Top Menu

Michigan is All the Marbles for Mitt

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker. DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney. – Democratic Mischief in Michigan

Poor Mitt, he’s getting hit from all sides.

Talking Points Memo has the robo call from a man with a gruff sounding voice meant to sound like a working man, talking about Democrats needing to get out to vote for Rick Santorum. The tag line is “this call was paid for by the Santorum for president committee.”

I’ve wanted a Romney – Obama match from the start, because of the big money political show it would be and the potential for unmasking the big two parties machines in the worst ways.

But Mitt Romney’s rolling gaffes and his own incompetence as a candidate has been stunning to watch and has put his path to the nomination in jeopardy. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be formidable, because of the Super PAC avalanche, but also because there are so many world event variables that could still make 2012 tough for Pres. Obama.

However, as things stand today Republicans are going to have a rough time making the 2012 election a referendum on Pres. Obama, which is their path to victory.

While Romney continues to be unable to close the sale, it’s not hard to see why religious conservatives are excited about the Santorum revival. He can even talk national security the way they like to hear it.

But could Democrats help Santorum and maybe make a difference in Michigan? Read Nate Silver and decide for yourself.

Republicans have bigger problems, because of how badly wounded Mitt Romney is today, much of it his own fault, including how far right he’s gone, especially on immigration. Romney continuing to lose prowess to Rick Santorum, whose extreme views and the power he’s building with religious conservatives threaten Republicans far beyond 2012, has been humiliating for Mitt Romney as a general election candidate.

It’s the set up for Jonathan Chait’s article in New York Magazine.

…Rick Santorum warns his audiences, “We are reaching a tipping point, folks, when those who pay are the minority and those who receive are the majority.” Even such a sober figure as Mitt Romney regularly says things like “We are only inches away from no longer being a free economy,” and that this election “could be our last chance.”

The GOP has reason to be scared. Obama’s election was the vindication of a prediction made several years before by journalist John Judis and political scientist Ruy Teixeira in their 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. Despite the fact that George W. Bush then occupied the White House, Judis and Teixeira argued that demographic and political trends were converging in such a way as to form a ­natural-majority coalition for Democrats.

The Republican Party had increasingly found itself confined to white voters, especially those lacking a college degree and rural whites who, as Obama awkwardly put it in 2008, tend to “cling to guns or religion.” Meanwhile, the Democrats had ­increased their standing among whites with graduate degrees, particularly the growing share of secular whites, and remained dominant among racial minorities. As a whole, Judis and Teixeira noted, the electorate was growing both somewhat better educated and dramatically less white, making every successive election less favorable for the GOP. And the trends were even more striking in some key swing states. Judis and Teixeira highlighted Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, with skyrocketing Latino populations, and Virginia and North Carolina, with their influx of college-educated whites, as the most fertile grounds for the expanding Democratic base. [...]

Chait’s piece, “2012 or Never,” makes the case that this is it for the GOP.

Remember where conservatives were in November 2008, after Pres. Obama won?

We wrote about the death of conservatism back then, too, but in Obama’s first two years the Tea Party rose up, with a lot of help from Sarah Palin, who has long since squandered her power. But not before she helped rev up the religious conservative engine to make historic gains in the 2010 election midterms.

The new group of right wing religious conservatives pointed their energy at women, setting off a war on female freedoms we haven’t seen in decades, which went from state to state.

But religious conservatives overstepped, as many of us have been writing, because extremists always do eventually.

It came to a head when Pres. Obama mandated free contraceptive coverage, then took a scalpel to carve out a First Amendment exclusion that was not planned, but brilliantly played when the uproar played out just how David Plouffe’s polling told him it would.

Women of all faiths and none rose up, leaving the political landscape littered with talking heads and cable yakkers, mostly of the white male variety, their mouths agape, as they had to dial back their pompous vitriol and ignorance over what the First Amendment meant to everyone, not just “the church,” but women in the workplace, too.

Then Gov. Bob McDonnell took a very public flogging for Virginia’s Republican extremism that manifested in transvaginal state rape legislation, with the entire comedic universe bearing down on McDonnell, as well as every political new media site, pundit and writer who had a place to opine.

But according to Chait’s argument in his article, using data that’s been around a while, in the end it will all one day come down to demography.

Not tomorrow it won’t. But what was triggered to manifest when Pres. Obama came in to office, another opportunity very similar looks like it’s returned. Now if the world community, Israel, and Greece will cooperate… then there’s Iran.

The short-term depends on whether Rick Santorum can take Mitt Romney down in Michigan. But also whether the stories of Democrats helping Santorum do it amount to anything significant.

Surely Mitt Romney won’t allow Rick Santorum to beat him in the state where his dad was governor and he grew up. There is no overstating how big it would be if that happens.

What a Romney loss would mean for Republicans in 2012, however, is wild to contemplate.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 Responses to Michigan is All the Marbles for Mitt

  1. Cujo359 February 28, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I think that any progressives who think that helping Santorum win is a good idea are idiots. Whoever wins the Republican nomination could very well end up being President. If that’s Rick Santorum, the country will be worse off than if it’s Romney.

    • Taylor Marsh February 28, 2012 at 12:46 am #

      I simply cannot imagine voting for Santorum for any reason whatsoever.

      On foreign policy, the man is frightening.

       

  2. Art Pronin February 28, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    PPP has a late Santo surge by 10pts in the last day due to Mitt’s gaffes. 2 polls today show narrow santo lead, 2 other give narrow elad to mitt- all of 2 pts either way. Even if Mitt wins by 2 pts what does that say? Mitt lead by 40 a month ago in MI. 40.Mitt has serious electoral probs. O and Jon Mecham on Charlie Rose tonight on the JFK church state speech- fascinating stuff.

    • Taylor Marsh February 28, 2012 at 12:49 am #

      Cannot listen to Jon Meacham, so I missed that one.

      Yeah, saw the PPP, but Romney’s machine will GOTV, I just can’t believe otherwise.  The organization is the one thing he’s got.

      Mitt needs a win. Period. Just a win, because Romney’s going to win this ugly if he wins it at all. Read some of Dave Weigel’s on the ground reporting.

  3. fangio February 28, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    You really have to wonder about some of Obama’s people.  Why start this bullshit with Iran now;  what was so dire that it was necessary to  give the Republican’s a weapon to use against him.  All of this could have waited until after the election.  Now were going to have them screaming about gas prices all summer long.  The economy is not so great either;  a small group of economists believe it will begin to slow in the spring and stagnate during the summer.  If this happens and gas prices stay high Obama will be beatable.  I know a lot of women won’t vote for Santorum but some will and helping him beat Romney could blow up in the Democrats faces;  think back,  stranger things have happened.

  4. secularhumanizinevoluter February 28, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    More popcorn please.

  5. guyski February 28, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    So the Democratic elites are showing their arrogance once again (actually it probably never really went away). And talk about short-term memory loss or at least just dismissing/altering recent history.

    No such thing as humility from the “professional” Democratic elites. This talk about a (permanent) “emerging Democratic majority” is utter nonesense. Instead of calling it an “emerging Democratic majority” call it for want they want: a monopoly.

    Any  political monopoly in America is doomed to eventually self-destruct. For example; you would think that a “emerging Democratic majority” will give you a large selection of qualified political candidates to choose from within that party. This is false, with a monopoly, you will get a few “selecting” these candidates, which will tend to lead to inferior candidates. Candidates selected from within a “bubble” are a stagnat product that is incapable of adjusting to the “market place” Just this talk about a emerging Democratic majority in the long run is self-destructive.

    Now this might not apply to 2012, but beyond that, it ain’t gonna happen. To put it bluntly these elections are about power and control, nothing else. To think that that the Republican party will not “adjust” or for another group/party to see an opportunity to gain that power and control is utter nonsense.

    One more thing. If you want to use one word to describe why 2010 happened, That word would be arrogance. It didn’t work then, it won’t work in the future.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter February 28, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      1.”So the Democratic elites are showing their arrogance once again (actually it probably never really went away). And talk about short-term memory loss or at least just dismissing/altering recent history.”

      Nice, two sentences that sound like they were written by the house propaganda organ for the Gawds Only People party that mean exactly NOTHING.

      2.”No such thing as humility from the “professional” Democratic elites. ”

      Ahhhh! Now it’s the PROFESSIONAL elites, not just the plain ol garden variety Democratic elites!! DAMN for being elites we sure do have allot of them!!!

      3.”This talk about a (permanent) “emerging Democratic majority” is utter nonesense. Instead of calling it an “emerging Democratic majority” call it for want they want: a monopoly.”

      Well, it’s called demographics….since WHITE Americans are well on the way to being a minority and the repugnantklan/teabaggers have invested so much effort in in their standard racist appeals…not to mention all the young women and functioning brain folks turned off by the imbecilic ass monkeys of the right…but I can see where YOU wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept.

      4″Any  political monopoly in America is doomed to eventually self-destruct. For example; you would think that a “emerging Democratic majority” will give you a large selection of qualified political candidates to choose from within that party. This is false, with a monopoly, you will get a few “selecting” these candidates, which will tend to lead to inferior candidates.”

      DAMN, sounds like you’re talkin bout the repug/bagger candidates from the GOP?

      5.”Candidates selected from within a “bubble” are a stagnat product that is incapable of adjusting to the “market place” ”

      YOPU ARE talkin bout them!!!

      6.”Just this talk about a emerging Democratic majority in the long run is self-destructive.”

      Oooooooo, thanks for the advice…it will be given the consideration it deserves.

      7.”Now this might not apply to 2012, but beyond that, it ain’t gonna happen.”

      ANOTHER sentence that means absolutely nothing?

      8.”To put it bluntly these elections are about power and control, nothing else.”

      NO KIDDING?!!! REALLY?!!!!!

      9.”To think that that the Republican party will not “adjust” or for another group/party to see an opportunity to gain that power and control is utter nonsense.”

      ANOTHER sentence that means NOTHING, NO ONE claimed the repug/baggers wouldn’t try to keep control…they just happen to be on the losing side in the culture war and historical demographic make up of the American populace.

      10.”One more thing.”

      Oh sweet jeebus cripsies onna popcicle stick…aren’t you finished?!!!

      11.”If you want to use one word to describe why 2010 happened, That word would be arrogance. It didn’t work then, it won’t work in the future.”

      DAMN! You are finally correct if for the wrong reasons. It was the arrogance of the Dems thinking they could abandon their progressive/liberal promises so the young and Indies stayed away from the polls. NOT because the repug/baggers convinced anyone they were right.

    • spincitysd February 29, 2012 at 1:25 am #

      Sigh Guyski,

      Did you even read the article in question? Probably not is my guess; instead you went off to the races with the usual Faux News projectile vomiting  ie. talking points.

      The article makes a very simple point about demographics. That would be numbers. I know that for people like you, numbers, being a part of facts, have a Liberal bias. But unfortunately for the Elephants, the demographic tide is rising and your attempt to channel King Canute will end up with the same results.

      The Elephant Charge brought on by Nixxon and Don Reynaldo is spent. I’m sorry that breaks your heart, but these things happen. Coalitions come and go, and the Regan/Nixon coalition has run up against a demographic shift. The steady rise in non-white, non-rural, more socially and economically liberal Generations X and Y generations is upon us. The obsessions of us poor, tired, ready to be put out to pasture, Baby Boomers are becoming less Germain every Presidential election cycle.

      That is not to say that there is not a political space for a Center-Right Party in US politics, not at all. What is happening is the current configuration of the Center-Right Republican Party is quickly becoming a non-starter. Too many bridges have been burned Guyski.

      In many ways the Republican Party has been its own worst enemy by pushing policies that offend the rising minority cohort in US politics. Stuff like AZ “papers please” legislation are political poison for the future health of the Republican Party. Again is it just a numbers game. If the Donkeys can rely on a 60% advantage among Hispanics plus the 90% advantage among African Americans, plus perhaps a 55% advantage or better for the under 30 set, then they only need a mere plurality in the over 45 Caucasian vote. Obama spanked McCain because of this demographic reality.

      I live in quite possibly the bluest state of the Union Guyski, California. The only reason California is so Blue is because Pete Wilson absolutely burned the political landscape flat back in the 1990′s. His anti-immigrant stance has ensured the Elephants a long, miserable trek in the political wilderness that looks only to get worse before it gets better. The Hispanic voters in this state have a long memories, and would rather gouge out their eyes with rusty spoons then vote for Republicans. They are not nearly done with punishing the Republican Party for Pete Wilson’s antics way back in the 1990′s. You could not have missed the fact that the only recent Republican Governor of note was himself an Immigrant.

      Yet the National Republican Party has only doubled-down on the dead-end of immigrant bashing. This is political suicide, again demographically speaking. Whites will be a minority  not too far away, California is the demographic future today Guyski, and unless the National Republican Party wants to share the fate of the California Republican Party–total irrelevance, it has to set up a new coalition. It has to move away from the identity politics of white, blue collar, older voters. It has to rethink a new Conservative agenda.

      Regan is dead Guyski, as is Nixon, the coalition they built is slowly dieing. In many ways that dieing off is a very literal proposition because older voters do move on to their final reward. Standing pat is no longer an option. The Republican Party must Move, Adapt, or Perish.

  6. spincitysd February 28, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    http://bit.ly/WTFO_MiAz

    This is it, the day that Arizona and Michigan have their primaries. This is the only poll that matters. From the tea leaves of the polls it looks to be a nail-biter. I can tell you one thing, if Mitt goes down in Michigan it will because of his latest bit of foot-in-mouth disease. The NASCAR quote brings in stark relief what a out of touch swell Willard Romney is.

    It has been really weird following the Mittsters messaging in MI. He spent many years living in the state. His dad was an institution working for an institution. But Mitt’s exclusive, elite upbringing in Michigan has made him an alien in his home state. The truly bizarre Romney ramblings, love those tree, and the whole Mormon thing have to be off-putting to an electorate that is deeply working class, and more deeply rooted in the soil than Romney is.

    More at :The Wait Is Nearly Over

     

  7. Joyce Arnold February 28, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    guyski: “This talk about a (permanent) “emerging Democratic majority” is utter nonesense. Instead of calling it an “emerging Democratic majority” call it for want they want: a monopoly.”

    Absolutely. Just as the “permanent” Republican majority was nonsense. And yes, it’s a “monopoly,” or for me, “duopoly” works better.

    This whole familiar story of which of the two parties is now in control, and how they’re there to stay, with whatever drama of whatever campaign season and whichever candidates to keep the masses entertained … it’s politics as usual. One thing that seems to have changed is that these flips occur more quickly and more often. I guess that adds to the drama, and maybe it’s also an indication that more people are getting fed up with the two parties. i hope so.

  8. TPAZ February 28, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Great analysis, TM. Let me to it; the latest macroeconomic analysis shows that average black household wealth all but disappeared since 2008. African-American supporters of President Obama financial progress has been halted or reversed with the Great Recession and balance the budget rhetoric at the local level. One reliable avenue blacks and other minorities used to advance into middle class after college were civil service positions; teachers, policemen, city, county, state, and federal workers, and the military. It was just announced 35,000 postal positions will disappear to reduce costs. This was another outlet for decent paying jobs. The private sector still discriminates in varying degrees unlike civil service towards blacks in hiring and promoting just as jobs discriminates against workers over the age of 50.

    Black Obama supporters will have on average less of an economic cushion and fewer resources as they donate funds to and volunteer time for his reelection.

  9. fairmindedindependent February 28, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Romney should have never had to fight for his own homestate, the state where his dad was Governor. Even if he wins, its still not a good sign to have to fight like this in a state that Romney should have picked up easy. I will watch Michigan like others, it will be interesting. If Rick Santorum can draw hugh numbers of voters in Grand Rapids area, that could swing it his way.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong