Posted on | February 28, 2012 | 6 Comments
It’s 7 a.m., which means the polls just opened in today’s Michigan Republican primary. Polls will be open until 8 p.m. The front-page banner headline story in today’s Detroit Free Press:
After two weeks in the headlights of the national hunt for a Republican presidential candidate, Michigan voters go to the polls today, and the outcome could help determine whether the grinding slog continues or Republicans finally start to rally around one candidate.
Polls are inconclusive, except to show the race is a toss-up.
Michigan native Mitt Romney, who won the state’s primary in 2008 against eventual nominee John McCain, has the strongest organization in 2012 and is reminding voters of his Michigan roots and credentials to fix the ailing economy.
But Rick Santorum has been riding a wave of support from his more conservative base — a bloc of voters that may be far more excited about getting out to vote.
A Santorum win would give him fresh momentum headed into Super Tuesday, March 6, when 10 states vote, and wound Romney — long considered the heir to the nomination.
That lead is kind of bland, but the story gets meatier on the jump page:
For months, it appeared Michigan would be, without doubt, Romney country: He was born in Detroit and raised in Oakland County, the son of a three-term governor and former auto executive.
But then — just as Romney’s Jan. 31 victory in Florida seemed to almost seal the nomination for him — Santorum, an also-ran in some of the earlier primaries, pulled off a three-state sweep in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on Feb. 7.
An apt summary, although it omits the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses, a humiliating defeat for Newt Gingrich. Newt’s press-conference tantrum in Vegas that Saturday night signaled the implosion of his campaign and set the stage for Santorum’s surprising Feb. 7 trifecta.
Anyway, my custom on Election Day is to sleep late, as I expect to be up past midnight reporting the results. I’m writing this at 3 a.m. and scheduling it for 7 a.m., having just made a run to the convenience store to grab the local paper.