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Making Mischief in Michigan?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 pm - February 28, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

With Michael Moore telling Rachel Maddow that some of his “Democratic friends will vote for [Rick] Santorum in something they are calling Operation Hilarity“, we have some evidence that the DailyKos is having some success in their efforts to make mischief in the Republican primary, by getting their supporters to vote for Rick Santorum.

Indeed, one poll shows Romney leading among “actual Republican voters, 43-38,” but Santorum “up 47-10 with Democratic voters”.  And now Rick Santorum’s campaign has been robo-calling Democrats, urging them to vote for the former Pennyslvania Senator in the Michigan Republican primary.

In an e-mail to reporters and appearance this morning on Fox and Friends, Romney Spokeswoman Andrea Saul and the candidate himself, respectively, took Santorum to task for the calls, with the latter calling them “a terrible, dirty trick.”  Romney even accused his opponent of “trying to ‘kidnap our primary process‘”.  Santorum supporter Ed Morrissey disagrees, saying it’s hardly a “dirty trick” and “certainly not ‘kidnapping’ a primary that’s already open to Democratic voters.

Jennifer Rubin, a blogress sympathetic to the former Massachusetts Governor, contends that

Romney’s offensive serves two purposes: cushion the blow if he loses in Michigan; and jab at Santorum for hiding his contrasts with Democrats and trying to round up liberal help to beat the guy he says isn’t conservative enough.

I would add a third purpose.  This race has shown a lot of back-and-forth, indicating that there are a lot of wavering Republican voters in the Wolverine state.  Romney might be attempting to reach out to those voters — and other undecided Republicans, less likely to support the Republican being helped by the Democrats.

Polls have been showing Romney leading among Republicans.

The race looks like it’s too close to call, with the conventional wisdom being that a Romney loss all but precludes his nomination.

Morrissey, however, believes that it is “perhaps more important for Santorum to win“:

A close second place won’t win Santorum any momentum, not after building large leads before the last debate and raising expectations for a big win in Michigan.



  1. Romney whining about “Dirty Tricks?” How Gingrich of him.

    Maybe somebody who’s in the tank for Mittens can help me decipher this quote

    “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments. We’ve seen throughout the campaign if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusative, attacking of President Obama, that you’re going to jump up in the polls. I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support.”

    Is he saying his competitors have been intemperate in their criticisms of Obama? Could he provide specific examples? And does this mean he himself will not stoop to “attacking” Obama in the general campaign?

    Comment by V the K — February 28, 2012 @ 4:37 pm - February 28, 2012

  2. It’s so refreshing to have someone, finally, who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. I’m sick of politicians like Romney and McCain acting gentlemenly. We need more give’em-hell-Harry politicians, and Santorum seems to be the one.

    Comment by Rosalie — February 28, 2012 @ 5:53 pm - February 28, 2012

  3. Rosalie – yes, but a LIBERAL like Santorum. You need to ask yourself why Pennsylvania voters handed his ass on a platter in his last Senatorial race. And all my Liberal friends are overjoyed about the notion of Santorum running against Obama. I’ll give Santorum credit for speaking his mind but his notions of what this country should be are extremely dangerous, just as Nanny Statist as Obama and completely unconservative. Romney is far from perfect but with a good Tea Party congress behind him, sock-puppet Romney might actually be a half-decent President. And NO, Santorum is antithetical to Tea Party ideals in spite of misguided claims to the contrary.

    Comment by PopArt — February 28, 2012 @ 6:06 pm - February 28, 2012

  4. Isn’t Santorum running robo calls to Reagan Democrats?

    Sounds like a Santorum surge will likely increase the Drahma

    Comment by rusty — February 28, 2012 @ 8:25 pm - February 28, 2012

  5. Operation Chaos. What is the purpose of an open primary, anyway?

    Comment by SoCalRobert — February 28, 2012 @ 8:34 pm - February 28, 2012

  6. […] Making Mischief in Michigan? […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Santorum Surge Subsides — February 29, 2012 @ 3:18 am - February 29, 2012

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