It is a little more than a day before the Michigan Primary.
If you’re a first-time voter in the mood to vote, the Michigan Secretary of State has an easy link here. Polls open on Tuesday at 7:00 A.M. and close at 8:00 P.M.
For me, it’s a no-brainer to root for Rep. Ron Paul. Neither former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum nor former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney hold any spot dear to me. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is not even on the radar, and I even have a special photoshop planned for him for Super Tuesday when he gets blown from the water, and has a no-good, very bad day.
Part of me wants to make Mitt Romney sing for his supper, though. A vote for Rick sure would make a tasty statement, because it should wake up the GOP.
Michigan will be vital in 2012, even with the loss of an electoral vote. After all, this is Mitt Romney’s home state. Just ask a one Al Gore in 2000, when a win in Tennessee would’ve solved Florida. But with so many issues at hand from here to the general, Michigan will be vital for the eventual GOP candidate to solve the electoral math problem that’s getting more complicated every day. And while it is important to play to the base, that last debate was ridiculous, as the candidates seemed unconcerned with the real issues facing America.
Nolan Finley nails the disconnect, trying to bring us back to the economy…but he also fails to hold his racehorse accountable for escalating this primary to an epic tale of fantasy, filled with imaginary enemies. You could believe that this narrative was media-driven, but think about it.
It’s better to argue nonsensical things that rouse the rabble than actually debating the economy and solutions that are not turnkey acquisitions.
Why tell Americans the truth? Arguing about earmarks that contribute a sliver of costs, or demonizing prenatal care is far more important…right? Some TEA showed good form, and embraced the “hobbit” remarks by the Wall Street Journal. But the real hobbit may be Mitt.
Mitt Romney is The 10k Bettor, The Flip-flop Wearer, The Severe Conservative. He was for Smaug before he was against it (ha). And while I may poke fun, Mitt may still yet be the one to save Middle America.
But that would require Mitt to finally be Mitt. And he can’t win the primary being Mitt. He’s got to sell himself from his own state. He gets set up at Ford Field. He’s burning cash running against himself. Maybe it’s his own fault, because he’s refusing to admit what Rick Santorum freely admitted in the Mesa debate.
In order to win, you have to be a team player. Instead, the Arizona audience booed Rick, and apparently the electorate reacted as well, giving Mitt an even larger lead because Rick actually told the truth, and Michigan has tightened up.
I’m left wondering what the heck the GOP is actually looking for. Is it a collection of single-issues that must be followed like commandments? And if one is broken, are they cast into the pit? They’re obviously not social conservatives driving the numbers, as Rick’s surge has been halted. Maybe it is the ads finally taking effect. Maybe it is the poor debate performance that slowed Rick’s roll.
Or maybe it’s the same reasoning that Dems use for gun control, that amniocentesis causes abortions like guns kill people. Eventually, the logic will enter an infinite loop, and maybe that’s why GOP enthusiasm is feeble, because even the base loses their train of thought in all of this.
After all, if the GOP picks Mitt Romney, they’re picking the guy that requested an endorsement from Planned
Satan Parenthood in 2002 while running for Governor. So social conservatives might play in Colorado, but Michigan shows resistance to the Santorum antibiotic regimen for Romney-itis.
Is it fiscal conservatism? Mitt Romney did call for Michigan’s auto industry to suck eggs. So far, so good. But almost as if sensing the complacent aura of consistency, Mitt delivered a lifeline for Democrats, and stated that cutting spending would hurt the economy. Even with his qualifier on that remark, he continues to create unforced errors.
I bet if some higher-up in the conservative media wing decided to say that supporting the waffle industry was good for conservative ideals, someone would run a syrup ad while the other would claim his opponents were ordering pancakes in 2007. Then Romney would claim that he ordered pancakes, but then changed his mind and while it ended up on the bill, he really did eat waffles that night.
Pancakes. This is how decadent the process has become. And I won’t blame voters in Michigan for just skipping the primary to save gas. Maine skipped out due to the snow, even delivering unfinished returns and simply declaring a winner. Even if Maine’s GOP is granted a mea culpa, what would you think about having 2,373 voters (pdf) deciding who to support from over 250,000 GOP supporters from Maine that voted in 2008?
Michigan participation on Tuesday will answer more than just a delegate winner. It will measure the level of enthusiasm on both ends of the spectrum in 2012. For Dems, it will measure how many crossovers visit the polls, and its proportional effect will depend on the total number of votes cast. For the GOP, it will answer the long-standing question if swing states are energized to oust President Obama.
A low turnout is guaranteed to be bad news for Mitt. And while some polls like NBC/Marist (pdf) show Romney tying it up, there’s always another poll that swings within the margin-of-error, as ARG shows Santorum up 38-34.
And those numbers are absent crossovers. Mitt’s in for a long night, regardless.
So vote on Tuesday. If anything, participation will help dilute any malfeasance planned for the primary. And you’ll feel better. I’d hate to see people not participating, and then find out that the candidate chosen by 5% of the electorate turns out to be a dirty sock.