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Michigan: The Stakes

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.


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Comments (24)

What about good old Fred? <... (Below threshold)

What about good old Fred?

For the life of me I don't ... (Below threshold)

For the life of me I don't know why Fred! isn't catching on. I really don't want to vote for McHuckmney.

So help me, if We The Peopl... (Below threshold)

So help me, if We The People screw this one up and select Rudy McRomney, then we deserve the John Obillary administration that we'll get.

Fred! is the only conservative horse in this race. Period, end of story.

If you would just do some b... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

If you would just do some basic research, you will learn that Ol' Fred isn't the conservative you are dreaming about. He pussed out on pro-life issues on several occasions. At least with Huckabee you know the core of the campaign is based upon true conservative principles.

"true conservative principl... (Below threshold)

"true conservative principles?" I didn't know it was "conservative" to raise taxes, give in state tuition to illegal aliens, campaign for democrats, consider a strong foreign policy "arrogant." etc..... I don't think the Huckster would even make a decent democrat president.

Paroling rapists and big go... (Below threshold)

Paroling rapists and big government amnesty are not at the core of conservative principles.

Well I'm voting for Fred to... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Well I'm voting for Fred tomorrow. I hope a lot of my fellow Michiganders do also.

Romney "needed to win" in N... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Romney "needed to win" in New hampshire also. He didn't. He still has more delgates than anyone else at this point and will still be top or 2nd with delegates if he takes 2nd in MI. This "win or get out" garbage is just that, garbage. Romney doesn't need to win in a liberal state to stay in a republican primary.

With that being said, i'm not exactly a huge romney fan. Go Fred!

BTWP. Bunyan, I'll be out a... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

BTWP. Bunyan, I'll be out at the polls voting Fred tomorrow.

Again, if you'd just think ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Again, if you'd just think for a minute... Huckabee is pro-life, pro-second Amendment, pro-military, pro-marriage and pro-fair tax. The man inherited an EMBARRASSING situation in Arkansas with his state ranked 49th in high school graduate scores. The roads in that state were ranked the absolute worst. Folks, there ARE times when the government does play a role. So what should he have done... ignore these issues in case he would run for president? Huckabee did balance his state budget 10 times in a row... he is NOT some tax and spend liberal. If you would just take a minute and analyze the Huckabee immigration plan, you will see that sending illegals home to formally apply for reentry has NOTHING to do with amnesty. You are confusing the candidates' platforms. Yes, he gave the CHILDREN of illegals assistance... a politically stupid thing to do... but the vast majority of them were actually LEGAL. In the vast configuration of things, this was actually a socially responsible thing to do because conservatism does allow for compassion, especially for children.

We are staring at a John McCain nomination. Now, THIS is a traitor to conservative principles. Do you remember when Bush was waging battle against the libs on this new concept of requiring 60 votes for the confirmation of judges? Didn't it piss you off when one of our own joined in an alliance with the enemies of our president in this infamous "Gang of Fourteen"? How about his "maverick" vetoes of the Bush tax cuts which have helped so many American businesses flourish?

Those who hate Huckabee because he is a strong Christian, I have no hope for you. But playing him up as a liberal is intellectually dishonest. Your new national frontrunner is a genuine social liberal... a global warming, gay marriage supporting, tax cut opposing, amnesty supporting social liberal. John McCain is an American hero, but we cannot defeat the liberals on the other side with more of the same.

Put me in the Fred column a... (Below threshold)

Put me in the Fred column as well.

Alan,Huckabee is adv... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Huckabee is advertising this populist agenda and quite frankly by saying the era of reagan is over, he makes me sick. The man's words and his record do not jive. I've lost track of this whole "raised taxes x amount of times" and "cut taxes x amount of times" that romney, giuliani and huckabee all seem to be arguing about, but when the question comes up about raising taxes, he evades the question and tries to say that he raised roads and raised schools instead. Huckabee is being intellectually dishonest when he won't answer the questions. Mitt Romney of all people has nailed him on taxes as well as illegal immigration a few times and the Huckster refused to answer when Mitt asked. When Chris Wallace asked he just jumped around the question.

The man has alot of good one-liners i'll give him that. I'm quite frankly sick of his "We need to work up not down, left or right" or whatever he's saying. Also about "The president should resemble the guy you worked with instead of the guy that laid you off". Quite frankly that is an idiotic statement. I'd rather have a guy who laid people off as president than someone who can be my buddy and be a populist. I want someone to start laying off people in the government so that we can start cutting spending. Quite frankly lay offs are exactly what need to happen in washington and Huckabee will be more status-quo than he is trying to make himself out to be.

The Huckster may have balanced the budget and all this wonderful stuff out in Arkansas, but he didn't lead a conservative movement in Arkansas. Running a government and leading a movement are two quite different things. No candidate in the running has done this, so the Huckster gets a little bit of a pass. But quit trying to redefine conservatism to fit his image. The man is not a conservative. I'm rooting for Fred because i think he is the most conservative out of all the candidates out there, but by no means is he Reagan incarnate.

The Huckster may not be as liberal as people say he is, but he is nowhere near as conservative as people are trying to paint him. He has also talked about new conservatism a few times... There is no "New Conservatism". GW's Compassionate Conservative was a Conservatism lite and so is "New Conservatism". Conservatism is what it is and should not be defined any other way.

Romney's through if he can'... (Below threshold)

Romney's through if he can't win Michigan. Where can he win if he can't win there.

Democrats and independents ought to give McCain a big boost. I think he wins easily.

Personally, I'm mystified as to why Republicans aren't turning out for Fred Thompson in bigger numbers. He would seem to be the only one of the five who is, in fact, genuinely conservative on all the important issues.

Larkin,Only one stat... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Only one state has had a primary and another has had a caucus. NH, lib state, Iowa, crappy caucus.

Thompson hasn't campaigned in a conservative state yet.

Dave W:I cannnot a... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Dave W:

I cannnot argue with much of your excellent post. I do wish to stress, however, that conservatism is about a LOT more than just fiscal restraint. It is also about the sanctity of life and the preservation of our institutions such as marriage. It is about the defense of our nation and our sovereignty. It is about the moral principles upon which our nation was founded. None of the other four candidates have been as strong as Huckabee on these matters.

If we default to foreign policy experience, then McCain is probably our man despite his being the social liberal of the group. If we seek the most conservative candidate of the group, then Fred is probably the way to go. Rudy may get a second look, but he's nowhere near as conservative as Huckabee and Thompson.

I agree wholeheartedly with you about conservatism being what it is without compromise. However, I submit to you that we are going to lose the entire election if we do not realize we are in the minority now. This just isn't 1980. It's tough to fathom that when we immerse ourselves in Rush and Hannity all day long, but we are actually being overrun with liberalism in this country. I have grown to solidly agree with Huckabee that we do need to reassess some aspects of our platform with regard to how we deal with this groundswell of opposition. Some issues such as life and marriage are not open to compromise, but we are about to get our clocks cleaned on fiscal matters. I don't think Huckabee is selling out on conservatism. I see his realistic approach to building a winning platform for November.

Alan,You're describi... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

You're describing exactly what the democrats do. If they don't like our ideas, lets mask them and tell the people something else until we get elected... I don't like it and i'm going to be a purist and stick to my values on a presidential nominee. Alot of conservatives and republicans are more than likely going to stay home if Huckabee or McCain get nominated. I highly doubt either of them have a chance once we get to conservative states though. We're two states in and another liberal state tomorrow.

Get ready to watch Huckabee and McCain tank once we hit super-Tuesday-ish.

Dave W:Some conser... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Dave W:

Some conservatives may stay home on a McCain nomination, but I really don't think that is the case with Huckabee. He should turn out the base as well as any other of the candidates. His "populist" views on the economy are not going to chase conservatives and he most certainly will grab a number of moderates from across the aisle.

This sure isn't "masking". If we had a Reagan in the race, I'd be all for him. But this is what we have and I think Huckabee is the most authentic and most electable of the group. I agree with you that my thoughts are probably a moot point in that Huckabee's days in this race are probably limited. I hope you are right about McCain as well. It's just that we have no one left in the on-deck circle...

The only person I'll stay h... (Below threshold)

The only person I'll stay home for is the Huckster. Anyone who raises taxes, gives illegals in state tuition, campaigns for democrats, pardons dozens of murderers, is against a strong foreign policy, etc...is not worth the gas to go to the poll. Just because someone is pro life and pro 2nd amendment does not make one a conservative.

There are 300,000,000 citiz... (Below threshold)

There are 300,000,000 citizens (not countin the illeegs) and this is the selection We get the dubious DISTINCTION to pick from?

Were screwed..

If you would just ... (Below threshold)
If you would just do some basic research, you will learn that Ol' Fred isn't the conservative you are dreaming about. He pussed out on pro-life issues on several occasions.

Show me the money: where's the hard proof of Fred! "pussing out" on pro-life issues? If it's out there, I want to see it! Per ontheissues.org, FDT is about as on-the-record pro-life as you can get. What's more, he advocates a federalist solution to the abortion debate, which is the truly conservative approach, IMO. Related to ontheissues.org, SenateMatch records Fred! as being "strongly opposed" to the position that "Abortion is a women's right".

Note that I'm not attacking Huckabee's pro-life stance -- Planned Parenthood and NARAL apparently rate Huckabee just as low as they rate Fred (which is certainly a good thing for both men's pro-life creds). My point is simply that when you try to cast Huck as a more pro-life candidate than Fred ...that dog won't hunt.

I stand by my original comment: Fred! is the only true blue conservative even in the race at this point. If that ship sails, we as a country deserve what we get.

/on that thought, I'm making a note to buy more ammo
//...and maybe another rifle while I'm at it ;)

Fred Thompson said plainly ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Fred Thompson said plainly during the Tampa debate that he opposed a constitutional amemdment to proctect life. One can give all the lip service, but when it came to actual policy, he got all lukewarm. He has also takend the same non-interventionist position on gay marriage. I think your own term of "blue conservative" is ironically appropriate in these two cases.

People keep wondering why Thompson is floundering in the polls, but they don't see the little things that concern the majority of Republicans. He took almost two days off this past weekend while campaigning in South Carolina! Who does that, one week from voting day? This "surge" he's on has been fueled by little else than attacks on Huckabee and McCain. This is why he hasn't budged in the national polls. How is he going to compete against a candidate like Obama if he can't even make headway against two candidates in his own party who are constantly slammed in the conservative media on a daily basis?

I agree that Fred would make an excellent president. I just think getting there is an impossibility.

Fred is the only savior for... (Below threshold)

Fred is the only savior for the true Conservative Republicans. All the rest are hybrid conservatives.

If you think green, then Fred may not be your pick. But, if you think Red, then your only choice should be Fred.

Of course Fred opposes a Co... (Below threshold)

Of course Fred opposes a Constitutional amendment against abortion -- as I noted before, he has stated that he wants a federalist solution. He has said on more than one occasion that he would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and let each state deal with abortion as it's people see fit. But wait! That would lead to a huge mish-mash of abortion laws all over the country! Maybe, maybe not -- but that is precisely what federalism is all about. Check out the Tenth Amendment.

Whether it's a federal protection of a woman's "right" to an abortion or a federal ban on a woman's "right" to an abortion ...it's still federal. Fred's point is (and has always been) that the federal government shouldn't be involved on this issue.

Morissimo,You are ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:


You are unfortunately misguided as to the obligations our federal government actually does have within its domain of responsibilities. The protection of those citizens who have not yet passed from the womb are one of these constitutional charges.






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