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January 9, 2008
On to Michigan
Following his big comeback win in New Hampshire, John McCain is headed to Michigan were he hopes to deal a blow to the chances of Mitt Romney next Tuesday.
The Romney name is revered in Michigan thanks to Mitt's father who was a former governor who ran for president himself back in 1968. Romney is expected to win and anything less would be a huge disappointment.
Meanwhile, McCain rolls into Michigan having won the state in 2000 and is full of confidence:
McCain and Romney plan to spend much of the next six days shuttling between western and southeastern Michigan for rallies, town halls and speeches. Democrats were forced by the national party to bypass Michigan because of the state's defiance of a rule saying they couldn't hold their primary before February 5. In addition, no delegates from Michigan will be seated at the convention. Hillary Clinton's name is on the ballot (Obamas and Edwards are not) but even if the DNC relents and allows Michigan to seat its delegation, she won't benefit from what is certain to be a landslide victory for her.
They've had paid staff and hundreds of volunteers in the state for months. Meanwhile, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucus but finished third in New Hampshire, added what as of late Tuesday was his only Michigan stop, a speech to the Detroit Economic Club on Friday.
Romney and McCain spoke to the group in 2007. As of Tuesday night, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had no campaign stops planned for Michigan, choosing to focus on Florida and South Carolina, but he began running TV ads in parts of the state.
The Republican National Committee also penalized Michigan but only took half their delegates away thus making Michigan a battleground between Romney and McCain. No other GOP candidate is expected to spend much time in the state with Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee already girding themselves for a showdown in South Carolina while Rudy Giuliani is still pinning his hopes on a win in Florida.