Will Gov. Snyder's endorsment help Romney?

Feb 16, 2012

Governor Rick Snyder gave his endorsement to Mitt Romney today.  The question is whether or not that endorsement will help Romney.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White spoke with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.

Here’s what Susan Demas had to say about the Snyder endorsement:

“I’ll be honest I’m not sure it moves a lot of people. Rick Snyder has enjoyed a lot of support from the Republican Party, but among the voters that Romney really needs to persuade they are kind of the big tea party activists, the religious right activists, and that is not exactly Snyder’s base of support. So that will be interesting to see if this moves anyone,” said Demas.

Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008. According to Sikkema, Romney has a different fight in front of him this time around.  

“I think there is a difference. I think this time around he’s had to tailor his message far more to appeal to conservatives than he did four years ago, and if you remember four years ago he was running really against John McCain. McCain was viewed as a Maverick and so Romney was not really the target of accusations or questions whether he was conservative enough, McCain took all of that, so he is a different candidate at least in that sense. He’s really had to hone his message to answer that criticism or at least the question,” said Sikkema.

At a Rick Santorum event in Detroit today the argument about whether the auto bail-out was good or bad continued as Demas points out.

“He’s really trying to draw a distinction with Mitt Romney and argue that his position is ideologically consistent because he opposed both the Wall Street bail out and the auto bail out where as Romney did support the Wall Street bail out. I do think that the Republican position being so strongly against the auto bail out will probably come back to haunt them in the general at least in our state and possible in the Mid-West.”

What about Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul? Sikkema said it’s a good question.

“I think the thing to look at with the New Gingrich or Ron Paul is if they stay in and keep doing well they basically can prevent either a Mitt Romney or a Rick Santorum  from having anywhere close to 50 percent of the national delegates at the end of the day.”

Who will ultimately appeal to Michigan voters?

Sikkema:

“This primary, and I don’t mean Michigan, I mean the Republican nomination in generally is so volatile and it seems to change state by state. I mean Rick Santorum in South Carolina can in a distant third with 17 percent. In Florida he came in a distant third with 13 percent. He then proceeds to win Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri and all of a sudden he’s leading in the Michigan polls, So, I just think that anybody who hazards a prediction about the results of the Michigan Primary here in a couple weeks is really on some pretty thin ice, it’s just an extremely volatile and in that sense a  I think somewhat unusual primary season.

Demas:

“I have to say I would be very surprised if Romney does not win Michigan. He has such a huge financial advantage, not just with his campaign but with independent political action committees who already are up with huge ad buys here and I just don’t see how Santorum can compete and even though it is striking that at the moment Santorum is up in the last five polls there is still so many undecided viewers out there and I tend to think that that support is pretty soft. I think it’s much more of an anti-Romney vote than a pro-Santorum vote and I just think at the end that Romney will carry his home state just like he did four years ago.”

Michigan’s Republican Primary is Tuesday, February 28.