NEW HAVEN, 12 a.m. — The Republican field moved one step close to completely gonzo this evening as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney plowed his way to a victory in the Michigan GOP primary. Romney upped over McCain 38 to 31 percent in the fourth such nominating contest on the Republican side of the ticket; Romney also won the relatively unimportant Wyoming GOP caucuses on January 5. The victory sets up a three, four, or five-man race for the nomination, depending on which pundits and campaign organizers you listen to. Undisputed is the fact that Romney needed a win here tonight; a loss in the state where his father successfully governed from 1963 to 1969 would have sealed the fate of the younger Romney’s 2008 Presidential bid.
he Democratic ballot, on the other hand, was notable for its lack of names. Michiganders had the opportunity to vote for New York Senator Hillary Clinton, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, or Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich. Oh — and an illustrious candidate named “Uncommitted.” After learning that the National Democratic Party would penalize the state’s early primary move by stripping Michigan of delegates, Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards wrote off the state’s contest, choosing instead to focus their resources on South Carolina and Nevada. Results in the Palmetto State next week could hold the fate of Edwards lagging second campaign for the presidency and a victory in Nevada would give the Obama campaign a new head of steam after its New Hampshire hiccup.
With the results in, Michigan voters chose Clinton over Uncommitted by a comfortable margin of 56 to 39 percent, heading off a potentially nasty embarrassment for the former First Lady. Although he bowed out of the race after Iowa, Dodd no doubt appreciates the show of support from a few, devoted core of Michiganders — 3.417 Democrats sent their ballots his way last night, enough to garner him 1 percent of the vote.