Could Romney Lose Michigan?

Feb 13 2012 @ 3:18pm

PPP shows Santorum leading by 15 points. Amazingly, the former senator is up 40-21 among Democrats and independent voters who plan to participate in the open primary. Weigel's eyes widen

What a difference a Republican primary makes! Now, Santorum is the de facto blue collar candidate (please pay no attention to his policies) running against a guy who gets the vapors when he fires people, an entertainingly pretentious figure from the 1990s Republican era, and Ron Paul. So of course he's the guy who appeals to moderates.

Steve Benen ponders a Romney-Santorum fight: 

Santorum's principal enemy at this point is time. The Michigan primary won't be held for two more weeks, which gives Romney all kinds of time to take advantage of his considerable financial edge, doing what the former governor always does when he sees a threat: invest in attack ads until the threat is destroyed. For now, however, Santorum not only has reason to feel some optimism, he also can credibly start telling the right this is a race between him and Romney — and if conservative activists and donors agree, the former senator's candidacy will be that much more difficult to dismiss.

Last week Jonathan Tobin called Michigan "do or die" for Romney. Meanwhile, Jonathan Last raises questions about the Romney campaign's built-in advantages: 

When a campaign can’t keep track of a few thousand core supporters from one election cycle to the next, motivate them, and get them to the polls in a small caucus environment, there are only two explanations: Either the organization is incompetent, or the supporters have had second thoughts.