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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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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.


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


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George Will’s column is now posted.

Pretty brutal stuff…..

George Will “Romney is the Republican Party’s Michael Dukakis”

I wrote a few weeks ago why the Republican Party should NOT settle for Mitt Romney without eyes wide open.

George Will in a preview of this Sunday’s column drives the point home.

Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate: Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the tea party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming. Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from ‘data’ … Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for THIS?

I, frankly, think there needs to be another candidate to face off against Mitt Romney in the upcooming primary elections. Mitt may win the nomination with the current field but, despite what the poll says today, will lose to President Obama.

Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani or Mike Huckabee are all capable POLS who SHOULD challenge him. There should be an immediate DRAFT effort.

If the GOP were to nominate Romney anyway, then there you go. Don’t blame me for the epic loss to Obama and the failure to win back the U.S. Senate.

But, Republican voters really should have more choices.


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