Mapping the Michigan Results

 

The Michigan GOP has a useful map of Mitt Romney’s bullet-dodging win in Michigan which shows how the regions of the state played out in a pretty stark wayThese exit polls speak to this as well – note that Romney’s supporters were generally older, wealthier, better educated, and less conservative than Santorum’s. As the WSJ notes:

Mitt Romney won the overall vote by more than 22,000 votes. But Michigan awards 28 of its 30 delegates based on the winners in individual congressional districts. So while Rick Santorum was the loser, it wasn’t a total loss for his campaign because he won seven districts – including districts 1,2,3,4, 6 and 7 in the northern, western and southern parts of the state. Mr. Santorum also won in district 13 – which meanders from Detroit’s economically depressed east side to blue collar suburbs of Lincoln Park and Westland. Mr. Romney won everywhere else in Metro Detroit – from the affluent communities of Oakland County to the industrial suburbs of Macomb County and up into the state’s rural “Thumb” area. He also took district 12 which includes Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan.

If exported to the fall, it’s another sign that Romney’s strategy for the general election will almost certainly involve targeting more affluent suburbanites, not the more economically depressed. This dovetails with Obama’s own decision in that regard: both are deciding whether to target upper class suburban professionals, or play to the concerns of the white working class. Romney’s appeal is clearly primarily with the former, with Obama choosing the latter – and the more aggressively populist class warfare message which comes with it.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Palaeologus

    I think you are right about the campaigns’ respective targets, Ben. I doubt Romney will be as effective at peeling the suburbs and exurbs away from Obama as he was last night. Then again, I suspect that Obama won’t be nearly as successful with blue-collar whites as Santorum was. Of course, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, etc. will all vote very differently in November. 

    How do you think it will play out?

    Also, I think the WSJ got the math wrong. According to google, Romney won by a little over 32,000 votes.

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  2. Profile Photo Member
    @JosephEagar

    Didn’t Obama rather famously give up on the working class?  His class warfare rhetoric isn’t aimed at blue collar stiffs, it’s aimed at the upper-middle-class.  Why else would he hold the group most responsible for the rising cost of living a break, while heaping all the blame on the top 1%?

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  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DavidWilliamson
    Ben Domenech:  – note that Romney’s supporters were generally older, wealthier, better educated, and less conservative than Santorum’s. 

    Hmm, clearly that’s an over-generalization  (I’m older, better educated and more conservative – not rich in the Scottsdale class) – but I’m sadly in the minority in AZ  :-(

    Oh, well, I would have thought that countrywide there might still be more of us?

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  4. Profile Photo Member
    @tabularasa
    Ben Domenech: If exported to the fall, it’s another sign that Romney’s strategy for the general election will almost certainly involve targeting more affluent suburbanites, not the more economically depressed. 

    Ben:  As an experienced political hand, why would you conclude that Romney’s strategy will not evolve?  This round, he had a social conservative Catholic running to his right, so he went where the votes were for him.  Assuming Romney wins, Santorum won’t be there any longer, and he’ll adjust to that fact.  Don’t all winning campaigns make the necessary adjustments to their message?

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    @

    Less conservative than Santorums?  But … but … Santorum had all those Democrat votes … ?

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    @JamesOfEngland
    R. Craigen: Less conservative than Santorums?  But … but … Santorum had all those Democrat votes … ? · 1 hour ago

    Right, it depends on how you slice it. Romney won amongst Republicans, tied amongst independents, and lost amongst Democrats. When it’s sliced by “very conservative”, “somewhat conservative”, and “moderate/liberal”, Santorum does better in the first and last categories, worse in the middle. I can see how you could spin that as more conservative, but I agree that the spin is problematic.

    Amongst those who believe that “Religious Beliefs of Candidates Matter”, Romney lost, with those who believe they matter a great deal going for Santorum 63-21%, and the numbers are similar for abortion as the key issue for this election. Assuming there is considerable crossover between that category and “very conservative”, Romney won amongst “very conservative” voters for whom the religion of the candidate was not important by a large margin. Michigan is one of the states with the smallest numbers of Mormons in the country, clocking in at 0.43%, and Santorum raised the issue, so I guess it’s not a huge surprise.

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    @JohnMarzan

    lot’s of anti tea party democrats voting for santorum. romney would probably have a 7-8 pt lead in Michigan without these pranksters.

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  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @EThompson
    James Of England

    R. Craigen: Less conservative than Santorums?  But … but … Santorum had all those Democrat votes … ? 

    … Romney won amongst “very conservative” voters for whom the religion of the candidate was not important by a large margin.

    That’s right. Many Romney supporters define themselves as “very conservative” because they believe in fiscally conservative principles and place great value upon entrepreneurial success. No better example of this species is to be found anywhere than in Metro Detroit suburbia.

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