Primary postmortem

Turnout barely exceeds 2008: Looks like Republican turnout will surpass the 2008 total by only about 125,000 votes, give or take a few. In 2008, 869,169 votes were cast for Republican candidates. This year, two things appeared to contribute to increased turnout:

  • The Democratic race is uncontested this year, and some people who voted for Hillary or for Uncommitted in 2008 either did not vote this time or crossed over.
  • Republicans invested much more heavily in Michigan this time than in 2008. Last time, the focus of the national Republican race was on Super Tuesday, as Romney was more or less expected to win the Michigan primary (which was three weeks before Super Tuesday). This time, a very close race (and the possibility of Romney losing what he should've won in a cakewalk) meant more interest in the race - thus also contributing to higher turnout.

Despite that, Republicans only got around 1 million votes this time.

A lot of money to barely win your 'home' state: Romney and his super PAC spent $3,807,082 in Michigan, while Santorum and his super PAC spent $2,182,786. At the moment, with a few precincts left to report, it comes out to $9.33 per vote for Romney and $5.79 per vote for Santorum. And what did Romney get for that? A 3-point win in a state he should've won in a cakewalk. And as Dana points out, Romney's 41% just barely exceeds his 2008 performance of 39%.

Exit poll sheds light on primary electorate: CNN's exit poll has a load of fascinating info.
  • 9% of Republican primary voters were Democrats, and Santorum got a majority (not just a plurality) of Dems.
  • 39% called themselves moderate or liberal.
  • Santorum gets almost half the vote among those who dislike the other candidates more than they like their own candidates.
  • Nearly 3 in 8 Republican primary voters say abortion should be "always" or "mostly" legal.
  • 44% approved of the government bailing out the automakers.
  • Most fascinating of all (IMHO): Romney and Santorum tied among Tea Party supporters, with Santorum winning among those who do not support the Tea Party.

Republicans' irresponsibility comes back to bite them: Michigan republicans wasted $40 million of our tax dollars to hold this primary so they could anoint Romney as the nominee here in Michigan. Well, how's that turning out for you, Republicans? Your party is at war with itself, and now your frontrunner is trailing Obama by 16 points in Michigan.

State House races offer good signs for Democrats: The 29th and 51st State House districts had special elections to fill the remainders of the terms of Tim Melton (D-29th), who resigned, and Paul Scott (R-51st), who was recalled. Both were succeeded by members of their own parties, meaning there will be no change in the balance of power in the State House.

In November 2008 - a great election for Democrats - Paul Scott got 53% of the vote in the 51st House race. This time, with a much more Republican electorate, Joe Graves got a whopping 54%. One should be careful about reading too much into that, but with a much more Republican electorate voting yesterday (60% Republican statewide, according to CNN), do you not think Graves should've done much better than 54%?

Could it be that Michigan Republicans are in for a backlash for their anti-worker agenda?


Republicans prepare for caucuses, touting commitment to jobs, fiscal responsibility


LANSING - Republicans across the state are preparing for tonight's Presidential caucuses, which have brought the world's attention to this state with a Republican-dominated government.

Michigan Republicans decided last year to use a caucus to allocate the state's Republican National Convention delegates. Proposals for a statewide, taxpayer-funded primary were shot down.

"In 2010, we campaigned on more jobs, less government, and less spending," said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville. "By choosing a caucus system instead of a primary, we are fulfilling our promises by not spending your tax dollars."

US Senate candidate Gary Glenn said that Republican lawmakers have taken a route that is "consistent with Christian principles."

"Christ taught us to take care of the poor," said Glenn. "Rather than waste money doing something our Party could do by itself, our Party decided to forgo using tax dollars for a primary, instead using that money to allow things like the Earned Income Tax Credit to continue as they were before."

A Republican spokesman noted that by saving $10 million on a primary, many jobs have been saved, including those of police and firefighters.

"The Democrat Party has forgotten 9/11," said the spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous. "We haven't forgotten. We remember the bravery of our firefighters and police. In tribute to them, and in order to protect our communities, we have chosen to preserve their jobs here in Michigan."

Republican activist Sanctity O'Marriage, R-Roscommon,* said he is proud of his party for standing up to Democrats in Washington by showing how to cut spending in government.

"Instead of getting government involved in private matters, Republicans are committed to doing the responsible thing," said O'Marriage, who plans to caucus for Santorum.

"Debbie Spenditnow and Khalid Sheikh bin Hussein bin Soetoro bin Obumbum can't say that!"

Stay tuned to SNARX news for complete Michigan Republican caucus coverage


*Roscommon = Actual name of a village in Ireland, pop. 5,000. It's purported that the town in northern Michigan is named for the one in Ireland. Fun fact.


Santorum boasts of Limbaugh, Dobson, Bauer, Beck

Rick Santorum's super PAC is not good at targeting.

My parents and I are lifelong Democrats. Mom and I are Democratic precinct delegates. And yet we keep getting flyers from the Red, White and Blue Fund, telling us that Romney is evil and that Santorum is a true conservative. We got three full-page flyers yesterday, in fact. But today's flyer tells me that Santorum isn't even hiding who supports him.


Waltz drops out of 6th District Congressional race due to "life threatening illness"

Oh no.

Due to an unforeseen life threatening illness we regretfully have to announce that John Waltz will be ending his campaign to secure the Democratic Party nomination for Michigan’s Sixth District. At this time, John is unable to provide a statement, but the family will answer questions if needed.

After someone asked if John was okay, his wife, Jane, said this in a comment:

He is very ill at this point. Thanks for your kind words.

So every indication is that this has to do with John Waltz himself, not a family member.

Waltz is an Iraq veteran who moved to Michigan after running against Geoff Davis (R) in KY-04 in 2010.

Waltz is a brave man who has done so much for our country. While his campaign is over, here's hoping he can summon his courage once again and make it through this.

Let us extend our best wishes, prayers, vibes, and so forth to John and his family.


Republican tax hikes hit poor 1,000 times harder than rich

A new report from the Michigan League of Human Services shows just how much the Republican tax hikes are expected to hurt Michigan families.

Just a reminder in case you don't know what Michigan Republicans did:

  • 51% of families will pay higher taxes.
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit - which rewards people for work - was drastically reduced.
  • The child tax credit was also reduced.
  • The tax deduction for charities has been eliminated, costing you an extra $435 if you donate $10,000 per year to good causes.
  • Pensions are now being taxed.
State Rep. Jud Gilbert (R-$80,000 Per Year), second from left in the top picture, tried to explain it away.

State Rep. Jud Gilbert, R- Algonac, chair of the House Tax Committee, says the bills were part of a larger package aimed at streamlining the tax code. He says about $1.4 billion in tax credits, including tax credits to businesses, were eliminated. The package also reduced the Earned Income Tax Credit - another credit for the poor - from 20 percent to 6 percent of the federal credit.

“I think what we’ve done in the revamping of the tax code,” says Gilbert,” is people are paying the same rate on the same amount of income. “

"Streamlining the tax code." Boy, we've sure heard that quite a bit from conservatives. It's a line that ignores a simple truth: Life isn't black-and-white. Not everybody can afford to pay the same on everything.

For a Party that claims to be all about Christian values, they sure don't act like they take Matthew 25 to heart.