(Red Right Returning, a nautical mnemonic for the side of the buoy or marker on which to pilot a ship in order to stay in the channel, is a look back at the activity of the past week of the Republican candidates in the 2012 primary. Feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section.)
It’s been a couple of weeks since there was any campaign action at the polls. This coming Tuesday marks the last contest in February and and along with the Washington caucuses on Saturday, they’re also the last contests before Super Tuesday in March. That will be a fairly significant day in the Republican primary as nearly a dozen states all make their choice for the Republican presidential nominee.
Of course when we last checked, the presumptive frontrunner Mitt Romney was not faring very well. He had just lost Minnesota and Colorado to Rick Santorum. The momentum of those wins looked to potentially propel Santorum to further wins; particularly in Romney’s home state of Michigan. Polling there have the two in a statistical dead heat. Many Republican insiders stated that a loss of Michigan would be a political disaster for Romney.
The editorial that Romney penned advocating that the auto industry go through bankruptcy rather than being bailed out by the government did not do him any favours with Michiganders either. Especially after GM roared back to the number one automaker and paid the government loan back with interest.
But as Nate points out in a recent article, Michigan delegates are awarded by district with last two going to the statewide winner. Santorum will still be able to do some damage. Nate’s article gives individual district breakdowns and also averages in the latest poll numbers. But the outcome is far from conclusive. Romney may just barely eke out a win yet only take half the delegates or less depending on how Ron Paul fares in a couple of districts favourable to the Libertarian.
538Refugees is calling first place in both Michigan and Arizona to Mitt Romney. But just barely. Once again the Mormon block will carry Arizona for Mitt.
Second place in both will go to Rick Santorum but don’t be surprised by a Michigan upset. Second place won’t really matter in Arizona as it’s a true winner-take-all state. Ron Paul will finish third in Michigan while Newt Gingrich appears to be in third in Arizona. Gingrich just received another cash infusion from his casino mogul so expect to see that money invested on Super Tuesday races such as Georgia and Ohio.
Mitt Romney continues to prove that he just can’t make the sale. Super Tuesday will likely give a better impression of how the remainder of the campaign will go. A brokered convention is not completely out of the question at this point.