The stakes are high for tomorrow's Michigan primary.
Even when halved Michigan will present more delegates to the GOP nominating convention than New Hampshire. Plus Michigan is the biggest state in play before the crucial primary in Florida. Momentum is a major force in electoral politics.
For McCain it's all about dominoes.
If McCain wins Michigan, it'll provide major momentum for South Carolina and ultimately Florida. If McCain wins Florida, it'll provide huge momentum for California -- the mother lode of delegates. If McCain wins California -- after having won Michigan and Florida -- then he's going to be the nominee.
For Romney the stakes in Michigan perhaps are greater than those for any other remaining GOP contender.
Romney needs a win. As the scion of a Michigan business and political dynasty he *should* get the win. Especially given his vast monetary resources. So, ergo, 2nd place won't cut it.
Unlike Romney, Huckabee does not need to win Michigan. He doesn't even need to finish 2nd. But he does need to finish with a material plurality of the vote. Otherwise the only momentum he'll have in South Carolina will be of the negative variety. A loss in South Carolina seriously would diminish his chances in Florida. No outright wins before Super Tuesday and Huckabee will be relegated to spoiler or to (Southern) delegate broker.