Romney Wins Big
You could see the wind taken out of its sails as CNN’s primary team anchored tonight’s Michigan coverage. This was supposed to be the state that solidified the 2012 Republican Primary as a month’s long, competitive contest. But alas, as I tried to impress upon my readers for the last week, Romney still controlled the primary. He won both states tonight, and thanks to the media saying that he was so vulnerable, his three-point, 41-38 lead (as of the time of this posting) is actually pretty solid. (Also solid, my 40-38 prediction on Monday in Romney’s favor!)
Coupled with his Arizona triumph, Mitt Romney is tonight’s big winner. I’ll leave it to my fellow political bloggers to reveal the final delegate breakdown from Michigan—they’re not yet available tonight—and the immediate effects, but the relevance of tonight is clear. Romney unofficially took back the momentum over the weekend. Now it’s official. The momentum is back in his corner, and only Saturday’s Washington Caucus lays between now and Super Tuesday.
Santorum needs to regroup as quickly as possible. In fact, his speech tonight which he started by talking about his mother and women in general, is a clear appeal to regain the lost demographic that is the xx chromosome. Unfortunately for Santorum’s team, it blew the speech by sending up Santorum shortly before CNN called Michigan for Romney, and it interrupted Santorum’s speech to report it. Surely his handlers should know the call was coming any minute, and they should have waited for CNN to finish reporting on it. Much of his speech was pre-empted, and his attempt to manage the loss went out the window.
As for Romney, he needs to cement his momentum by winning Ohio. Georgia and Ohio are Super Tuesday’s two biggest prizes, and he’s likely to finish in third place in Georgia. That leaves Ohio, where Santorum is up in the polls. Romney’s wins today will cut into Santorum’s Ohio lead. If Romney can go there and take Ohio—in addition to doing well across other states on Super Tuesday—he might force the entire party to recognize his inevitability.
Don’t forget to check back over the next couple days for more analysis from my fellow Construction writers, including an update on whatever the final Michigan delegate split ends up being.
See you Monday.