So Romney eked out a tiny win in yesterday’s Michigan primary. With such a slim margin, there’s much to brag about, but coupled with his Arizona sweep it does allow Romney to claim the frontrunner mantle again. Of course, no one will be dropping out before Super Tuesday, so he still has a long rough road ahead on the campaign trail.
Romney can thank Rick Santorum for sparing him an embarrassing loss. While Santorum was connecting deeply with the religious voters he made some serious missteps which apparently cost him that critical 3% that could have put him over the top. Romney ended up doing better with Catholics.
Everyone has a theory about it. I think it was the JFK slam that hurt Santorum with Catholic voters the most. Many older Catholics voted for JFK, regardless of their political affiliation, simply to put the first Catholic president in office. I suspect that Santorum’s vomit crack turned them off.
Anyway, the primary is over and the big winner is Michigan’s TV stations which made a killing on the SuperPAC ad buys. Haven’t seen any final numbers, but as of Feb. 21, the TV stations saw at least $2.2 million spent statewide in broadcast TV commercial buys.
Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network called it a “fairly pedestrian amount for statewide TV spending.” However, the president and general manager of the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids saw it as partial windfall:
While political ads aren’t a total windfall because they can cut into spending by local advertisers, Mason said the political action committees aren’t guaranteed the same lowest rates that federal law dictates for candidates and they are bringing stations new revenue.
“The super-PACs are going to change the political season,” she said. “These are going to be dollars that we haven’t seen before.”
We’re talking only about TV buys here and this was a full week before the primary. When the final numbers on all the ad buys come in, I’d guess the number will at least double. Clearly the media were the biggest winners in this race.