This is the most startling of statistics out of Michigan, after the 9% margin Romney rolled up. (McCain’s collapse in the Wolverine State was large and quick –the effects of three straight debates in which he wandered and often lost his argument?)
Michigan’s evangelicals did not rally to Huck despite the full court press and pastors’ push etc. Huck’s got to be close to out of money and is almost certainly out of gas. If he loses South Carolina, he is done though of course there is no reason for him to withdraw as a small pile of delegates might yet matter in St. Paul.
Why Michigan’s evangelicals abandoned Huck is the inetersting question. The most likely explanation is that the reality of Huck’s policies caught up with his funny, winsome style. Bill Clinton was funny and winsome as well, and even though Huck is a good man and right on the life issue and marriage, most Republicans wouldn’t vote for a pro-life Democrat over a pro-life Republican, and Huck is in essence, a pro-life Democrat. Huck’s got five days to get his narrow but deep base back into the game, and yesterday’s fiasco about the Constitution and God’s word won’t help.
Senator McCain is also on the ropes, having not only lost the overall Michigan primary decisively but also failing to win a majority or even a plurality among Republicans for the fourth consecutive contest. Now the campaign enters a period where only Republicans get to vote, and Reagan Republicans will not warm to the Arizona maverick. He has a shot in South Carolina because of the veteran population, but not beyond there as his votes against the tax cuts, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Feingold and Gang of 14 remain center-stage.
Romney has a ticket through Super Tuesday, and a chance to deliver campaign ending blows in either South Carolina (less likely) or Florida (more likely). A Romney win in either state almost certainly seals the deal, but if he finishes further down, he has the momentum to carry him through to Super Tuesday where his organization and financing provide a decisive advantage.
And of course absentees are being cast by the tens of thousands every day across the U.S., as the silent primary continues, one which if affected by MSM at all, has to be tilting Romney’s way this morning.