Red, white and blue

MU professor says Romney win in Michigan would be seen as 'comeback'

CREATED Feb 28, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - A Marquette University professor says that if Mitt Romney wins Tuesday's primary in Michigan, the state where he was born, people will perceive it as a "comeback."

"I think the whole notion that Romney should walk way with Michigan is perhaps a little bit of unjustified spin.  If Romney should pull out even a narrow victory in Michigan, that should be seen as a substantial victory in Michigan," said Marquette professor John McAdams on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"It's been a while since Romney's been in Michigan.  Michigan has a pretty substantial number of blue collar, socially-conservative voters that would appeal to (Rick) Santorum, and Romney opposed the auto bailout."

However, even if Santorum takes the popular vote in Michigan, two factors still play well into Romney's hands Tuesday - an anticipated sweep of Republican convention delegates going for him in today's Arizona primary, and the rules of the Michigan primary that could still help deliver Romney some delegates voting for him at the GOP convention.

"Arizona is winner take all, so Romney is going to come out with a nice block of (29) delegates," explained McAdams. 

"Michigan is winner take all by congressional district.  In a close race, some district may go for Santorum, others for Romney, so they are likely to split those delegates, a total of 30, pretty much down the middle.  That will still give Romney with quite a clear lead in delegates."

McAdams also does not believe that Democrats will cross over to vote in primaries with the purpose of attempting to strengthen the delegate vote for a more weakly-perceived candidate.

"The people most likely to cross over will be people who cross over to vote for the Republican candidate that they would actually prefer rather than throw a monkey wrench into the process."