Mitt Romney is to the Republican presidential nomination what Ramen noodles are to college students: The candidate of last resort.
As such, the Michigan primary could well be Romney’s Last Supper, at least according to the Washington Post:
For Romney, the contest is a chance to show that he can connect with working-class voters, who have been lukewarm toward him. He has a built-in advantage in a state where he grew up and his father was a popular auto executive and governor. But for those same reasons, a defeat here could be devastating.
“If Romney loses Michigan, the perception is that it’s just a huge loss for him, one that could really cost him the nomination,” said Steve Mitchell, a Republican pollster based in East Lansing.
And from The Daily Beast:
Mitt Romney’s Michigan surrogate Rep. Bill Huizenga is confident in his candidate, but thinks “it’d be a huge embarrassment if he’s not able to win the Michigan primary.” Tuesday alone, Romney has penned a Detroit News op-ed and released a new TV ad aimed at proving his Michiganness to Michigan voters.
Slight problem: The feeling is not Mittual.
From Politico’s Morning Score:
62% OF MICHIGANDERS DO NOT CONSIDER ROMNEY A MICHIGANDER: Only 26% do, according to the PPP numbers out yesterday. “Only 39% have a favorable opinion of George Romney with a 46% plurality having no opinion about him,” Democratic pollster Tom Jensen writes. “Romney really doesn’t have some great reservoir of goodwill in Michigan to fall back on.” http://bit.ly/ypaFEc
So Romney will fall back on what he always does: The Super PAChyderm Restore Our Future, which truncated Newt Gingrich in Iowa and Florida and has now turned its attention to Rick Santorum in this TV spot (for starters):
The ad is currently running in Michigan, Arizona, and Ohio. Restore Our Future is also reportedly buying airtime in Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi – obviously intended to blunt both Santorum’s and Gingrich’s appeal in the South.
There will be blood in the GOP presidential primary over the next four weeks.
The question is, whose?