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January 15, 2008

Live Coverage Of The Michigan Primary

I'll live blog my thoughts on the Michigan primary returns as they start coming in at 8 pm CT. I'll also be speaking with the boss, Alan Levy, on his BlogTalkRadio show with The Flylady at 7 pm CT. We'll be talking about the primary race in general, and joining me will be Tom McArdle of Investors Business Daily. Interest seems a bit lower in this primary, probably because of the low relevance of the Democratic primary, but it has significant meaning for the Republican race..

I'll be going in reverse-chronological order, so older comments will be lower in the post.

9:07 - John King and Jeffrey Toobin at CNN are arguing that McCain got "trounced" in Michigan. Er, no. He didn't do as well as he should have, mostly because the crossover vote never materialized. But 30% is not a bad showing, especially given McCain's agenda on global warming, CAFE standards, and economic pessimism. Huckabee got a bigger beating tonight.

9:03 - Romney says he'll go to Nevada now. I think he has a chance to gain some traction there, probably less chance in South Carolina.

8:43 - Lindsey Graham says he's not disappointed in the result (for John McCain). Mike Huckabee says he's not disappointed in the result. Why not? I think that both candidates took a blow here with their results, especially Huckabee. If ever a state outside of Iowa was primed for an economic populist, it was Michigan.

8:36 - Big surprise -- Romney split the evangelical vote in Michigan, according to CNN's exit polling. Romney actually edged Huckabee, 32%-31%.

8:34 - Rudy has to like what he sees in this race. No one's a front-runner now. If Thompson pulls off a surprise in South Carolina, Rudy just about has his strategy vindicated.

8:23 - Clinton still has 60% of the vote, and Uncommitted is only getting 34%. Doesn't look like the state party effort (helped by Edwards and Obama campaigns) put too much of a dent in Hillary's momentum.

8:19 - Romney's starting to open up a real gap on McCain; with 20% of the vote in, he has a ten-point lead and 40% of the vote. This is a big, big win for Romney.

8:17 - Romney's doing his victory speech from Southfield, MI. "Americans can do whatever they set their heart to do .... Tonight is a victory of hope over Washington-style pessimism." I think that's what won him this state -- that line at the debate turned out to resonate for Mitt, and not McCain.

8:15 - Had to post about the court decision in Nevada that restored editorial control of NBC's broadcast to NBC. Looks like CNN has called the race for Romney, who's winning pretty big at 38%. McCain is conceding the race from South Carolina.

7:53 - 6% now in, and Romney leads by six again. I haven't mentioned other candidates yet, but they're far back. Paul's at 6%, Thompson 4%, and Giuliani 3%, just ahead of "Uncommitted" on the GOP side.

7:49 - The Corner notes that John McCain flew out of Michigan earlier today, thinking that they knew bad news was coming. Actually, I got the McCain schedule a couple of days ago, and they had planned for him to go to South Carolina at the time he left today, so it had nothing to do with his performance in Michigan.

7:42 - Wow. McCain's now within three points with 3% reporting, 35%-32%. That's more what I thought would happen.

7:40 - GOP has 2% reporting, and it's now Mitt by six over McCain. Huckabee has increased to 16%.

7:38 - With 2% reporting, Hillary's getting 64% of the vote, while the state party-backed Uncommitted only is getting 30%. Turnout seems a little stronger on the D side than I would have guessed -- another bad sign for McCain.

7:31 - Still less than 1% of precincts reporting, but Mitt leads McCain, 42%-30%. If that kind of gap holds up, this will be a triumph for Mitt -- and maybe a blessing for Rudy.

7:22 - First few votes coming in now, and Mitt's leading 38%-26% over McCain. Clinton's getting 73% over Uncommitted. I suspect that this may be Detroit.

7:06 - Polls should be closing soon, and I'm going on Alan & Flylady's show now ...

6:20 - Republicans are blocking independents from voting in the California primaries, while the Democrats will allow them into theirs. I understand that the GOP wants to nominate conservatives, but is there any better way to further marginalize the GOP in the Golden State than thumbing their noses at independents? Seems pretty short-sighted to me.

6:03 - Jim Geraghty and another source says the exit polling shows Mitt winning 35-29 over John McCain, with Huckabee only garnering 15% in a state that should have liked his populist economics. That would be a much-needed win for Romney, but still a good showing for McCain.

5:56 pm CT - Had to switch away from CNN. I'll probably go back when the returns start coming in, but Jack Cafferty is just too tiresome to endure. "The whole country is circling the drain! The economy's collapsing!" Have him check last quarter's growth and the current unemployment rate. Problems loom, but Cafferty's a loon.


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