You know the drill. Let's go over the winners and losers of the Michigan primaries.
- Mitt Romney. Don't listen to the media hype about this being a "must win" for Romney. This was a "nice to win" because Romney's father was the Governor of Michigan. Winning by double digits over the "surging" John McCain and running away with the delegate count leaves Romney in the catbird seat for the Republican nomination.
- John McCain. This was almost a wash for McCain, considering he won the Michigan primary in 2000. What nudged him into the Winners category is the fact that he was able to sustain some of the momentum from his New Hampshire primary victory. Whether he can sustain it...that's another question that will be answered in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday.
- Mike Huckabee. This really was a must-win for Huckabee after getting blown out in the New Hampshire primary. He didn't, and it wasn't even close. Another third place finish well behind the second place finisher, John McCain (14% to be precise).
- Hillary Clinton. She won the Michigan Primary, but it was a hollow victory. First, thanks to the national party stripping Michigan of its delegates, there was nothing at stake and Hillary didn't add to her delegate lead. Second, she didn't really run against any of her big rivals since they had already pulled out, leaving only the also-rans to run against her. And perhaps the biggest knock against her, she got 55% of the vote...but 40% of the people voting voted Uncommitted. You cannot count such a decisive victory against a weak field for nothing as a victory. It is nothing short of an embarrassment.
- Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. They're both in the same boat. They need to get their acts together and start winning, but neither one has lit up the primaries and caucuses yet. Granted, we've only had four contests so far, but when you consider Ron Paul tends to outpoll the two of them in the contests we've had, it's time to either get going or get out.
- The Democratic Party. For all of their talk about supporting the little guy, their decision to pull the delegates from Michigan because they moved up their primary was a horrible move. In effect, the national party rendered the state of Michigan politically impotent. And Michigan is full of people the Democrats claim to support. If voters remember this come November, Michigan may come into play for the Republicans, which might be just enough for the GOP to take a "blue" state.
- The media. After blowing the Democrat call in New Hampshire, they spent a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong. It doesn't matter; their polls aren't worth that much anyway because they tend not to poll a significant number of people who will be voting. But in Michigan, they went completely nuts saying it was a "must win" for Romney. A guy who leads in the delegate count and has a win and two second place finishes in three contest needed to win Michigan? I know you guys are trying to create a horse race atmosphere, but you don't have to stoop to lying about the race to create it!
Coming soon, Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday! Then you won't have to see these posts anymore! :-)