.

UPDATE: Campaign Briefs – Gingrich Skips Michigan; Romney, Santorum 'Neck and Neck'

Leading Republican primary candidates are spending big money ahead of state primary Tuesday.

Patch presents Michigan presidential campaign roundups before the Republican primary Feb. 28.

Romney, Santorum race tight in Michigan, new poll shows

A new NBC News/Marist poll shows Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum locked in a statistical tie.

In Michigan – which has turned into a make-or-break contest for Romney – the former Massachusetts governor gets the support of 37 percent of likely GOP primary voters, including those who are leaning toward a particular candidate, the poll shows. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, has 35 percent support, followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 13 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 8 percent.

“Michigan is neck and neck,” said pollster Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Gingrich won't campaign in Michigan 

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has decided not to campaign in Michigan ahead of Tuesday's primary.

Recent polling shows Gingrich in fourth place in the state.

Gingrich had planned to travel to Michigan at the end of the week, but his spokesman R.C. Hammond announced Monday night that he wouldn't make the trip, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Meanwhile, leading candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have made several appearances in Michigan in the last week. Romney most recently was in Shelby Township on Tuesday and plans to speak at the Detroit Economic Club on Friday. Santorum spoke to the Economic Club on Thursday.

Candidates advertise early and often

Pick a channel, any channel. If you watch TV, you're seeing lots of spots promoting or attacking Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. The Republican presidential rivals and two political action committees (PACs) buy lots of local airtime daily.

Huffington Post lists these TV budgets for Michigan ads this month: $3.2 million for Romney and Restore Our Future; $1.1 million for Santorum and Red White and Blue Fund.

"Santorum's presidential campaign and his allied super PAC are putting all their chips into Michigan," according to HuffPo, "in hopes that a win there catapults him to victories later in the primary calendar." The first Michigan ad run by the PAC backing Santorum is embedded at right.

For its part, Team Romney late last week introduced a new Michigan attack ad. It criticizes Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, for supporting "billions in earmarks," which provide federal money for local projects. Santorum is shown once telling a talk show host: "I have had a lot of earmarks. In fact, I’m very proud of all the earmarks I’ve put in bills."

An earlier spot from Restore Our Future, also embedded with this article, has the tagline "Rick Santorum: Big Spender, Washington Insider."

In the view of Alexander Burns at Politico.com, the Red White and Blue Fund's "presence in Michigan is going to make it a fairer paid-media fight than Santorum’s had anywhere else. ... Santorum won’t be defenseless on the air as the first wave of negative ads against him register among Michigan Republicans."

Blog encourages mischief

Daily Kos, a 10-year-old public affairs blog, is behaving like a 10-year-old prankster. It invites Michigan readers to "sign up for Operation Hilarity," the site's name for crossover voting by Democrats.

"The longer the GOP primary drags on, the better things look for Democrats," the site says. "We are encouraging Democrats, liberals and progressives to vote for Rick Santorum." Mischief-makers can receive an email reminder to vote Feb. 28.

What polls show

A recent Michigan survey has Feb. 17-19 results from 602 likely voters questioned by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, NC. It shows 37 percent support for Santorum and 33 percent for Romney. (Ron Paul has 15 percent and New Gingrich trails with 10 percent.)

"Romney's still not convincing anyone that he's a Michigander – only 29 percent of voters consider him to be one, while 62 percent do not," the North Carolina firm says. "But given that he's risen in the polls over the last week without making any progress on that front, it looks like it doesn't really matter whether or not Michigan Republicans consider him to be one of their own."

Based on eight February polls in the state, New York Times analyst Nate Silver on Monday gives Santorum a 72 percent chance of winning in Michigan Feb. 28 – while noting "considerable uncertainty in the forecast."

Voices from the trail

  • "The Snyder endorsement is not the magic excelsior the Romney campaign needs to cure his political ills. ... Mr. Snyder does not attract the very voters who have gone AWOL on Mr. Romney." – Tim Skubick, Lansing public TV talk show host, blogging at MLive.com on Sunday
  • "If Romney doesn't do well (in Michigan), he can't say it's because of the peculiarities of the state. The peculiarities of this state work in his favor." – John Dickerson, CBS News political director, Sunday on Face the Nation
  • "The Michigan primary has the look of a High Noon showdown between the two fastest guns left in the Republican posse." – Mike Connell, retired executive editor in a Port Huron Times Herald front-page column Sunday
  • "If Rick Santorum pulls off (a Michigan) upset, it'll be the biggest victory for the sweater-vest set since Jim Tressel coached Ohio State to eight wins in nine years against Michigan." – Jason Stanford, Democratic consultant, at Politico.com on Saturday
  • "As the first primary in an industrial state, Michigan brings manufacturing and urban issues to the forefront of the presidential campaign. These are usually issues not considered this early in the primary process." – Terri Towner of Rochester, Oakland University political scientist, Patch email interview
  • "What Michigan needs aren't pols relitigating the past, but a credible economic vision for the future that unites a whole lot more people than it alienates." – Daniel Howes, business columnist, The Detroit News
Ed Lambert March 01, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Scot, now tell us why the majority on the left will not even tolerate mention in a science class of the fact that Darwin himself noted that his theory of evolution had weaknesses in it. Also, tell us why the left refuses to permit the very mention of the fact that there are alternative explanations offered for the origin of life and matter. Yes, there probably are some fundamentalists who take the Garden of Eden story literally. So what? That is no more extreme than an atheist's absolute certainty that God does not exist. Above all, there remains to be discovered scientific evidence enabling us to trace any current species of life on this planet into the pre-Cambrian era. To suggest that evolution explains it all would NOT be a scientific statement. Science and religion/metaphysics/philosophy/theology do not even deal with the same "content" that science does. Parties on both sides get caught in this trap regularly. Hence, the fighting.
Scot Beaton March 01, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Ed, "Scot, now tell us why the majority on the left will not even tolerate mention in a science class of the fact that Darwin himself noted that his theory of evolution had weaknesses in it. Also, parties on both sides get caught in this trap regularly. Hence, the fighting." your quote... Ed, nice to here from you. would agree I would hope our public school science teachers are teaching the correct materials. Ed let me try to clarify my opinion. I posted this on the Tom McMillen post. Darwin died in 1882 and their have been a ton of scientists who have proven most of his "theory's" to be true. But some choose to believe the world was created by a God in six days, and choose to believe man and Tyrannosaurs Rex were on the plant at the same time. That's whats great about America. "freedom of speech" But I choose for public school science class; the world has been around for  4.2 billion years, and man has only been on the plant for about 500,000 years. These are scientific facts. And only scientific facts should be taught in science class in public school, which is funded with our tax dollars... my opinion if a student asks the question what created the universe they should be told the truth "we still don't know". Then the teacher could encourage the student when he or she grows up to become a scientist and us find out. But to refer to a book that was written over 2500 years ago by humans not a good idea... my opinion.
Erin March 02, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Michelle + Scot - Forget about Roe v. Wade. They're debating contraception now, and NOT just for religious organizations. Luckily, the Blunt Amendment was defeated today: http://blunt.senate.gov/​public/_cache/files/​12ca4c96-d98c-4b37-920a-cdb15ed​b24d4/​S.%201813%20Amendment.pdf. Also called the "conscience" amendment It would have allowed ANY employer for ANY reason of "moral conscience" to deny offering coverage of ANY medical treatment or medication to basic coverage. That isn't too broad, is it? ;-) Adding insult to injury, this is an amendment attached to, and halting progress on, the Highway Bill, holding up jobs and much needed infrastructure. I'm so glad it's been all about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, right? But good news - Congress' job approval rating went from 10% to 11%. Stellar. And, the nerd I am, saw some C-SPAN today w/Sebelius (HHS) being grilled by - yes, more panels full of men, about how they don't understand how preventive care and contraception 1) bends the cost curve long term and 2) can decrease maternal and infant mortality. I love bureaucrats, especially when they don't accept women's testimony on women's health issues.
Marty Rosalik March 02, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Erin you said it best. " I love bureaucrats, especially when they don't accept women's testimony on women's health issues" Isn't that the way it is always done in religious fundamentalist theocracies?
Erin March 02, 2012 at 01:37 PM
But wait, there's still more - Boehner just announced his latest JOBS Bill: March 1, 2012 "Boehner Vows to Continue Contraception Fight" http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/boehner-vows-to-continue-contraception-fight/ Okay, they DO know we all don't have short-term memory loss, right? Otherwise, they might be concerned over the hypocrisy of "taking away our religious freedom". "Twenty-two states have laws or regulations that resemble, at least in part, the Obama administration's original rule [mandated contraception coverage in basic plans]. More than a third had some Republican support, a review of state records shows. In six states, including Arkansas [Huckabee signed], those contraceptive mandates were signed by GOP governors. In Massachusetts in 2006, then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed a healthcare overhaul that kept in place a contraceptive mandate signed by his Republican predecessor. Now the GOP presidential candidate is calling the Obama rule an "assault on religion." At the federal level, President George W. Bush never challenged a similar federal mandate imposed in 2000." http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/15/nation/la-na-gop-contraceptives-20120216 Oh well, probably just hoping voters aren't paying attention and they listen to their one chosen news channel to tell them how to vote.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »