold in high regard." How important is NH to the outcome in Michigan? " New Hampshire will of course have a great deal of influence on Michigan result as it did in 2000. Not just because of momentum but also because the electorates are very similar." Finally he acknowledges Huckabee has a following among social conservative activists but that he lacks "paid organization on the ground." My take: If Romney loses NH he shouldn't count on Michigan to bring him back from the dead.
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