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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Romney Wins Michigan

Well, with Romney winning (pretty handily actually) in Michigan, it looks like the GOP circus train is going to keep on rolling a while longer. The exit polls didn't really show anything particularly unusual; Romney and McCain's support in each question tracked roughly (within margins) with their overall vote totals, and when they varied, it was pretty predictable (ie McCain did better amongst people who cited "Iraq" as their most important issue, Romney did better amongst those who cited "Economy.")

My feelings about the GOP primary are perhaps best summarized by what Josh Marshall at TPM said the other day:

"Whatever happens in this election, whoever wins, we'll all be able to agree that the complete humiliation of Fred Thompson made it all worthwhile. "

After tonight's sixth place finish for Rudy 9ui11ianni (He edged out "uncommitted 3% to 2% and got spanked by Ron Paul), I think Rudy! deserves a nod as well.

"Whatever happens in this election, whoever wins, we'll all be able to agree that the complete humiliation of Fred Thompson and Rudy Giulliani made it all worthwhile.

One of the only things I found interesting from that exit poll was the question "Which candidate is most likely to bring needed change?" The responses are given as the percentage of votes each candidate received from each group of respondents, by answer. It's kind of a trivial question because it presupposes "needed change," so you would expect the responses to correlate with who the respondents voted for, and in large part they do (although humorously, "Hunter" wasn't a choice, and his voters apparently chose "Thompson").

However, every candidate won a majority of respondents that said that he was "most likely to bring about change" except for Rudy 9ui11iani. He only won 36% of voters who thought that he was "most likely to bring about needed change" while Romney and McCain took 50% of those votes. This is probably best explained by the dynamic in Michigan; everyone knew that Romney needed a win, and more importantly, McCain needed a loss or the media would stop everything and nominate him right there in Detriot.

Also, with only 4% of 1200 respondents selecting Rudy, we;re talking about a sample size of ~40 people, and so it's not a particularly meaningful result.

Caveats aside, though, I think it's clear that Rudy's supporters have given up and have moved to their second choice. It seems like ages ago that Rudy was standing front and center in all the debates as the national frontrunner. Oh well. I guess the Republicans just forgot about 9/11.

I didn't watch tonights Democratic debate, and from what I've heard, that was a smart choice. If I hear the phrases "race card" or "gender card" one more time I'll, well, do nothing, because it will happen at least 20 more times before I go to bed.

Finally, a quick word of advice to CNN: Let's leave Larry King off the "best political team in television." It isn't because he's older than death; I just don't think he's particularly insightful. I got the distinct impression he doesn't care about politics at all and he'd much rather be asking Sylvia Brown if Anna Nicole Smith's ghost had anything interesting to say about Britney Spears. Actually, I think he did start talking about that...

Click "There's more..." for some more insightful analysis, and an embarrassing number from the exit poll for Giuliani.