The Republican race for President in Michigan has tightened considerably over the last week, with what was a 15 point lead for Rick Santorum down to 4. He leads with 37% to 33% for Mitt Romney, 15% for Ron Paul, and 10% for Newt Gingrich.
The tightening over the last week is much more a function of Romney gaining than Santorum falling. Santorum’s favorability spread of 67/23 has seen no change since our last poll, and his share of the vote has dropped only 2 points from 39% to 37%. Romney meanwhile has seen his net favorability improve 10 points from +10 (49/39) to +20 (55/35) and his vote share go from 24% to 33%.
What we’re seeing in Michigan is a very different story from Florida where Romney surged by effectively destroying his opponent’s image- here Romney’s gains have more to do with building himself up.
Groups Santorum has double digit leads with include Protestants (up 47-30), union members (up 43-23), Evangelicals (up 51-24), Tea Partiers (up 55-20), ‘very conservative’ voters (up 54-23), and men (up 40-28).
Romney is leading the field with women (38-34), seniors (42-34), moderates (35-24), ‘somewhat conservative’ voters (40-34), and Catholics (43-31).
As I have said, if Mitt Romney were to lose Michigan, the state of his youth and family legacy, there will undoubtedly be another candidate who will jump into the race. If Romney wins Michigan by a point or two, then there may also be a challenge.
Take your pick: Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are not polling well in general election match-ups against President Obama. The GOP Establsihment will not stand by and let Santorum and/or Gingrich sink their 2012 prospects.
But, the new candidate will have to move quickly since election deadlines loom in early March.
In an attempt to tarnish Mitt Romney’s conservative credentials, Newt Gingrich on Tuesday connected Romney to Florida’s former governor, the once-ambitious moderate who fell so far out of favor with the GOP that in 2010 he left the GOP.
“We discovered last night that Mitt Romney has picked up Charlie Crist’s campaign manager,” Gingrich said Tuesday at the Tick Tock Restaurant in St. Petersburg. “I thought that told you everything you need to know about this primary.”
“As governor of Massachusetts [Romney] was pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-tax increase and pro- gun control,” he said. “Now that makes you a moderate in Massachusetts but it makes you pretty liberal in a Republican primary. That’s probably why he hired Charlie Crist’s staff.”
Gov. Daniels: Obama is ‘pro-poverty’ – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) castigated President Obama’s policies as “pro-poverty” and extreme in his response to the State of the Union address.
The Indiana governor, who considered a run for the White House before deciding last year against a campaign, knocked Obama for imposing regulations on business and for rejecting the proposed Keystone oil pipeline.
He labeled Obama’s policies as “pro-poverty and extremism that stifles the development of homegrown energy, or cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands, or jacks up consumer utility bills for no improvement in either human health or world temperature.”
Daniels said Obama’s “trickle-down government” policies has restrained the country’s economic growth.
Daniels also criticized Obama for trying to divide people with class warfare. “No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others,” he said
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J. More than a year out from Election Day, all sorts of Republicans, including Daniels, are making a point of keeping themselves in the national spotlight, stoking speculation that they’re positioning themselves as potential running mates for the eventual GOP presidential nominee
Many conservatives have been desperate for an alternative to Mitt Romney, but he still finds himself ahead in the first four primary states, because no single rival has been able to consolidate opposition to him or convince the establishment wing of the GOP that they’d be plausible. (BTW, I’m using “establishment,” roughly speaking, as a way of describing those who place more emphasis on electability than ideology.)
Daniels, no doubt, had his share of detractors, given his social issues “truce” comments, uncertainty about whether he’d be open to raising taxes, and skepticism over his foreign policy views among hawks. But his governing record in Indiana was well to the right of Mitt Romney’s in Massachusetts. If Romney can overcome past support for abortion, gun control, the McCain-Kennedy immigration approach, and government-run health care — among other liberal positions — Daniels’ deviations from conservatism would have looked mild by comparison. In addition, his command of policy details and strong executive record would have allowed him to compete with Romney for establishment support. It’s hard to imagine Daniels having a deer in the headlights moment in a debate.
Mitch Daniels would be the nominee, if he had run.
Will Mitt Romney choose him as a Vice Presidential candidate?
Only if he wants to win.
And, if Romney loses, then Daniels will be th epresumptive front-runner for 2016.