Michigan Live Blog – RantAWeek

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Michigan Live Blog

21.22 Matthew Dudak

Thank you for joining us today for our Michigan Live Blog! With Romney winning both Michigan and Arizona, he looks to have some momentum leading in to Super Tuesday. We hope you will join us next week for our Super Tuesday live blog. Also, check back tomorrow for a full length article analyzing these results, and what they mean for the rest of the primaries as well as the general election!

21.21 Tyler Miksanek

Thank you very much… esteemed colleague Robert Lampros.

21.21 Robert Lampros

Celebrate with Blue and Yellow!!!

21.21 Robert Lampros

Quick reminder, tomorrow is leap day!

21.20 Bradley Disbrow

Republicans need to get some real money if they are serious about November, whoever is on the ticket. Thanks for following us!

21.20 Robert Lampros

To summarize my opinions about tonight:

  • I want Santorum to be a flavor of the month
  • I think this primary isn’t as important as some people think
  • College students be crazy

Goodnight America

21.18 Robert Lampros

Well that does it, CNN has declared Romney the winner.

21.18 Matthew Dudak

I do not know for sure. Much of Obama’s cabinet is very worn out and expected to resign in his second term. Clinton, Geithner, etc.

21.18 Claire Bratzel

Bye everybody! See you next week at our Super Tuesday Live Blog!


21.18 Bradley Disbrow

I’m going to represent America here when I say, “Nikki WHO?”

21.17 Robert Lampros

So who would replace her?

21.17 Matthew Dudak

She has not said for sure, but she has indicated that she it has taken too much of a toll on her and she would rather retire.

21.16 Sam Niiro

That’s what you think, Bradley! NIKKI HALEY OUT OF NOWHERE.

21.16 Robert Lampros

Clinton isn’t coming back for SecState?

21.15 Matthew Dudak

The main reason I ask about Biden is because early last year there were some rumors about switching Hillary Clinton and Biden. However these rumors were stifled when Clinton basically said she is about done at the end of this term.

21.15 Tyler Miksanek

Whether or not Biden has them I am not sure… but they were commonly made fun of nevertheless in 2008.

21.14 Bradley Disbrow

Don’t think it’s necessary, but it certainly helps. Think about how powerful an Obama/Clinton ticket would have been. I think they would have been unstoppable. There are just no high-profile Republican women who are sufficiently popular enough to take on the job.

21.14 Robert Lampros


21.13 Sam Niiro

More to the point, Biden hasn’t hurt the administration at all and he acquitted himself well in 2008, I don’t see him leaving.

21.13 Tyler Miksanek

Matthew, why would Obama make the unnecessary risk of kicking Biden out? Still, I’m actually looking forward to the VP debate… another chance to make fun of Biden’s hair plugs.

21.13 Robert Lampros

I dont know how confident I would be in calling Romney already but its looking good for him. I still think we are overestimating the importance of these primaries. Tonight the news will report that Romney won his home state and a state they called the verdict on basically before voting even started. If anything this will do absolutely nothing to his success on Tuesday

21.13 Sam Niiro

I hope he does, otherwise those bumper stickers they’re sending out that say “OBAMA – BIDEN – 2012″ will get super awkward.

21.12 Bradley Disbrow

A lot of Romney’s counties have very few precincts reporting, whereas Santorums have many precincts reporting. Santorum’s options are running thin.

21.11 Matthew Dudak

Also, do we all agree that Obama will pick Biden again as his running mate or might he change things up a bit?

21.11 Tyler Miksanek

Back to results for a second… Romney has a 4% lead with 69% of the vote in. I’m pretty ready to call this one for Romney. But what does a double win today mean for Romney leading up to and on Super Tuesday?

21.10 Robert Lampros

Is it necessary for a female VP to be picked in this age of constant sexism watchdogging?

21.10 Bradley Disbrow

Christie would probably take it. He does have a strong sense of civic duty. And let’s be honest, who turns down a VP offer?

21.09 Matthew Dudak

With almost 70% reporting, Romney is still ahead by only 4%. Does Santorum have any chance left of catching up?

21.08 Matthew Dudak

I think Christie would not ask for it, but if offered it would. I think he would feel it sort of his duty. Also, I think Hunstman is a very logical choice for Secretary of State should there be a Republican White House.

21.08 Tyler Miksanek

I think Christie wants to run in 2016. If he feels that even an unsuccessful VP run will boost his credentials, he might accept.

21.07 Robert Lampros

Would Christie take it?

21.07 Matthew Dudak

I think ultimately, it will be Rubio, Christie, or Jindal.

21.06 Claire Bratzel

I think the biggest thing about the VP is that they must be articulate and very careful. After the first debate, everybody was just waiting for Palin to make another mistake (which she did) and then they jumped on her. Also, I’m not entirely sure McCain had actually met Palin prior to naming her VP…that is also important to learn from.

21.06 Tyler Miksanek

That ‘moderate and safe’ idea is Romney though. If he’s the nominee, should he take a risk in a VP?

21.05 Bradley Disbrow

Whoever they pick, it cannot be a maverick. Especially one who references putting lipstick on pit bulls. Like I said, moderate and safe.

21.05 Robert Lampros

If the GOP candidate this year can find someone who can phrase their *sane* opinions better than Biden can, they would be a good VP

21.04 Matthew Dudak

And Mr. Miksanek, while he had a large jump at the time, the electorate started to see her true colors, especially at the VP debate.

21.03 Robert Lampros

Honestly, McCain could have done very well with Palin if she hadn’t opened her mouth till after November

21.02 Matthew Dudak

With 62% reporting, Romney leads by 4%.

21.02 Sam Niiro

And then remember how her presence systematically dismantled his campaign?

21.02 Bradley Disbrow

Well, if they wanted to go with a woman again, my pick would be Olympia Snowe. But since she basically said today that she hates Washington and is not running for re-election, that throws her out.

21.01 Tyler Miksanek

Matt… remember the large jump in the polls McCain got after nominating Palin. He was actually in the lead momentarily.

21.01 Sam Niiro

Well, it’s a little obvious. And I’d wait until after Super Tuesday to declare him dead.

21.01 Robert Lampros

Sam you’re right, I want Santorum to disappear like Cain and Perry did. Is this clouding my perception? perhaps a tad, but I think it makes for some great discourse!

21.00 Matthew Dudak

I also think that no one wants to redo the mistakes made in 2008 with Sarah Palin.


21.00 Bradley Disbrow

I like Christie or Jindal as well.

21.00 Tyler Miksanek

Oh, he would have to pick a moderate. He would desperately need the independent voters.

21.00 Sam Niiro

Pawlenty! Aw man, remember when he was relevant?

20.59 Claire Bratzel

I heard that on the radio…but I agreed with it!

20.59 Sam Niiro

You really want Santorum to be just a flavor-of-the-month, don’t you? And I think it just shows that Santorum is surging, if you’ll excuse the potential innuendo. Romney’s voters have known they want him for a long time, while diehard conservatives have been shopping around for a while.

20.59 Matthew Dudak

If Santorum should get the nomination, do we see him picking a moderate running mate or one with more similar views to him?

20.59 Tyler Miksanek

Was the 30 Rock reference actually made by political commentators.. or was that just you Claire.

20.59 Bradley Disbrow

VP’s? I bet they’d try to stay within the pool of candidates for the nomination, but I could see them going for someone like Pawlenty or even Huntsman. Whoever it is, it is going to be a very moderate, safe choice. Unless they’re stupid.

20.58 Sam Niiro

No, but Jindal provides a southern counterpoint, has run a state pretty well for the past decade-ish, and has the capacity to attract minority voters.

20.58 Robert Lampros

Im going back to my flavor of the month thing. In the CNN exit poll, Santorum’s voters made their decision this month or in the last couple of days while Romney’s votes were from a longer time frame (or the day of). Does this give Santorum momentum or pose for his lead to disappear in the next weeks?

20.58 Sam Niiro

Marco Rubio is an interesting possibility too.

20.57 Claire Bratzel

Has Bobby Jindal done much since he botched the Republican response to the State of the Union a few years ago and was accused of sounding like Kenneth from 30 Rock?

20.57 Matthew Dudak

Hunstman would make a good one, but doesn’t have the popularity for a candidate to chose him. Chris Christie seems logical as well, but he doesn’t seem interested. Rubio would help get minority votes away from Obama.

20.57 Sam Niiro

You know, everyone who should’ve run but didn’t.

20.57 Tyler Miksanek

I think Rubio would be an interesting counterpart to Romney.

20.57 Sam Niiro

Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush.


20.56 Tyler Miksanek

No independent candidates… but let’s discuss VP choices. Let’s all state some people who would make good VPs.

20.55 Robert Lampros

I can’t see an independent being anywhere close to successful. The candidate would have to be an idiot to doom his own party like that.

20.55 Matthew Dudak

I think Romney winning Urban areas has been a trend throughout this race, even going back to the slightly urban areas in Iowa.

20.55 Bradley Disbrow

It would be hilarious to see him try to appeal to moderates…”Remember all the stuff I said a few months ago? Don’t.”

20.54 Tyler Miksanek

Take away the Detroit metropolitan area and Romney’s lead is gone. Santorum has quite a sway over more rural voters. He’s also (almost) won the entire Upper Peninsula.

20.54 Claire Bratzel

Bradley- I think if Santorum wins the nomination people will eventually become tired of his extremely conservative views. It may sound like a breath of fresh air now, but that will fade.

20.54 Matthew Dudak

Going back to a point made much earlier, do we see a long-shot candidate who dropped out running as an independent? If so, who? Cain? Bachmann? Pawlenty?


20.54 Robert Lampros

Also, back to the economy standpoint. In the exit polls, Romney also got the most voters who had a family member laid off in the last three years. I would venture to say that this means people have confidence in Romney’s ability to heal the economy over Santorum.

20.53 Bradley Disbrow

It’s the hair. It really is. But in all seriousness, that reflects that Romney might be able to get more moderate voters. Women tend to vote more liberally than do men.

20.53 Sam Niiro

Not angry Republicans, angry voters. And angry or no, Santorum doesn’t have the ability to pull independents nationwide.

20.51 Robert Lampros

Its interesting how Romney has a higher female vote while Santorum is break-even

20.51 Bradley Disbrow

To Claire’s post – interesting that Democrats would say that, considering that they know how badly angry Republicans can hurt them (2010).

20.50 Tyler Miksanek

Romney and Santorum have split the independent vote in Michigan. This is rather interesting, as the assumption we made earlier was that Romney appealed to Independents while Santorum did not. Hmmm…

20.49 Noah Baird

I am interested to see how independent individuals play a roll in the elections this year. Not just with donations, but with blogs, youtube attack adds, and other means. Crowdsourcing has peeked my interest…

20.49 Bradley Disbrow

Romney’s pulling away…51% reporting and leads by 20,000 votes, 42%-37%.

20.49 Robert Lampros

If anyone is looking for some good old offensive college students ranting about Paul’s lack of success, tumblr has everything for your needs! Its also very mean towards obama and the media! Enjoy!

20.49 Matthew Dudak

With 52% reporting, Romney is leading by 5%. His lead is continually growing.

20.49 Claire Bratzel

I prefer The Fountainhead.

20.48 Sam Niiro

Ayn Rand putdowns, hey-oh!

20.48 Tyler Miksanek

Weird that 20 year olds have finished Atlas Shrugged. I was under the impression it took 25 years to read.

20.48 Matthew Dudak

Sam Niiro’s impersonation of young voting-age adults, everyone.

20.47 Claire Bratzel

“If Santorum wins Michigan it will be like Christmas for the Democrats.” -Some Democrat close to the Obama administration.


20.47 Sam Niiro

“I just read Atlas Shrugged, and I think it’s clear that government only holds back the enormous creative and productive potential of the downtrodden rich. I’m voting Paul in 2012.”

20.47 Matthew Dudak

Romney and Santorum have both already locked in 3 delegates. In Michigan, most delegates are bound to the votes from the various congressional districts, while there are 2 that are bound to who wins the state overall.

20.47 Tyler Miksanek

The terms are interchangeable, yes.

20.46 Bradley Disbrow

By oldest you mean coolest, right?

20.46 Robert Lampros

Yeah Im with Tyler on this one….college kids and their crazy gold standard love

20.45 Tyler Miksanek

Funny that the oldest candidate wins the 18-29 voter block.

20.44 Robert Lampros

Yay old people! keep having nothing to do but vote and shoo kids off your townhouses’ lawn!

20.44 Tyler Miksanek

Also… Romney does well among older voters, while Santorum wins among middle-aged voters. Paul has the youth, though!

20.44 Bradley Disbrow

Well, that’s a good sign for Romney – older voters are the most dependable. He will need to diversify, however, to compete in November.

20.44 Matthew Dudak

Romney has unsurprisingly taken the richer and more educated population in Michigan, while Santorum took more workers and union members.

20.42 Tyler Miksanek

Here is bad news from AZ exit polls though. Romney’s showing among Hispanic voters was a bit lower than expected. This could bode poorly for him come November if he is facing Obama in Florida.

20.42 Sam Niiro

Robbie: I’ll agree to that for the general election, but I think that on-the-ground efforts are hugely important in the primaries. Clarification, though: I consider things like microtargeting and campaign infrastructure to be part of on-the-ground efforts.

20.41 Matthew Dudak

Interesting that Ron Paul has taken most of the younger demographic in Michigan. Santorum has taken the middle-aged demographics and Romney has been leading off of the older voters.

20.41 Robert Lampros

Actually it looks like CNN isn’t even counting the AZ votes, Romney already has the gold check mark by his name

20.40 Tyler Miksanek

AZ is winner take all. Michigan, however, is not.

20.40 Bradley Disbrow

CNN’s internet isn’t showing it, but based on exit polling, their TV network has predicted Romney taking all delegates from Arizona.

20.38 Robert Lampros

Sam: on the ground campaign efforts only go so far. They are much more costly and have a more limited area of impact. Television has a much farther reach and it is cheaper to make the same message more times. TV may not be as effective but it is much more used.

20.38 Matthew Dudak

Still no results from Arizona. But ultimately that election seems like a shoo-in for Romney.

20.37 Claire Bratzel

CNN just reported that in Oakland County with 67% reporting Romney is up by 14,000 votes.

20.36 Robert Lampros

Well thats how TV executives work, because it works

20.35 Tyler Miksanek

Robert Lampros just made thousands of advertising executives happy.

20.35 Robert Lampros

Tyler: yes, its called the other 60% of the vote. Its still way to close to tell

20.35 Sam Niiro

Bradley: I think we vastly underestimate the importance of on-the-ground campaign efforts. TV ads may get people angry, but they don’t get out the vote the same way a properly-run infrastructure does.

20.34 Matthew Dudak

I agree that TV ads will have a huge impact. Look at Gingrich in South Carolina. Much of his success can be attributed to his many attack ads against Romney.

20.34 Robert Lampros

Yeah unfortunately Bradley is right. While TV ads cannot be the entire base of a campaign, the American public is easily swayed if they hear certain phrases on the television enough

20.34 Tyler Miksanek

Romney is holding a three percent lead with 38% of the vote reported. Does Santorum have a way to catch back up?

20.33 Bradley Disbrow

Actually, Sam, I disagree. As much as I hate to say it, the electorate is still very responsive to negative TV ads, and as long as that trend continues, super PACs will have a huge impact.

20.33 Robert Lampros

Noah, it is at this stage that they never unite. The unification is exactly what the RNC is for. If there is still infighting after the nominee is picked, then the GOP is in some real trouble

20.32 Noah Baird

Robert: I do agree that infighting normally happens durring a second term election. However, with the Republican party as ideologically fragmented as it is, the failure to unite behind a single candidate is a continuation of an already existing problem. If this continues much longer, it is possible some Republican voters will become fed up and not vote in the general election. So I believe at this stage they need to unite in order to keep voters confidence in the party. I could be exaggerating the matter, but there is some truth in what I’m saying.

20.31 Matthew Dudak

During the second quarter of 2011, Obama raised eighty-six million, adding on to his preexisting millions of dollars in finances. Obama has such a huge advantage, it will be tough for Republicans to catch up.

20.30 Robert Lampros

Europe will never stop being important with the EU being the worlds largest economy

20.30 Sam Niiro

He’s a cute old man, don’t make fun of him. And as for financing numbers…there’s a valid point to be made that a lot of money is going to superPACs, but TV ads do not a campaign make.

20.29 Bradley Disbrow

As for Europe, wait for the international markets to chime in. Tomorrow will not be good for the markets.

20.29 Matthew Dudak

I think that funds will be a huge issue leading up to the general election. Especially with Citizens United, campaign spending may play a larger role than ever in this election.

20.29 Robert Lampros

Including Obama

20.29 Tyler Miksanek

The fundraising point is a solid one Bradley… and Romney does seem to be a stronger fundraiser than Santorum.

20.29 Robert Lampros

Do we know numbers on the finances?

20.28 Tyler Miksanek

Ron Paul is just happy to have a microphone in front of him.

20.28 Bradley Disbrow

Well, the infighting does seem worse this time around, but remember that Obama and Clinton basically went almost to the convention in 2008. It could be true that a hotly contested race could have the winning candidate coming out very strong. The real problem is going to be the money – Republicans need to have some really solid fundraising if they’re going to be able to stand up to Obama.

20.27 Claire Bratzel

I’m curious as to the goal of Ron Paul’s campaign. He’s on CNN right now saying that he’s just happy he is doing better than he did four years ago. He seems excited that he’s been able to communicate his ideas with so many young people. Is this just a way to spread ideas or is he seriously running?

20.27 Matthew Dudak

And with what Mr. Miksanek said, we will be hosting a Super Tuesday blog that will include many of the same members of the panel you are currently reading, as well as some possible additions. Mark your calendars for March 6th, and keep reading RantAWeek for updates on that.

20.27 Sam Niiro

It’s usually Robbie pushing Super Tuesday, not me. And Robbie, I agree that we’re overemphasizing the infighting, so I’d like to suddenly change tacks to something I consider important: the dismal state of Republican finance. Roughly fourteen million on hand at the end of January? Dems had sixty-five million in 2008…

20.27 Tyler Miksanek

Europe seems to be less of an issue. The markets were up today even though Standard and Poor’s announced that Greece was officially in default.

20.26 Robert Lampros

I seem to be a couple posts behind everything consistently…:(

20.26 Robert Lampros

I think we’re overemphasizing the infighting as well. This happens every election for a second term. One party has a candidate, the other fights for a while. There is still a strong possibility that republicans could prove successful with the economy being as shaky as it is. Especially with Greece getting so close to full default, this would play havok on the stocks and anyone watching those would be very nervous about the upcoming months

20.26 Matthew Dudak

I think we can expect to see Gingrich drop out soon, but Paul will likely follow the same pattern he did in 2008, and not drop out until all his chances are gone.

20.25 Tyler Miksanek

Since Mr. Niiro seems to keep referencing Super Tuesday as the most important day this election season, I will throw out our first advertisement for the Super Tuesday live blog right now.

20.24 Bradley Disbrow

Gingrich knows when he’s not wanted – he’s circling the drain.

20.24 Robert Lampros

well Noah, If there was a strong Independent possibility it would be a real issue. With no candidates hinting at a separate race other than the rep nomination, the infighting wont be as bad as it could have in the long run.

20.24 Matthew Dudak

More importantly, every week of infighting is more money that is split while Obama is piling up the money. Republicans need to fundraise behind one candidate earlier to make an impact against his money supply.

20.23 Sam Niiro

There’s an NCIS: LA? And I really do think we’re overemphasizing this primary. This will get lost in the shuffle before Super Tuesday.

20.22 Tyler Miksanek

Every week that goes by without the Republicans picking a nominee is another week that they are infighting while Obama can strengthen his support.

20.22 Robert Lampros

I think its worth noting that Gingrich gave his concession speech for both Arizona and Michigan long before the polls even closed.

20.22 Matthew Dudak

I think Michigan is hurting both Santorum’s and Romney’s momentum. But with Romney’s inevitable win in Arizona will still put him slightly ahead of Rick.

20.21 Noah Baird

How will the continued in-fighting among the Republicans to get the nomination affect their chances of beating Obama in November?

20.21 Tyler Miksanek

Alright, what about Santorum’s chances of surviving until a brokered convention? I for one think it comes down to Super Tuesday, but I feel that today will impact who has momentum going into Super Tuesday.

20.20 Robert Lampros


20.20 Matthew Dudak

I think Santorum is weakened simply because the only thing he has been doing well at is winning states. He needs to win to have his popularity continue.

20.19 Sam Niiro

There’s an NCIS: NY? And I’d stand by my earlier statement: Michigan being so in dispute is a mark against Romney if anything. He had no business doing so poorly there.

20.18 Bradley Disbrow

Everyone knows that Michigan was going to be a very close contest, so with a small-margin win by Romney, Santorum would still be very much in contention for Super Tuesday.

20.18 Robert Lampros

Well he’s certainly not strengthened. If Romney wins, it may help him on Super Tuesday. I still am cautious about overestimating the importance of this particular primary though in terms of how many people are watching the results. My parents for example are much too busy watching NCIS: NY (I think). Honestly I dont know if they even know there is a primary today.

20.16 Tyler Miksanek

Here’s a question. Let’s say Romney wins here, since he is leading right now. Is Santorum weakened for Super Tuesday?

20.16 Bradley Disbrow

I think Tyler meant 10,000.

20.16 Robert Lampros

BY THE NUMBERS UPDATE: Romney has a 10,000 vote lead with 28% reporting in

20.15 Tyler Miksanek

To get us back on track… Romney is in the lead by less than 5,000 votes with 28% reporting.

20.14 Tyler Miksanek

Welcome Noah… fashionably late.

20.14 Noah Baird

Testing testing 3 1 4

20.12 Robert Lampros

Claire, we get it, you want to go to college there, now focus

20.12 Claire Bratzel

Especially the two huge public universities that make the state of Michigan so wonderful, Matthew!

20.11 Matthew Dudak

That statement came at the worst time possible for Rick, as Michigan is a very well educated state, and takes pride in it’s education.

20.10 Bradley Disbrow

Romney seems to be building a nice lead, in the neighborhood of 9000 votes.

20.10 Robert Lampros

I’m not saying that he’s coming into his moment of glory,Ii just don’t think we can discount him. And Bradley I was more meaning that getting third place is attractive to his campaign.

20.10 Claire Bratzel

Yes, it does! Our education system needs reform, but the last thing we need is to completely eliminate it. Public education makes America STRONG!

20.09 Bradley Disbrow

11% isn’t terribly attractive, and certainly isn’t enough for limelight.

20.09 Sam Niiro

And it happens to also touch on one of your favorite subjects, doesn’t it Claire?

20.08 Matthew Dudak

Paul supporters are die-hard, but they are not quite enough to carry him through.

20.08 Claire Bratzel

Hi everybody! I don’t think Santorum has learned from Paul, however. Bashing public education appeals to very few people, no matter what side of the political spectrum you favor.


20.08 Robert Lampros

Paul is sporting a very attractive third place even without being heavily publicized

20.07 Sam Niiro

That primary timing is huge though, Robbie. It has made him look viable long-term, which lets him bring in money and voters, which makes him look viable, which brings in more money…it may simply be lucky timing, but it’s lucky timing that could carry him to at least a good fight in Tampa.

20.07 Robert Lampros

But at the same time, Santorum is too extreme for most voters. That’s the beauty of the flavor of the month, its wacky and out there and nobody wants it to stick around because its just too much crazy

20.07 Matthew Dudak

Paul will likely simply fall without his time in the limelight, like TPaw and Huntsman did.

20.06 Tyler Miksanek

Ron Paul is well.. Ron Paul. Some people love him, but he can not garner mainstream support.

20.06 Matthew Dudak

I think Paul is too obscure for most voters. While he has some very conservative views, at the same time he has some very liberal views too.

20.06 Robert Lampros

also Tyler, Detroit

20.05 Robert Lampros

Paul hasn’t had his moment in the limelight yet

20.05 Tyler Miksanek

Still only 20% reporting… nothing is for sure yet, but I wonder what region has been giving Romney this sudden boost.

20.05 Matthew Dudak

I think the difference between Santorum and Perry or Cain though now is that there is simply no other candidate to not be Romney.

20.04 Robert Lampros

And wow the numbers are skyrocketing for Romney. up 3% now

20.04 Bradley Disbrow

Interesting…Arizona voters declaring themselves “very conservative” were evenly split between Santorum and Romney, but very conservative voters in Michigan are going to Santorum 50-35…

20.03 Robert Lampros

He has been winning states because he was lucky enough to be the flavor of the beginning of primaries. If Perry or even Cain had their five minutes of fame during this time we would be asking the same questions about if they would win the nomination.

20.03 Matthew Dudak

2% now.

20.03 Tyler Miksanek

Detroit could put Romney over the edge… it has only begun to report and is heavily Romney.

20.02 Tyler Miksanek

But Santorum has also been consistently winning states…

20.02 Robert Lampros


20.01 Robert Lampros

I would like to jump back to the flavor of the month discussion. In looking at a poll chart of the RCP average, Santorum received his first jump in the polls in early January and only passed Romney at the beginning of this month. Romney on the other hand has been consistently high. I just can’t believe that Santorum will be able to hold this lead long enough to get the nomination.

(Poll chart in middle of page, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/republican_presidential_nomination-1452.html

20.01 Sam Niiro

I think if you’re a moderate Republican though, you’re kind of pushing for a brokered convention. Gingrich supporters would probably move to Santorum, and Paul has more in common with him than with Romney…

20.01 Tyler Miksanek

Dead even at 40%.

Romney and Santorum may be repeating Iowa.

20.00 Tyler Miksanek

Thanks Bradley…. ha ha. Democrats would love the unpreparedness though.

19.59 Bradley Disbrow

I think Tyler means a convention that actually means something.

19.59 Tyler Miksanek

No one would have a majority of the delegates going into the convention… and an arrangement would have to be worked out.

19.59 Matthew Dudak

I think much of the length of this race could also depend upon if Paul or Gingrich is willing to give up their campaign. Many of the states have been close enough that if their supporters swung to one or the other candidate, they would be the deciding factor. I think they both need to realize that by staying in the election, they are hurting any Republican’s chances as a general election candidate by drawing out the process.

19.57 Robert Lampros

Im not sure what you mean by ‘brokered convention’.


19.57 Tyler Miksanek

Let’s talk about the length of this nomination process. I originally (in late December) thought Romney could wrap up the nomination by Florida, but now the contest looks as if it could persist past Super Tuesday. Is a brokered convention in our future?

19.56 Matthew Dudak

With 14% reporting, it is still too close to tell. Santorum has a lead of about two thousand votes, but only 1%, and there is simply no clear front runner.

19.56 Robert Lampros

But the point I’m trying to make is that they’re only looking for importance from the media when in reality they are degrading their actual voice at the RNC

19.55 Matthew Dudak

I think many states also simply felt pressured to become more important since this race did not have a clear front runner as early as most did.

19.54 Robert Lampros

Just saying, but watching the numbers go up and the percents stay almost the same is very infuriating

19.54 Tyler Miksanek

I honestly do not know.

19.53 Robert Lampros

I understand why the RNC penalized them, but what are the motives of the state itself. Laws can be changed…

19.53 Sam Niiro

Michigan’s laws say that the primary must take place at specific times, and after the RNC demanded they move the primary, they had two options: ignore the RNC and lose delegates, or move it to May and become irrelevant. They chose a loss in power over irrelevance.

19.52 Sam Niiro

To answer Robbie’s question, it’s because of state law.

19.52 Matthew Dudak

Most states, aside from New Hampshire, Iowa and states that have voting on or after Super Tuesday have lost most of their delegates.

19.51 Tyler Miksanek

RNC politics make no sense to me. A lot of states lost delegates.

19.50 Bradley Disbrow

Fair enough, but I echo Matt’s question.

19.50 Robert Lampros

Tyler, I think you missed the bitter sarcasm in my voice.

ALSO, something interesting and unrelated to current discussions: Michigan lost half its delegates because its holding its primary at the wrong time. What would motivate them to do that other than to be more important media-wise. Does their government not care about having a possible presidential candidate from their own state? That would be a very attractive deal for me if I were a state.

19.50 Matthew Dudak

I doubt however that Gingrich will gain enough momentum to do anything. However, should he drop out it will be interesting to see how his supporters get split.

19.49 Sam Niiro

Well, Gingrich is from Georgia and served pretty much all his time in political office there, so that’s why he’s looking to do well there.

19.48 Tyler Miksanek

Arizona’s polls don’t close for another 12 minutes, but Romney has solidly won it already.

19.48 Robert Lampros

Well to support the Gingrich possibilities, CNN has him leading Arizona with a total of 0% of the votes so far, tied only with everyone else on the ballot. What im trying to say here is Arizona should finish faster and that Gingrich has nothing going where there are actual votes so far.

19.47 Bradley Disbrow

How good are those expectations, though, should Santorum win tonight? There would be no reason for him to not pick up Southern states instead of Gingrich.

19.46 Matthew Dudak

Can we expect Gingrich to drop out if he does not do well anywhere else but Georgia?

19.46 Sam Niiro

Even Romney!

19.45 Robert Lampros

I think everyone is, and always has, been running as ‘anti-Romney’

19.45 Bradley Disbrow

Sam, thank you for the Tonya Harding reference!

19.45 Sam Niiro

Brad, I think he’ll at least hold on until Georgia, where he’s expected to do well.

19.45 Tyler Miksanek

Gingrich, however, is actually leading in the polls in a couple Super Tuesday states. He chose not to campaign in Michigan. Still, 7% is sad.

19.45 Tyler Miksanek

Indeed, Gingrich’s refusal to drop out may hurt Santorum in the long run. Both are running as Anti-Romney candidates.

19.45 Bradley Disbrow

I do think Gingrich knows when enough is enough, though. If he wants to save some of his dignity, he’ll drop out after tonight, especially only carrying 7%.

19.44 Sam Niiro

Gingrich is made of spite and anger. He’s not dropping out until he gets knee-capped Nancy Kerrigan-style (note: the preceding does not represent an endorsement of anyone going Tonya Harding on Newt).

19.43 Robert Lampros

Gingrich is too arrogant to realize his impossibilities until it is way to obvious to ignore

19.42 Robert Lampros

There is about a 300 vote margin between them right now. Easily overturned

19.42 Tyler Miksanek

True… so let’s look away from the numbers and instead turn towards the race as a whole. I want to talk about Gingrich… any chance of him dropping out soon?

19.41 Robert Lampros

Once again, 7% of reporting precincts is worthless. In some of the other primaries, the winning candidate was not apparent until the final hours.

19.41 Bradley Disbrow

Not to diehard Republicans.

19.40 Tyler Miksanek

Santorum is keeping his 1% lead. We will see how long it can hold.

And Robbie Lampros… bastion of journalistic unbiasedness…

19.40 Robert Lampros

I think Santorum’s ‘outsider’ aura is overshadowed by his ‘crazy’ aura

19.39 Bradley Disbrow

I must agree with Sam here. As much as Romney could appeal to moderate voters, he’s too much of an insider in a political environment that favors outsiders. Santorum has the “outsider” aura about him, so he is appealing in that way.

19.38 Sam Niiro

Well, these results are essentially meaningless at this point. I’ll be back around 8.

19.38 Robert Lampros

6% of votes in does not constitute a pattern

19.38 Matthew Dudak

It is interesting that Michigan has an incredibly high union population, something that will likely help Santorum more than it will Romney. Santorum seems to be much friendlier to the average worker. The only exception would be his recent comments about college education.

19.38 Robert Lampros

Well Sam thats the important part then isn’t it, Romney has a lot of work to do to reverse his public image for the general campaign. Santorum however has almost nothing going for him to get voters other than the far-right republicans.

19.37 Tyler Miksanek

Romney seems to have a problem attracting new voters… in 2008 he won 39% of the vote in Michigan. Look where he is at now… 39%. That man is uncannily consistent.

19.36 Sam Niiro

Key words: “instills economic confidence.” Mitt may claim the CEO-politican mantle, but there’s a definite perception that he might run the economy to benefit Wall Street and not Main Street.

19.36 Robert Lampros

CNN it is then

19.35 Tyler Miksanek

Source-wise, CNN seems to be ahead of NYT.

19.35 Robert Lampros

Tyler, you’re assuming that people see the economy improving. Our GDP may have grown last quarter, but there are still millions of Americans out of work, many of whom had voted for Obama in the first place because they were unsatisfied with Bush and the Republicans. Those millions have a very strong reason to switch parties in the general election if Romney instills economic confidence in them.

19.34 Sam Niiro

Obamneycare probably just makes Mitt look bad. 72% of voters found the individual mandate unconstitutional, and association with that (warranted or no) is not good for any politician at the moment.

19.34 Matthew Dudak

The most important issue in this election will most certainly be what Obama is able to do with the economy in the remainder of his term.

19.33 Robert Lampros

Can we all agree on a source to get this data from? I’m using New York Times….and it does not have the same data Tyler is citing.

19.33 Sam Niiro

Not if they want to have a career in the establishment after this election. I could see one of the long-shot candidates making a reappearance (Bachmann, Cain), but that’s about it.

19.33 Tyler Miksanek

However, Robbie, as the economy improves, the ranks of those dissatisfied voters you mentioned will decrease.

19.32 Robert Lampros

Could Obamneycare actually help Romney in the general election? Romney may give moderate democrats who are dissatisfied with the current economic status under Obama a reason to switch sides this year.

19.32 Bradley Disbrow

Couldn’t agree more, Robbie.

19.32 Tyler Miksanek

Santorum’s lead down to 1% with 4% of precincts voting…

19.31 Matthew Dudak

With the two leading Republicans seeming to to turn the other sector or Republicans, it will be interesting to see if there is an independent who could split the Republican vote. Ron Paul has already vowed not to, but will there be any others?

19.31 Sam Niiro

Romney has his own liabilities of course. Like with the working poor.

19.30 Robert Lampros

Personally I would consider voting republican if Romney gained the nomination. If Santorum did however, that essentially automatically puts my vote on Obama. So I guess what I’m trying to say here is that Santorum is too extreme to attract the moderate republicans.

19.30 Bradley Disbrow

Well, certainly as long as Santorum is around, Romney won’t pick up the far right. Too many things about him are a turn-off to that sector, including, unfortunately, his Massachusetts healthcare reform and his religion.

19.30 Sam Niiro

I could see a lot of moderate Republicans simply not voting in the event that Santorum wins the nomination.

19.29 Sam Niiro

On the note of disliking Obama that much: I received mail from the RNC the other day. Did you know that Obama has “radical socialist policies”? Neither did I!

19.29 Matthew Dudak

Would moderate republicans be willing to give up another term to Obama should Santorum with the nomination?

19.29 Tyler Miksanek

Romney seems to be winning, however, in the earliest of votes that we have coming from Detroit. Since this is a large population cluster, a win in Detroit may help Romney take a lead as the night progresses. And yes, Robbie, you are right. But Romney may still be missing the help he was supposed to receive from these voters.

19.28 Robert Lampros

Well Tyler, I wouldnt say the first precincts to report in are necessarily the ‘early’ voters.

19.28 Sam Niiro

He’s too controversial socially. Take homosexuality alone, which a majority of Americans now consider to be an acceptable lifestyle. Santorum, the man who said homosexuality is no different from “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be,” is simply not sufficiently progressive for America today.

19.28 Bradley Disbrow

With 3% of precincts reporting, CNN shows Santorum ahead by a little under 1,000 votes, but Romney is starting to close in a little.

19.27 Robert Lampros

I would venture to say that the far-right republicans would still rally with Romney if he becomes the candidate because they dislike the idea of Obama having a second term that much.

19.27 Matthew Dudak

In my scenario, it would be Santorum. Perry is too irrelevant now.

19.27 Tyler Miksanek

Interesting point Bradley, but will Romney fail to pick up the far right that Santorum rallies so easily? Also, Santorum has an early lead… which is something that I did not expect. Romney was supposed to have a large lead among early voters. However, it is hard to tell where these votes are coming from.

19.26 Robert Lampros

Dudak, who is ‘he’ in your scenario? I can see it being either Perry or Santorum…

19.25 Bradley Disbrow

I honestly don’t know if Santorum can pick up enough moderate voters to be able to fight Obama. He definitely has the Christian right, but that’s too small a sector of the electorate to make a difference.

19.25 Matthew Dudak

I think his views alienate too many voters, and the only reason for his success has been the fact that many primary voters are more avid Republicans, with more conservative views. Most moderate Republicans don’t bother.

19.25 Robert Lampros

Dudak, when was that a question?

19.24 Robert Lampros

Romney had been doing so well keeping in the shadows, its a shame that now hes become quotable in a hilarious way but unfortunate for his campaign.

19.24 Tyler Miksanek

And yet Romney manages to dig a deeper trench for himself everyday.

19.24 Sam Niiro


19.23 Matthew Dudak

Which brings us back to the question, is Rick a viable candidate in a general election?

19.23 Sam Niiro

An aside about cross-over voting: guess who said the following?

“In my state of Massachusetts, you could register as an independent and go vote in which — either primary happens to be very interesting. And any chance I got to vote against Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, I took.”

That’s right! Mitt Romney!

19.22 Sam Niiro

Matt, I’ll chalk most of that up to Operation Hilarity, which was the nickname for the liberal effort to vote in Santorum to prolong the process.

19.22 Robert Lampros

It looks like some precincts are reporting in now!

The NYT shows Santorum in the lead in Michigan with 47% of the vote, Romney with 34% and Paul trailing at just 13%. This doesnt actually mean much though because less than one percent of them are reporting in but heres the start-off. Is this the future of the results or could it all just reverse in a matter of moments.

19.21 Sam Niiro

And as for Super Tuesday, I think even a double win here can’t assure Romney victory. A marginal victory in Michigan still makes Mitt look very, very weak in a state he should’ve won. It also doesn’t speak well to his ability to win swing votes.

19.21 Matthew Dudak

Interesting that Santorum picked up most of those Democrats, despite the fact that most of his platform alienates liberals.

19.20 Sam Niiro

And as for Santorum, he may be flavor-of-the-month right now, but he lacks the weaknesses that other candidates had. He doesn’t have the skeletons in his closet, the crazy eyes, or the Gingrich-ness that killed other opponents to Romney. He could go all the way to Tampa.

19.19 Robert Lampros

Well we do need to be careful about assuming that anyone else actually cares about these primaries. The voters in the Super Tuesday states could easily ignore the results tonight making them useless predictors.

19.19 Sam Niiro

Well, if you were curious about the exit polling numbers, the LA Times says about 1 in 10 voters identified as Democrats this year, and 538 confirms the 2000 and 2008 numbers (check the 6:59 PM post).

19.18 Tyler Miksanek

So this is big for Santorum, but let’s play this optimistically for Romney… If he can pull off a double win here, does it shut down Santorum’s chances of doing well next week on Super Tuesday?

19.17 Matthew Dudak

I think Santorum has shown that he has had small continual spikes of popularity. I doubt he is a flavor of the month, I think all other very conservative candidates have been weeded out, and he is the only one standing.

19.17 Robert Lampros

His popularity has not been going on for an extended amount of time while Romney is still doing fairly well I believe in holding on to a steady voter base. Could the next couple weeks spell doom for Santorums numbers or will this primary decide it all?

19.16 Robert Lampros

Hello everyone,

I have a question, how viable is Santorum anyways? Will he be subject to the flavor of the month syndrome the GOP has been having the entire campaign season? or will Romney be the next to fall out of favor?

19.15 Tyler Miksanek

Hello. Nice to see you all.

19.15 Bradley Disbrow

Hello everyone!


19.13 Matthew Dudak

Also, Santorum still has conservative enough views that not only will he not pick up many Democrats, this move is probably not seen as anything more than trying to prove his viability in the general election.

19.13 Sam Niiro

True, but the numbers make it hard to pin on Santorum alone.

19.12 Tyler Miksanek

Interesting… although any fraction of a percent may end up being the difference between a win and a loss.

19.11 Sam Niiro

Exit polling data doesn’t seem to show any notable cross-over voting. I’m trying to find the numbers, but if I recall about 10% of voters claimed to identify as Democrats, compared to 7% in 2008 and 17% in 2000. Makes it hard to tell if Santorum’s efforts to reach out even mattered.

19.09 Tyler Miksanek

Here’s a question for you all. Santorum has been accused of trying to lure Democratic voters. Will this backfire or will it be worth it if it pushes him to victory?

19.08 Sam Niiro

On another note: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) announced today she will not be seeking re-election in the Senate, citing the “partisanship of recent years in the Senate”. With her gone and Romney’s candidacy in question, it could be a bad night for moderate Republicans.


19.05 Tyler Miksanek

One of the big things that we will notice when the first results come in is a large lead in early voting that will go to Romney. The result will be that Santorum may spend much of the evening playing catch-up.

19.05 Sam Niiro

Tonight: Michigan and Arizona. Romney looks to have Arizona sewn up, but Michigan is anyone’s game. Nate Silver won’t even call it, which must mean it’s close.

19.00 Tyler Miksanek

Thank you all for joining us at the Michigan Primary Live Blog here on RantAWeek. The first results should be coming in momentarily now that voting has closed. Tonight should be very exciting as polls have predicted that the margin of victory will be razor-slim. If Santorum can pull off a victory here in Romney’s native state, it could signal that he will be a serious threat against Romney for the nomination. If Romney, on the other hand, manages a double win both here and in Arizona later tonight, he can regain momentum and severely lower Santorum’s attempts to usurp his role as front-runner.

(As a note.. times given for this live blog are Central Time Zone.)

19.28 Matthew Dudak

Join us on Feb 28th, at 7 p.m. (Central Time) as we wait for the results from the Michigan primary to come in. We will have a full extended panel, waiting with analysis for you.


  • On February 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm Simone Pinsack said



    • On February 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm Tyler Miksanek said

      Celia is expanding into the political sphere?


      • On August 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm Aslan said

        I was so confused about what to buy, but this makes it unadtsrdneable.


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