Romney or Santorum? All eyes on Michigan primary
The winner will gain critical momentum as the race accelerates.
Today, the spotlight is on Michigan as voters gather at the polls to cast a crucial ballot in the Republican race. With the Republican race so close, the candidates and their supporting political action committees (PACs) are lavishing the state with attention normally reserved for states with earlier primaries.
Momentum is up for grabs in Michigan's primary.
Michigan is a strong democratic state that Republicans have not carried since Regan in 1988. The state is well known as a world hub for the auto manufacturing industry and it has suffered tremendously from the recession and urban blight. The city of Detroit lost a quarter of its population in the last decade.
However, voters in the state have recently turned to the Republicans seeking a cure for what ails them. In 2010, voters elected a Republican governor with an 18 point lead in the polls at the end of voting. The state also has a large number of social liberals who are also fiscally conservative, voters that politicos refer to as "Reagan Democrats."
Romney can also claim a hometown advantage in the state, having been born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit. However, he has alienated himself with many voters, having made a series of comments critical of the auto industry bailout.
So far, only a mere 5 percent of Republican primary votes have been spoken for, leaving a full 95 percent still up for grabs. If Michigan chooses Santorum over Romney, then Romney will have difficulty claiming front-runner status, despite his delegate lead. The momentum that Santorum could gain will influence voters in other states and leave the race undecided for weeks or even months.
Both candidates will inevitably claim separate shares of Michigan's delegates.
A long race naturally favors Obama and the Democrats. As Republicans spend their limited funds on the primary, they diminish the resources they will have for the general election. Meanwhile, Obama and the Democrats have a bulging war chest of cash that continues to grow while the Republicans compete to tear down one another in an effort to win the chance to compete against Obama.
In any case, the Michigan polls are essentially tied and this race will be closely watched as the nation looks to see if Romney can finally pull ahead with a decisive victory, or if the race will continue well into 2012 and up to the GOP convention.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Keywords: Romney, Santorum, Republican, presidential primary, Michigan
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