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UPDATE: Campaign Briefs – Snyder Endorses Romney, New Ads from Santorum and Romney, 6 Michigan Polls

Catch up on a news-filled week as the presidential race focuses on our state.

Patch will present Michigan presidential campaign roundups before the Republican primary Feb. 28.

Governor Picks His Man

Gov. Rick Snyder will endorse Mitt Romney as their party's presidential nominee Thursday in remarks to the and in a Detroit News op-ed commentary, the newspaper reports.

"Our next president must understand how markets work and know how to get our nation back on track. Mitt Romney is the man for the job," the first-term governor writes in the The News, which posted an article about his endorsement at 8:42 p.m. Wednesday.

Coming soon to your TV

Rick Santorum punches back. A feisty new commercial for the former Pennsylania senator shows a Mitt Romney look-alike using a machine gun to spray mud at a moving cutout of Santorum.

"Mitt Romney’s negative attack machine is back on full throttle," a narrator says in the 30-second spot (embedded at right). As the voiceover ends with "Mitt Romney’s ugly attacks are going to backfire,” the Romney stand-in sees mud on his white shirt.

Politico.com, a prominent national blog, says the spot begins airing statewide Wednesday and will be shown elsewhere later. "Everyone in Michigan will see it," the Washington-based site quotes an unnamed Santorum aide as saying. "We’re not going to sit back and take it."

'I grew up in Michigan'

Romney released a new half-minute ad Tuesday, tailored to voters in the state where he was born and raised. "I remember going to the Detroit Auto Show with my dad," he says, referring to George Romney. Father and son appear in a black and white photo before the candidate says: "I want to make Michigan stronger and better. Michigan has been my home, and this is personal."

Expect to see that ad often if you watch TV. A political action committee called Restore Our Future, which backs Romney, "is putting $600,000 into ads in Michigan in advance of the state’s Feb. 28 primary,"  the Washington Post reports. (The Santorum aide interviewed by Politico declined to give that campaign's Michigan ad budget.)

What polls show

Santorum leads Romney by 3-15 percentage points in four statewide polls released since last week, as a New York Times graphic roundup illustrates Wednesday. Romney led in a pair of surveys issued Feb. 1 and 2.  

As of Wednesday morning, Times politics blogger Nate Silver gives Santorum a 77percent chance of winning Michigan while noting "there is still considerable uncertainty in the forecast."

Romney's largest survey lead (39 percent to 24 percent) has a bold-face asterisk because it's based on responses last weekend by 404 likely Republican primary voters. They include Democrats, who can request a Republican ballot Feb. 28 and still pick President Obama in November.

Still, as Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza noted Wednesday: "Romney’s roots in Michigan mean a loss here to former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — who has performed better in the Midwest and with blue-collar workers — would be embarrassing."

'Favorite son'? Depends who's asked

Two veterans of Michigan campaign coverage note Romney's Detroit birth in 1947, his Bloomfield Hills education until 1965 and his dad's 1963-69 term as governor don't necessarily make him a homie.

Tim Kiska, a University of Michigan-Dearborn associate professor from Grosse Pointe Woods, writes at his WWJ blog: "One number is potentially troublesome for Romney: Only one in four of those questioned [by Public Policy Polling last weekend] consider Romney a Michigander. ... While the analysts think of Romney as a Michigan guy, the natives don’t necessarily agree."    

Lansing talk show host Tim Skubic of WKAR, commenting on the same poll at Mlive.com, writes: "And if the Romney-ites are hoping for a halo affect from the former Gov. George, forget that, too. Only 39 percent have a favorable opinion of Mr. Romney’s dad and 46 percent have no opinion about the senior Romney. And the rest are going, 'George who?' "

105,000+ voters have decided  

Talk about proactive: A surprisingly high (to us, at least) number of Michiganians have cast absentee ballots already, The Atlantic magazine reports: "As of Friday (Feb. 10), 105,500 voters had requested and returned GOP primary ballots."

That likely includes Democrats who may be mischief-making. But there also seem to be lots of decisive, efficient folks who may now have moved on to making St. Patrick's Day plans or preparing for the Tigers' home opener April 5.  

Voices from the trail

  • "I think he'll (Romney) do very well. I would be very, very surprised if we don’t chalk up a big win." – L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County executuve, quoted Wednesday at Politico.com
  • "In Michigan, we’ve always felt like the rest of the country either doesn’t understand us or wishes we weren’t here. It's nice to know that someone's running for president who knows the state and is from here." –U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Livonia, quoted Tuesday by the Washington Post
  • "Santorum’s persona, his record and his platform all have a populist tinge that plays well in states like Michigan ... where swing voters tend to be socially conservative, but economically middle-of-the-road." – Ross Douthat, New York Times blog, on Tuesday
  • "Romney will say and stand for anything to get elected. ... He's against everything that Michigan is for, and even his family name can't cover that up." – Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic governor, media conference call, Tuesday
  • "It’s going to be a slugfest here. We didn’t think we’d matter and now we’re at the eye of the storm.” – James Muffet, president of Lansing-based Citizens for Traditional Values, quoted Tuesday by the Washington Post
Marty Rosalik February 21, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Daryl: While I agree with the latter portion of this quote. "This broke all contract law and normal bankruptcy proceedings to take care of a special group." I can not find the section and paragraph of "ALL" the laws that were broken. I understand that this is your opinion and respect it as such. I also know that this is a staple of talk radio. That does not make it accurate or truthful. I don't know one way or the other. I lost half my 401k to the bankrupcy but stayed employeed. I struggle with this subject every day. A little help with some actual data, code, section, paragraph maybe please. Marty
Daryl Patrishkoff February 21, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Marty, The contract law I speak of is that the “Secured Investors” are in front of the “Unsecured Investors.” The Secured investors paid more for their shares to be in that status, the Unsecured paid less because of the higher risk. All I am saying is this got switched for political reasons and contract law was broken by our government to take care of a special group. Our government called it taking money from the “fat cats of Wall Street”, as it turned out it was the public pensions for school teachers, police and firefighters who paid the price. By the way, this is personal; a close relative (middle class) lost his life savings because of this political move. Now I see a pattern. Let's look at Solindra, when the government went in for another investment to this failing group the investors were put in front of the taxpayers when it came to bankruptcy. For the first time the government moved behind the investor group, why are these guys not called Fat Cats? They got paid and we the government investors took a bath. A $500,000,000 bath. As an investor in companies, believe me I am small time, I will not put my personal money at risk in this environment of political decisions at the whim of a government using power it does not have. If I as a small time investor, what do you think the big time investors will do? They will sit on their money and not invest until they are sure the rules return to some type of consistency and follow the law.
Marty Rosalik February 21, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Thanks Daryl. I understand the point. However nobody points to the actual "law" that was and is being broken. I make a very specific distinction here. I agree it was not done in a "normal" fashion. But the lack of code, paragraph, and section in these claims makes it a claim. If I alledge that someone broke a law, I supply the appropriate details not generalities. Thanks
Tonto February 21, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Post 911 security costs. Don't get carried away now :)
Scot Beaton February 21, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Dayrl & Marty, Thomas Jefferson is righty given much credit for emphasizing the importance of education in a democracy. He believed education for all to be crucial part of the success of the "experiment" undertaken in 1776. He had faith in the "common man" and his ability to elect wise and virtuous leaders if that man were educated to do so. With this caveat in mind, Jefferson wrote the Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge, the Bill for Establishing a Public Library, and the Bill for Establishment of a System of Public Education.  note: we did not win the Americain revolution with bigger guns, the British had those... we won because as a people we... our 13 Colonies could read! As a group we... American's were the most literate group individuals on the plant... we out smarted them. 90% in the 13 Colonies, less than 45% England at the time. Dayrl & Marty, answer this question why are there those in the Republican party that support the dumbing down of America? Support teaching the Garden of Eden in public school science class? Why are those in the "party" that would support building national science Museums with public money that show man a the dinosaurs lived on the plant at the same time? Why does the Republican party want to throw out the last 400 years of scientific discovery... if we want to compete in a world economy would it not be a lot smarter to elect candates who do believe in science.

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