Under normal voting circumstances, Mitt Romney would easily be the frontrunner for winning the Michigan GOP primary. However, for some ridiculous reasons, the Michigan legislature or GOP party, decided to make the primaries open voting. Meaning anyone can vote in whichever primary you want. So this situation makes it difficult 3-way race, one in which I would put Romney in 3rd place.
First let’s talk about the Democratic voters. The first problem is that there is no real democratic contest in Michigan. Barack and Edwards, from what I understand, are not even on the ballot. So what do Democrats do? They play strategically of course.
And what is strategic for the Dems? It is helping the Republicans nominate the most beatable candidate in November. And who is that?
So not only is Mike going to get the votes from the evangelicals, he is going to get the vote from most of the democratic voters who care enough to vote. Let’s hope this is minimal.
Now, what about independents? I have less of a problem with independents being allowed to vote in one of the primaries, however I still don’t prefer it. Honestly, Republicans are choosing whom will represent them, not whom will represent the independents or democrats. Naturally, independents are going to most likely break for McCain. So when we take into account McCain’s NH bump and the independents, it makes McCain very difficult to beat.
The one thing that Mitt has going for him is that none of the candidates know or understand Michigan like Mitt. He is the native son and heir to the former Governor. Mitt has been playing Michigan well, saying all the right things. I think Mitt will be able to pull a lot of GOP voters and a significant amount of indy’s, especially those in the auto industry.
As of right now, I would think that Mitt is fighting an uphill battle, I would place him in third place. However, I don’t think Mitt is dead with a loss here, if only because of Michigan’s open system. Mitt is good enough to pull out this victory, but it will take a TON of work.
One final unrelated thought I had last night. I have heard no speculation on whom McCain would choose as a running mate. I think the best strategic choice, despite the abject hatred, would be Mitt. I could be nuts, but McCain/Romney is a strong and winnable ticket and it would set the GOP up to hold onto the Whitehouse 8 years from now. Highly unlikely, but definitely something to consider.