Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Breaking News: Romney Wins Michigan

"Breaking News"

Romney wins big with Conservatives, Wins big with Republicans, Wins with all age groups, Wins with late deciders, and Hillary is in a battle with Mr./Mrs. Uncommitted.

Fox News reports at 8:45pm Mitt Romney wins.

Michigan native Mitt Romney won the affection of the largest plurality of poll-goers in the state Tuesday, pulling ahead of rival John McCain by appealing to the Republican base with an economic message.

With 11 percent of the voting in, Romney was at 37 percent over McCain with 31 percent. Mike Huckabee had 16 percent while Ron Paul polled at 7 percent. Fred Thompson had 4 percent and Rudy Giuliani was at 3 percent.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney’s message on the economy resonated with voters.

“We feel very good, very optimistic about the turnout we’ve had,” he told FOX News, adding that the governor’s message appealed to voters “who want to see somebody who can bring together economic conservatives, social conservatives and national conservatives, but also who’s the leader for the future, who’s going to bring the Republican Party back, who’s going to help bring Michigan’s economy back and the American economy back.”

Democratic delegates are not being seated at the national convention and most Democratic candidates withdrew from the race, leaving Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel the only active contenders on that ballot. With 10 percent in, Clinton had 61 percent compared to 34 percent for “uncommitted,” 4 percent for Kucinich and 1 percent for Gravel.

Low turnout appeared to help Romney in the 2008 Republican presidential primary race, as the more committed party types braved frigid temperatures despite a night of snowfall of up to 6 inches in some areas. Estimates were that only about 20 percent of eligible voters were expected to show up at polling stations across the state.

According to FOX News exit polls, of those voting in the Republican primary, 25 percent are independents and 68 percent are Republicans. Of registered Republicans, 40 percent favored Romney compared to 25 percent for McCain.

The independents liked McCain, going for him 34 percent to 23 percent for Romney. Of that group, 20 percent support said they supported Paul and 15 percent chose Huckabee.

The biggest driver for Republicans to go to the poll is the economy. Slightly more than half — 55 percent — of those polled said the economy is the most important issue to them. Of those voters, 41 percent voted for Romney compared to 29 percent for McCain and 14 percent for Huckabee.

Romney also won conservatives, especially those who say they’re “very conservative.” Forty-five percent of those went for Romney compared to 25 percent to Huckabee. McCain came in third among this category here with 11 percent.

However, the news is not all bad for McCain. For one, it appears that Romney’s attacks on McCain as a “Washington insider” incapable of bringing real change did not resonate with voters. While 30 percent said Romney is the candidate to bring about change, a close 28 percent favored McCain for that task.

As to the candidate’s character, the most important aspect for 44 percent of Michigan GOP primary voters was whether the candidate “shares my values” while 28 percent prioritized someone who says what he believes and 21 percent thought experience was the most important quality in a candidate.

In that contest, values voters sided with Romney 30 percent to Huckabee’s 27 percent, with 17 percent going for McCain and 10 percent for Paul.

As for those who made up their minds going into the voting booth, 39 percent said they voted for Romney while 25 percent went for McCain and and 23 percent chose for Huckabee.

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