Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Romney Wins in MI, AZ

Some reactions from around the web.

Gabriel Malor, looking at the exit polls:
In short, in Michigan, Romney carried conservatives, Republicans, Catholics, those who believe working in business is better prep for the presidency than working in government, and those who are most dedicated to voting against President Obama. 

Erick Erickson, continuing his crusade against Romney:
When you have a candidate few people really like, whose support is a mile wide and an inch deep, whose raison d’etre (a 4am fancy word) is fixing an economy that is fixing itself without him, and who only wins his actual, factual home state by three percentage points against a guy no one took seriously only two months ago, there really is little reason for independent voters in the general election to choose him if the economy keeps improving.
Seriously, putting it bluntly, conservatives may not like Barack Obama, but most other people do. And when faced with a guy you like and a guy you don’t like who says he can fix an economy that no longer needs fixing, you’re going to go with the guy you like. 
 I guess a shrinking labor market is a sign of economic improvement, then!  Is this going to be the new anti-Romney line of attack: Just like the White House says, the economy is totally turned around, thanks to Barack Obama?  It wouldn't be the first time anti-Romney voices have mimicked Democratic talking points.

Maggie Haberman at the Politico:
1) A win is a win
It’s the cliche of the cycle, and we’ve found ourselves saying it to defend a Mitt Romney victory more frequently than we’d have ever imagined.
It wasn’t pretty, and he carried Michigan by a smaller margin than in 2008, but the bottom line is that Romney was in a major political fight Tuesday — and he won. He also scored a blowout victory in Arizona. If he had lost Michigan, it’s hard to gauge the level of panic that would have unfolded within GOP ranks.
Romney sympathizer David Frum, expressing his concerns:
The trouble is that the primary process has made, is making, and will continue to make The Next Guy in Line a weaker rather than a stronger candidate in the general contest come November.

Romney emerges from Michigan committed not only to the Ryan plan, but also to a 20% cut in tax rates, above and beyond his prior commitment to making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He emerges as the candidate who has endorsed the idea that President Obama is waging war on religion as never before seen in this country, not even when the prophet of Romney's faith was murdered and his own family driven into exile. He emerges above all as a candidate who has distanced himself from his own most signal achievement in government, his Massachusetts healthcare plan, and identified himself with America's financial elite in almost every regard.

That's not the race I'm sure Romney intended to run. But it will be hard to change now.
That takeaway might be a little pessimistic, perhaps.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times notes an important aspect of Romney's win:
And in both Arizona and Michigan, he improved on his showing from 2008, breaking what had been a trend of shedding support from his prior run.
These victories also put a considerable dent in the anti-Romney meme that Romney is unable to win in hard-fought campaigns.

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