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share save 120 16 President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Close Race in Michigan
Romney and Santorum2 President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Close Race in Michigan

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney

A couple of recent polls show a dead heat in Michigan.

We Ask American Poll:

  • Romney – 29%
  • Santorum – 29%
  • Gingrich – 10%
  • Paul – 12%
  • Undecided – 20%

PPP Poll:

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.

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share save 120 16 President 2012: If Mitt Romney Loses Michigan   We Need a New Candidate Says Top GOP Senator
Jeb Bush President 2012: If Mitt Romney Loses Michigan   We Need a New Candidate Says Top GOP Senator

Former Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Hispanic Leadership Network’s conference, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 in Miami

You knew it was going to start.

The GOP establishment is getting antsy about Mitt Romney and if he does manage to lose Michigan – well, he is done.

A prominent Republican senator just told me that if Romney can’t win in Michigan, the Republican Party needs to go back to the drawing board and convince somebody new to get into the race.

“If Romney cannot win Michigan, we need a new candidate,” said the senator, who has not endorsed anyone and requested anonymity.

The senator believes Romney will ultimately win in Michigan but says he will publicly call for the party to find a new candidate if he does not.

“We’d get killed,” the senator said if Romney manages to win the nomination after he failed to win the state in which he grew up.

“He’d be too damaged,” he said.  “If he can’t even win in Michigan, where his family is from, where he grew up.”

What about Rick Santorum?

“He’d lose 35 states,” the senator said, predicting the same fate for Newt Gingrich.

And, who would the new candidate be?

Jeb Bush, said this Senator.

I, frankly, think it will be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels or Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal – or even Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

If the GOP wants to win against President Obama, they had better hope Santorum beats Romney in Michigan.

share save 120 16 President 2012: If Mitt Romney Loses Michigan   We Need a New Candidate Says Top GOP Senator
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: January 25, 2012

These are my links for January 23rd through January 25th:

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: January 25, 2012
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share save 120 16 President 2012: Hows That Mitch Daniels Candidacy Looking?
Mitch Daniels President 2012: Hows That Mitch Daniels Candidacy Looking?

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

Phil Klein looks at a Daniels what if?
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.

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share save 120 16 President 2012 Video: Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels STILL Not Running for President
Video: Govs. Christie and Daniels on why they’re not running for president

I guess NOT.

Chris Christie took another spin in the “I’m not running for president” tango this morning. Today’s dance partner: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Speaking before an audience of students at Rider University, Republican governors were asked (again) to explain their respective decisions not to run for president. Christie did, prompting this push from Daniels:

“I’m not taking no from Christie…I’m taking ‘Not yet,'” Daniels said, before declaring his respect for Christie’s decision. “He’s doing so many good things for your state. Your state needs him to keep on.”

But……

And while his (Christie’s) words say no to a quick departure from New Jersey, recent actions — such as this week’s launch of $1.5 million ad campaign touting his achievements in New York and Pennsylvania — say “maybe.”

The GOP Presidential field needs additional candidates, if not them, who?

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