The Other McCain

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EXCLUSIVE: Election Day in Hell, Michigan: Does Romney Have a Snowball’s Chance of Winning?

Posted on | February 28, 2012 | 20 Comments

Election Day reporting from Hell, Michigan, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012

On my way from Troy to Grand Rapids — site of Rick Santorum’s Michigan primary victory party tonight — I got a late start and realized I wouldn’t make it in time for Senator Santorum’s 3 p.m. event at his campaign office there. That’s when it hit me: I should go back to Hell.

Saturday night’s trip was fun, but I hadn’t done much actual political reporting during that visit, so clearly I needed a return trip to answer the question, “How is the turnout in Hell?”

You might think Hell would be full of Democrats, but an informal Saturday night survey of patrons at the Dam Site Inn revealed that there were a lot of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul supporters there, and so I reset the GPS and made my way back through Pinckney and hooked a left on the road to Hell.

Arriving at the general store and post office — Hell in a Handbasket — the place was empty except for the manager, who was working in Hell’s Kitchen, preparing the cilantro dijon garlic mayo for their Hellacious Cuban Sandwich. This sounded tempting, and when the manager asked if I would like one, I said, “Oh, Hell, yes!”

The general store, Hell in a Handbasket

While she prepared my sandwich, I asked the manager (who refused to give her name) if she was a Republican, and she was. Did she have a favorite candidate? Had she voted yet? No, she hadn’t voted, and she was kind of struggling with her choices.

It figured: An undecided voter in Hell.

“I like Mitt,” she said, but didn’t like his RomneyCare record in Massachusetts. “I don’t know if you can trust anybody anymore.”

The manager of Hell’s Kitchen makes me a Hellacious Cuban Sandwich

By the way — for those of you who have asked since Saturday — no, it wasn’t frozen over.

It snowed Friday in Hell, but most of the snow has melted by now and, although I suppose local kids might have gotten in a few snowball fights, ultimately those snowballs didn’t have much of a chance.

Seeing that the manager of Hell’s Kitchen wasn’t comfortable talking about politics, I browsed around the general store for a little while, selecting a few souvenirs — a coffee mug and two refrigerator magnets — and noticed that they sold postcards: “Greetings From Hell.” I asked the manager if I could mail a postcard from there, and she said yes, as a matter of fact, she was also the local postmaster and the mail office was right there in the store.

So I inscribed the back of the postcard with a note to my wife, who has been telling me to go there for the past 20 years.

The post office in Hell, Michigan

Although I was only there about 20 minutes, it seemed like an eternity. The manager finished making my sandwich and came to ring up my purchases, including a bottle of Faygo Root Beer (of course, there’s no coffee in Hell) and I asked her where people from Hell go to vote. She gave me directions, and I took my sandwich and got back in my car, making sure that as I left, I drove like a bat.

While the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the road from Hell is not paved at all. The lady had given me directions to take a dirt road to get back on Highway 36, where I turned right and drove to the Putnam Township Hall. This was the voting site for precincts 2 and 3, but the lady in charge explained that Hell is in Precinct 1, which voted at Pinckney Elementary School down the road.

There I found the polling place and talked to the Precinct 1 co-chairwomen, Judy Paul and Janet Rindfusz, who told me that, as of 3:30 p.m., 205 people had voted in Hell’s precinct. About half of those were absentee or early votes, so if another hundred people were to vote in the precinct before polls close at 8 p.m., roughly a third of the ballots would be absentee.

The precinct co-chairwomen didn’t know whether this turnout should be characterized as light or heavy, since they didn’t know how many registered voters were in the precinct, but advised that I could check the results after 9 p.m. on the Livingston County Web site — which I most certainly will.

So then I drove down here to the McDonald’s in Pinckney to get online and file my report because, of course, there is no WiFi in Hell.

As for predictions tonight, all I can say is that as I drove to Hell and back, the only campaign signs I saw were for Ron Paul.

UPDATE: Headline from Politico:

Romney also said he voted in
Dem primaries to influence the race

Mitt’s criticism of Santorum? Yeah, it’s hypocritical as Hell.

Update (Smitty): linked by The Lonely Conservative.





  • Mortimer Snerd

    So it was a cold day in Hell.  Hmmmmmm.  Maybe Santorum does have a chance.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I reset the GPS and made my way back through Pinckney and hooked a left on the road to Hell.

    From what I understand, the only way to get to Hell is to turn Left.

  • dr kill

    When did you get stricken from the blogroll over at HotAir?

  • robertstacymccain

    You noticed, eh?

  • Dandapani

    Ah, hell, Stacy, this has to be the best field report evah!

  • smbren

    Oh what a nice write-up! I live 20 miles from Hell, I hope you enjoyed your stay here. My husband and I voted in our precinct at 5:15 this afternoon. We were voter numbers 42 and 43 respectively…Not a good sign at all. Based on turnout alone and no polling, the GOP should have their arses handed to them in November. A very sad situation in an election year that should have  been a shoe in.

  • Quartermaster

    Why did you? Are they getting too snooty over there?

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  • Tax1234

    I just knew Stacy would go to Hell!

  • richard mcenroe

    I think it was that unfortunate incident when he tried to measure Michelle’s hemline.  He wasn’t used to an inseam that short and, well…

  • Adjoran

     Yeah, I keep forgetting the hemline is to the waist, not like an inseam.

    Get more orders of protection that way.

  • Beto_Ochoa

    Hell hath no fury like a thigh mocked.

  • Mike Rogers

    Should have asked if Romney would be damned by faint praise.
    Unfortunately, may have jinxed Santorum by asking if Mittens had a snowball’s chance.

  • Adjoran

     That was the other night.  But he’s the sort who would go BACK to Hell because he forgot to check out the food.

  • Adjoran

     Romney worked hard, but for the most part all his hard campaigning and heavy spending did was pull in the undecideds.  Santorum stayed right in the range he was in a couple weeks back when he had a double-digit lead.

    But that’s the story of this state primary:  Santorum repeatedly shot himself in the foot and could not bring in late deciders (except for the Democratic mischief-makers).  His comments on contraception, college, and the speech on Kennedy from two years ago just diverted the attention from whatever message he wanted to get across.

    Santorum seems bullet-proof against the Romney attacks, but vulnerable to his own feet getting in his mouth. 

  • Sven

    Another classic of McCain-style “shoe-leather reporting”: miss the event and write about the woman serving you your food. It’s Kentucky and Pasadena all over again. 
    How many Coronas did you have yesterday? Apparently enough to forget that you did this “string-together-“hell”-cliches” post four days ago. Doing it again is scraping *through* the bottom of the barrel. You are a dog, and a town named Hell is your squirrel. 

  • Bob Belvedere

    And you would know about what lies at the bottom of the barrel because that’s where you live, ass-breath.

  • ThePaganTemple

     So what’s wrong about writing about the common people you come across and getting their perspective on things? If you were paying attention, you would have seen the woman in the restaurant as a potential symbol of the typical Romney voter, willing to vote for the man, but with some reservations about his overall record. In other words, their support isn’t that deep. And that could be a problem. Just look at the primary turnout. Not that impressive. The general election might not be that much better, and we have no one to blame but the elites that have tried to weight the system to their own benefit.

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