Santorum’s three-state sweep means Michigan’s primary is relevant

Feb 8, 2012

Headlines across the country are proclaiming big news from last night’s primary and caucuses in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. Headlines like Santorum revives his campaign with wins and Santorum’s Sweep Shakes up Race make it clear: Rick Santorum had a pretty darn good Tuesday night. The former U.S. Senator won all three states in play.

Although, no delegates were assigned, Santorum has something else: momentum. “Together, the three states voting Tuesday will eventually award 128 delegates. But Missouri was a ‘beauty contest’ with no delegates at stake, while Minnesota and Colorado were nonbinding events with delegates to be chosen this spring. At stake Tuesday night was the prestige of winning. And Santorum nailed down three upsets to restore an air of viability to his candidacy,” the Washington Post explains. The Post continues:

Santorum’s wins across the Midwest Tuesday could bestow new legitimacy on his insurgent efforts and boost his fundraising in the critical period before nextmonth’s major contests. Santorum now appears to pose a more serious threat not only to Romney, but also to Gingrich, who had been positioning himself as the logical alternative to Romney.

 

So, what, you ask, does all this mean for Michigan? Well, this: Michigan and Arizona hold the nation’s next primaries on February 28 (Maine holds a caucus this Saturday). That means the Republican candidates will begin to look to Michigan for their next win. For Santorum, his campaign needs to continue the momentum before Super Tuesday on March 6 to be considered a serious threat to Romney. Romney, meanwhile, needs a win in Michigan to stop Santorum's momentum. Newt Gingrich will be hoping for a win in Michigan, although it’s unlikely after last night’s showing, and Ron Paul will hope for a decent showing in the mitten state.

This means we're likely to see much more of the Republican candidates in Michigan over the next three weeks. In fact, just yesterday, it was announced that Romney will speak in Detroit on February 24 at Ford Field. Keep an eye out: we're likely to see many more visits announced over the next few days.