Mitt, You’re Not Fooling Anyone. You Aren’t That Good.


Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum campaigned hard in Michigan; but who really won?

Matt Brownsword

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum campaigned hard in Michigan; but who really won?

In Michigan, more specifically Oakland County, Mitt Romney was born. Romney started his educational career at Roosevelt Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan. Starting from the seventh grade, he attended the Cranbrook Academy, a prestigious boys-only private school in Bloomfield Hills. He was even arrested once in his home state, a sketchy event including a golf course, blocks of ice, and towels.

It was here that Mitt Romney’s night on the Michigan soared into the victorious stature. Oakland County’s high population and strong conservative base pushed Romney ahead in the popular vote. Mitt Romney said that “a week ago the pundits and the pollsters were ready to count us out,” but “tonight, their [the Michigan voters] efforts have brought [his] cause a great victory,” exemplifying the fact that Mitt came from several points down to take his home state. Really Mitt? You are an underdog? It’s your home state (or at least on of the many) and your going to proclaim yourself the rising underdog who completed his win? No Mitt, you got lucky—real lucky.

First of all, Romney hardly acheived a win. The name of any group of primaries is to collect enough delegates to create a majority over any respective competitors. Since Michigan’s delegates are delegated proportionally based on the votes in the 14 districts, the popular vote hardly matters. Santorum and Romney actually split the congressional districts 50-50, Santorum getting 14 delegates and Romney receiving 14 as well. Romney was only awarded 2 extra due to a decision of the Republican national party to award the two for the win.

Secondly, Romney’s win was far from a typical underdog story. If the United States was favored to win the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, then would the movie Miracle be so entertaining? Romney not only was favored to win the state that he was born in, but months before, he was ahead in the polls by 20 points.

Santorum did not help himself, either. Santorum’s debate performance included his defense of his controversial Arlen Specter endorsement in Pennsylvania, a topic in which Mitt Romney harshly chastised. Santorum gaffed by telling people that he “almost threw up” after reading a JFK speech regarding religion and called a Obama a ‘snob’ for telling all kids to go to college.

Santorum’s blunders gave way to Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to “inaugurate a new segment” called “How Is It That Mitt Romney Hasn’t Crushed This Guy Yet?” Although nothing of Stewart’s can be considered very serious, his ‘segment’ rings true—Santorum’s serious bloopers should have contributed to Romney speeches crushing Santorum for not being a real conservative.

But Romney could not take the oppurtunities. Romney’s comments about “Anne (his wife) [driving] a couple of Cadillacs,” as well as Romney telling an interviewer that he has a couple of friends that own the NASCAR teams. These quotes illustrate Romney’s problem connecting with the working-class voters—he connects with the top one percent, but his speeches usually cannot carry over well to the blue-collar voters, a demographic Rick Santorum has dominated.

Romney’s struggles prompted Stewart to create another new segment“How Is It That Rick Santorum Hasn’t Crushed This Guy Yet?” This segment also bears a little truth; Romney’s blunders should have contributed to Santorum ganing an edge.

Santorum did just about that. With his lead slipping, he was able to rally the voters and turn a potential landslide into a possible win. Arizona was reflective of what Romney’s win should have been in Michigan, but Santorum was able to focus his campaign there and salvage a virtual delegate tie.

Romney’s struggles in Michigan highlight his problem—even in his home state, he is not able to get voters to flock to the polls and vote for him. Other than Oakland County and the areas around Detroit, Romney couldn not manage a high voter majority in any other district.

Next week is Super Tuesday, where 10 states vote, exemplifying presidential election day. Ohio, a major swing state, much like Michigan, votes. If Mitt Romney can avoid the stupid mistakes, he should be able to win the state based upon money and character alone. But he has not been able to do that so far—which this week and next Tuesday very important.