I’m writing this early on the morning after the Michigan Primary. It was a strange primary for the Democrats as it didn’t mean anything in terms of the delegate count: only Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel appeared on the ballot (along with Christopher Dodd who has since dropped out). Also, because the Michigan Democratic Party tried to defy the national party in picking an early date, these delegates won’t be seated for the convention. That said, Hillary won 55% of the vote with Uncommitted coming in second at 40%. You have to wonder how Dennis and Mike are taking the news that they placed lower than “I don’t know.” As a footnote, Dennis’ campaign page is now his re-election to Congress and his presidential bid has moved here.
The Republican race has gotten more complex. Mitt Romney won Michigan; this is good for him not because it gives him a boost but because he needed to win it. He grew up here and his father, George Romney (1907-1995) was Governor from 1963-1969. To use his imagery, he now has two golds (Wyoming and Michigan) and two silvers (Iowa and New Hampshire).
In the Republican race, the four states that have had either a caucus or a primary, there have been three winners: Mike Huckabee in Iowa, John McCain in New Hampshire, and Mitt Romney in Wyoming and Michigan.
The other Republican candidates appear to be staking out states where they think they can (or have to) win. I believe the interesting story is there. Rudy Giuliani was supposed to be be much stronger at this point, and he has staked out Florida (January 29th). Fred Thompson has staked out South Carolina this Saturday. I’m not sure exactly what happened to Rudy’s campaign, but the word on Fred Thompson all along has been that he is a poor campaigner. This is not exactly new: nearly every campaign has some group wringing their hands looking for the candidate and I think Fred thought he was that man. Perhaps he was but he never got the word that he would still have to campaign. The Christian evangelical movement may have been looking for someone like him but it doesn’t mean they were prepared to proclaim him king just on his entry into the race.
Super Tuesday is February 5th; even the best case scenario sees it a longshot that either party process is over.