Not much will change in Michigan
This much is certain: Today's presidential preference vote in Michigan won't change much. Previously anointed leaders had their comeuppance in the first two rounds - the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Michigan will be a test for Rep...
This much is certain: Today's presidential preference vote in Michigan won't change much. Previously anointed leaders had their comeuppance in the first two rounds - the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Michigan will be a test for Republicans, but for Democrats there's virtually no contest because only New York Sen. Hillary Clinton among major candidates is on the ballot. The National Democratic Party sanctioned Michigan because its Democratic Party moved its primary to an earlier date in defiance of the national party's wishes.
On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has the edge, according to analysts, because he's from Michigan, grew up there and his highly respected father was governor. Arizona Sen. John McCain might do unexpectedly well in Michigan because of momentum from his relatively easy win over Romney in New Hampshire. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is not exactly an unknown quantity in Michigan, but his credentials as a Baptist minister might not mean as much as they did in Iowa, where evangelical Christians gave his campaign the legs to go on to New Hampshire.
Since Illinois Sen. Barack Obama isn't on the ballot in Michigan, Clinton appears to be a shoe-in. Obama is concentrating on South Carolina's primary on Jan. 26, where Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards will also be in the race.
The surprise of this primary/caucus season is that early front-runners no longer enjoy that status. What appeared to be a slam-dunk nomination for Clinton has been blocked by Obama's appeal to Democratic voters. In the Republican race, early favorite Romney must win in Michigan if his candidacy is to retain its credibility. Huckabee also needs a win or second-place finish to convince more than a base of evangelicals that his candidacy has broad appeal and staying power. McCain looks to be in the best shape to do well in Michigan, Nevada (Saturday) and South Carolina, and then go on to the super Tuesday primaries Feb. 5.
Thus far, it really has been a historic political season. Voters have not been predictable. Polls have been amazingly wrong. Analyses by national pundits have been embarrassingly wrong.
There are no unassailable front-runners in either party. The campaign trail is testing them. Some are passing, others are not. Some are measuring up, others are proving to be one-note sideshows. The primary/caucus system - often maligned - seems to be working.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.
Not much will change in Michigan 20080115