Tonight Mitt Romney kept his presidential aspirations alive by, it’s projected, winning the Michigan Republican primary.
WIth 22% of precincts reporting, Mr. Romney, who was shown to be in a very close race with John McCain, is leading with 40% of the vote, 10% more than Mr. McCain. Mike Huckabee trails with 15%.
Romney, the son of former Michigan Governor George Romney, was making what might have been his last stand in his former home state and it showed up in the money count. CNN reports that Romney spent more than $3 million on TV ads in the state in defeating his two main rivals.
Once again the pollsters and pundits were shown to be less than omniscient. Newsweek wondered only a few days ago if Huckabee would defeat Romney there. Egg on face, again.
Romney, with his personal fortune backing him, has come back from the dead, at least in part. I would be surprised to see him in the lead after Super Tuesday – too many Republicans dislike him on sight. calling his polished image manufactured and his shifting positions too dependent on poll numbers. I concur.
Fred Thompson, unfortunately, is a study in the de-evolution of a candidate. Despite strong performances in recent debates and what I would consider to be a deeper understanding of economic policy than the other candidates have shown, Thompson managed a mere 4% of the vote in Michigan, less than Ron Paul, a candidate with his own image troubles.
A recent Rasmussen poll shows Huckabee leading McCain in South Carolina and Romney lagging in 3rd place, evidence that this race is a long way from being over.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s absence from the ballot made Michigan a non-story On the Democratic side. I suppose that we’ll have to wait and see what’s next in this aggressively contested race.