Republican Mitt Romney announced yesterday that he has formed an exploratory committee for the 2012 presidential election. Romney has close ties to Michigan as his father, George Romney, was Governor of the state in the 1960's.
Romney lost his first presidential bid in the 2008 GOP primary to Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Since '08, Romney has largely stayed in the national political realm with the release of his book,"No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," and speaking tour.
But, it hasn't just been national politics that Romney has been interested in since his loss in '08. The Detroit News reports that Romney's political action committee took quite an interest in statewide politics in the November 2010 election. From the Detroit News:
Though Romney is mostly known in Michigan through his father's enduring business and political legacy, his Free and Strong America political action committee took a keen interest in state races in 2010, contributing to Republicans Gov. Rick Snyder, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette.
His committee also poured money into the successful U.S. House campaigns of freshman Republican Reps. Tim Walberg, Bill Huizenga, Justin Amash and Dan Benishek, as well as the tea party-backed bid of Rob Steele, the Ann Arbor cardiologist who lost to Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn.
In a recent poll by Public Policy Polling, Romney led other possible GOP presidential contenders among Michigan Republican primary voters. From the PP Poll:
- 26% Romney
- 20% Huckabee
- 15% Gingrich
- 12% Palin
- 7% Paul
- 5% Daniels
- 3% Pawlenty
- 3% Walker