My Republican Primary Picks For Michigan

[ Posted Monday, January 14th, 2008 – 16:13 UTC ]

After last week's fiasco, some political pundits are shying away from predicting primary races. But not me!

I began this series of publishing my "picks" knowing there was a chance it would just showcase my foolishness, and now that that's happened once I see no reason not to provide you, the reader, with further amusement at my expense.

I wrote a mea culpa article after last week's upset in New Hampshire (which is worth a read if you want to see me call myself an idiot), so I'm not going to dwell on it here, other than to update the running totals. I got Edwards right on the Democratic side of New Hampshire, and McCain and Romney right on the Republican side.

Total correct Democratic picks so far: 2 for 6 (got both third place names right).

Total correct Republican picks so far: 4 for 6.

Total overall correct picks: 6 for 12 -- 50%.

OK, on to Michigan....


Michigan Republicans

First place -- Mitt Romney

Second place -- John McCain

Third place -- Mike Huckabee


Romney and McCain are polling neck and neck the day before the Republican primary in Michigan (the Democratic primary has already been disavowed by the Democrats, so it's "Republican-only pick day" today). McCain has seen a huge surge in his support since his New Hampshire win. Romney's support has also jumped at the last minute, but not as much (he was doing better than McCain before the bump), putting them in a statistical tie.

But as New Hampshire has proven, we have to look beyond the numbers. Now, McCain has won Michigan before. But the Romney family has a long history in Michigan, and an even longer history in the automobile industry. George Romney (Mitt's dad) was not only a Republican governor of Michigan who ran unsuccessfully for president, but he was also the head of American Motors Corporation (AMC). He was the father of the Rambler.

Michigan has only ever had one native-son president -- Gerald Ford -- who was never elected to anything nation-wide. And even though Mitt decamped for a political life in Massachusetts, he still is seen as being a "home state" candidate in Michigan by a lot of voters. I predict this is going to give Mitt an edge here.

Also in play is an effort by some Democrats to throw the election for Mitt. Their reasoning? Because Michigan elected to move their vote earlier than the party wanted, only Hillary Clinton's name will be on the Democratic ballot tomorrow (Edwards and Obama bowed to the party's wishes and didn't put their names on the ballot, unlike Clinton). So the Democratic race is going to be virtually meaningless. And the rumors are that if Romney doesn't win Michigan, he might drop out of the race. Keeping more candidates in the Republican race -- for as long as possible -- means that they are tearing each other down, and spending all their campaign money to do so. So a vote for Romney (by a Michigan Democrat) is a vote to make it easier for a Democrat to win in November. So the reasoning goes.

Now, I'm not sure it will have all that much effect on the race, but if the race is within a few percentage points, even a little may help push Romney over the top. Add to that the "favorite son" warm fuzzy feeling, and I've got to give the race to Mitt. McCain will make a good showing here, and come in a close second. Far behind will be Huckabee. Now, I don't count any picks other than the first three, but I'm also going to call fourth place for Ron Paul (beating both Giuliani and Thompson), just for laughs.

Those are my picks... what are yours?


[Previous states' picks:]

[Iowa] [New Hampshire and mea culpa]


-- Chris Weigant


4 Comments on “My Republican Primary Picks For Michigan”

  1. [1] 
    fstanley wrote:

    All these different methods of selecting a candidate just make my head spin. I will the parties would set national standards. But since democrats/independants can vote in the republican primary I guess some of them might act the spoiler but I don't think they will come out in great numbers.

    I think Romney and McCain might end up tied for first place.


  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:


    I had to correct this article, due to my own mistake. I had thought Michigan was one of those states that had their Democratic and Republican primaries on different days, but they are both being held tomorrow.

    But the Democratic primary is not really contested, as only Hillary's name is on the ballot, and the results are meaningless since the party has told Michigan that their delegates will not be recognized (due to Michigan moving their date earlier than Feb. 5th). So I wouldn't have given Democratic picks anyway.

    I have changed two sentences in the article to reflect the reality, though.

    Sorry for the confusion.


  3. [3] 
    benskull wrote:

    What the Hell?! I've never heard about this! How is it possible that the candidates names won't be on the ballots? How could they make a move like that? I can't imagine that it will encourage Michigan Dems to vote. Can they vote for other? That angers me.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    benskull -

    Before I get to the Democrats, I have to pat myself on the back for calling the Republican race 3-for-3. Woo hoo! Romney won by more than I expected, but at least I finally got all three names right in one of these picks articles....

    Hey I even got Ron Paul's fourth place right, beating Thompson and Giuliani to do so.

    Michigan broke Dem party rules by moving their contest up before Feb. 5th. As a result, in the party's rules committee meeting, they stripped MI of all delegates to the convention. This means Michigan's vote is meaningless when it comes to selecting a nominee. This is a harsh penalty, and Michigan has complained about it, so we'll see (at the convention) whether they even get seated or not. Because of the party ruling, Edwards and Obama either (news reports vary) did not officially file their candidacies in Michigan, or (more commonly reported) officially had their names removed from the ballot. For whatever her reasons, Hillary did not do so. So the ballot had Clinton, Kucinich, and Gravel on it. I think "Other" or maybe "write in" was on the ballot, but Clinton still won hands-down. But it's a meaningless victory.

    I can see both sides of this issue, personally. Sure, MI Dems should have a vote and a voice. But the insanity with the primary schedule has to stop somewhere, or else we're all going to be voting two years before the event. It's up to the parties themselves to police this, so I can understand what the Dem party is doing to discourage breaking the rules in the future.

    Now, I am for nationalizing the elections and the primaries, and having federal (not state) rules for them. I have said so many times. But this is unlikely to happen any time soon, I realize this as well. Did the Dem party overreact? What do you think?


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