Motown Showdown: It Really Doesn't Matter if Rick Santorum Wins Michigan, Mitt Romney is Still the GOP's Best Option in 2012

On February 28th, Michigan voters will cast their ballots for a Republican presidential nominee. With Rick Santorum in the lead, a victory in Michigan would be impressive for him. It would not, however, help him overcome Romney’s run for the 2012 presidency.

“Motown showdown” has been used in reference to basketballfootball, and in other areas. With respect to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination process, it is used to describe the face-off between former Governor Mitt Romney and former Senato Santorum.

Since Romney was born in Michigan and is the son of the late Governor George Romney, this state is important for him. Michigan may be considered part of Romney’s backyard given his lineage and name. A loss there would send a message that Romney was weak and out of touch with voters. It would also help Santorum gain credibility as a viable alternative to Romney. That is what the Santorum camp wants voters to believe.

Since Michigan has open primaries enabling anyone to vote, it is hard to know if Santorum’s current lead is based on real Republican voters’ preferences. The current system allows voters to declare themselves as Republican or Democrat, receive a ballot, and then vote. Liberals are already trying to manipulate the Republican nomination process through Operation Hilarity. This is very interesting since they claim to hold the higher moral ground in the search for equality and fairness for America.

While Santorum’s support grows with evangelicals and Tea Party members, he has no chance of winning over moderates given his views on social issues. His views on abortion and homosexuality would, in turn, make President Barack Obama out to be the more “moderate” candidate for president. This would actually help explain why liberals are trying to skew the nomination process in favor of Santorum.

Obama’s lead over Santorum is currently 8 percentage points and is almost similar to his lead over Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas). Obama’s lead over Romney is slightly less at 5.7 percentage points. Other candidates have surged against Romney but have failed. Since it is difficult to ascertain if Santorum’s surge is based on legitimate voter preference or liberal manipulation, we will have to wait and see.

As the 2012 primary schedule moves into larger and more moderate states, Romney’s polling data will improve and he will emerge as the Republican front runner. Most importantly, if Republicans really want to win the White House then they must provide a viable and balanced alternative to voters. That alternative is Romney, like it or not.

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