World breathes sigh of relief as Romney wins Arizona, Michigan


Mitt Romney didn’t exactly dominate in Michigan, but he did win on Tuesday, and at this point, you have to imagine that’s good enough for him. The Republican frontrunner eked out a victory in the state where he was raised, securing 41 per cent of the vote and beating back Rick Santorum, who came in a close second with 38 per cent. Romney also captured a crucial Arizona primary by a much wider 47 to 27 per cent margin. Romney admitted in the lead up to Tuesday’s vote that his penchant for talking about his own wealth was probably hurting him. Couple that with his opposition to the auto bailout, credited with saving GM and thousands of Michigan jobs, and a win, even a tight one, in the Wolverine State looks more impressive.

“For a politician who often comes across as an out-of-touch rich weenie, he has shown an ability to take some blows that will serve him well later on,” the New Yorker’s John Cassidy wrote on Tuesday night. But the real winner, Cassidy believes, was Barack Obama. Had Romney lost, the odds of a Jeb Bush or Chris Christie entering the race would only have grown.

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World breathes sigh of relief as Romney wins Arizona, Michigan

  1. Drafting a new entrant into the race was easier said than done.  With the very real possibility of the whole exercise blowing up in their face in a very embarrassing fashion on the convention floor, I doubt either Christie or Jeb Bush would have agreed to do it.  At this stage, any big name GOP contender is better served sitting this one out, and waiting for 2016.

  2. Ugh. Lets imagine a scenario where Romney Michigan lost by 1%. He would still have won ~70% of the delegates up for grabs tonight because Arizona is a winner-take-all state. He’d still be the only candidate with a chance to win Virginia. He’d still be the favourite in most of the states holding winner-take-all primaries (New Jersey, California, Delaware, DC, Maryland, Utah). Even if he didn’t beat Santorum in the proportional states, he’d be a strong second in most. 

    I mean, do people predicting a convention even think? Presumably to go to a convention Romney needs to win <50% of the delegates (and probably a lot less, since unpledged delegates can make up the difference if he's fairly close). Yet this race hasn't even come close to that. By CNN's delegate count, Romney is leading Santorum in delegates 167-48, and on futures markets Romney to win is an 80-90% probability (in line with Obama's likelihood of winning the nomination in late April/early May). And he has more cash on hand than the other candidates. And he – thus far – hasn't thrown much red meat to the far right – instead he's running on biography so he can easily pivot back to the political centre in the general.

    You are now at the stage of the race where you have to stop counting state wins (narrow state wins didn't do much for Hillary), and look at the delegate math, particularly if you are going to talk about a convention as if it is likely.

  3. I am hoping for Santorum or even Gingrich to be the Republican delegate in the next election.
    I think they have a much less chance of actually winning than Romney.

    On the other hand, the world would gasp with horror if either of them did pull off a win.

    • While I also think Romney is more likely to win, there is some evidence to support Santorum. He actually fares better than Romney in a number of swing states, particularly in rust belt states, and he has beaten Obama in some matchup polls. One other way to develop a rough gauge of how Santorum would fare in the general is to take his likelihood of winning the general on Intrade, and divide by his likelihood of winning the GOP primary. The two should be related, since he can’t win the general without winning the primary.

      By that metric his likelihood of winning, if selected as the GOP nominee is 1.8%/6.6% = 27.3%. In contrast Romney’s is 31.9%/81.3%, or 39.2%. Of course intrade may be imperfect (though futures markets are generally good predictors, if enough people participate). What that suggests to me is that people suspect Santorum’s poll numbers to go down should he be the nominee. That said, given how much more conservative Santorum is than Romney, the gain in electability for Obama is probably not worth it. Gingrich actually has a higher likelihood of beating Obama, 1.5/3.3, or 45.45%. However the Gingrich market may not have as much volume as that of Santorum or Romney, lowering its predictive power. To round things out Ron Paul’s is 1.4/3.1 or 45.2%, though again it is a less active market

  4. Yes, the world breathed a sigh of relief, because virtually no one on earth shares Santorum’s pro-life, traditional Catholic values.

    At least, no one to whom the Macleans Need-To-Know writer has ever been exposed, apparently.

    • Pretty much this.

      In reality about 80% of humanity holds views closer to Santorum than Mr.Warnica.

      And I’m betting Mr.Warnica’s real concern is Santorum’s pro-life beliefs.
      Somehow butchering babies became a moderate stance, and anyone who disagrees is an extremist.The mental and moral gymnastics needed to try and fit abortion into a progressive journalists world view, have always amazed me.

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