Will Michigan Be Enough For Romney? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Will Michigan Be Enough For Romney?

There has been a lot of discussion about the Michigan polls, but it seems to me that it would be near impossible for pollsters to try to get a sense of how many independents and Democrats are going to decide to vote in the Republican primary, given that the Democratic side is uncontested.

But for the sake of discussion, let’s just say Romney pulls off a win. No doubt, this would generate a lot of news stories about how his candidacy has been revived, that he’s ahead in delegates, and that somehow conservatives will now rally around him. However, I think he’s still in trouble, even if he wins in his birth state.

From the beginning of the year, Romney has always lagged badly in national polls, in national likeability surveys, and in terms of national name recognition. Therefore, the strategy for winning the nomination was always to run the table in the early states, and use the momentum and earned media to surpass his rivals nationally on Feb. 5. I don’t see how a win in Michigan will be enough to make up for his disadvantages over other candidates nationwide. And after Michigan, the race heads to South Carolina , which was always going to be the most difficult early state for him. With Huckabee taking evangelical voters, Thompson campaigning there vigorously as the comprehensive conservative, and McCain poised to get the moderate/national security/electability voters (especially with Giuliani out of the picture there), I just have a hard time seeing how Romney emerges victorious.

Also, another thing that should be on everybody’s radar, assuming Romney stays in the race for UberTuesday. On Jan. 31, the campaigns are required to report their fourth-quarter fundraising numbers. That’s when we’ll know how much of his own money Romney poured into his campaign as Iowa and New Hampshire approached, when he seemed to be unveiling new “contrast” ads every day and saturating the market. My guess is that his Q4 personal contribution will be astronomical, and while it’s perfectly within the rules for him to spend his fortune on the campaign, expect a flood of negative “Mitt Is Trying To Buy The Nomination” type stories heading into Feb. 5.

So, the bottom line is that a victory in Michigan is necessary for Romney, but not sufficient to make up for his losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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