Weighing in on the primary

Feb 23, 2012

We are five days away from Michigan’s Presidential Primary. It is next Tuesday, February 28th.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White is joined by Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, to discuss where the Republican presidential candidates stand today in the state.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are in a statistical dead heat. Sikkema says, “It’s a very fluid situation….and anything can happen on Tuesday.”

What can we expect from Ron Paul? It seems a little late in the game, but we are hearing that Paul will make an appearance in Michigan this weekend.

According to Demas, “It’s interesting that [Paul] has put it off, but we have seen his presence in Michigan already. He’s running a negative ad against Rick Santorum, hitting on a lot of the same themes that Mitt Romney is – calling Rick Santorum a state conservative – and he seems to be acting as Romney’s wingman in this race, trying to keep Santorum down.”

So, is there a single leader in the race? Sikkema says no and thinks it is confusing for voters and is harmful to the Republican Party. “[Republican candidates] are winning primaries with 30 and 32 and 33 percent of the vote,” he explains.

What can we expect in these final days leading up to the primary? According to Demas, we should see a rise in ads…even ones from Obama:

“He and his super PAC have two ads up in Michigan. They’re already looking at the general [election]. They’re already attacking Republicans on the auto bailout and on being out of touch,” she says.

- Arielle Mellen, Michigan Radio Newsroom