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The Detroit Free Press Poll: Romney 27%, McCain 22%, Huckabee 16%

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If John McCain cannot win in a state where independents and Democrats can vote to endorse his anti-conservative views (see below), how is he going to win in closed Republican primaries?

Despite the conventional wisdom about Michigan being a Romney must-win, it is in fact a McCain must-win as the terrain only gets tougher for the McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Feingold, Gang of 14, anti-Bush tax cuts maverick.

UPDATE: Romney’s lead is larger –8%– in a McClatchey/MSNBC poll:

The McClatchy/MSNBC poll puts Romney at 30 percent, McCain at 22 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 17 percent, former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee at 7 percent, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 6 percent and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 5 percent.

McClatchy Newspapers reported: “Romney led McCain by 2 to 1 among voters who ranked the economy and jobs their top concern. He led Huckabee by a slightly greater margin among those voters. He also led McCain by 2 to 1 among likely voters who called themselves Republicans.”

The analysis continued: “McCain owes his solid standing to independents and Democrats, taking 38 percent of their support, while Huckabee had 22 percent and Romney had 18 percent. … Evangelical Christians represented 46 percent of the likely primary vote in the poll, and Huckabee got 31 percent of their support while Romney got 23 percent.”

As noted here often –a Republican nominee needs the support of a majority of Republicans, and Romney had that in Wyoming and New Hampshire, and has it in Michigan. McCain’s faux surge is based on anti-conservative votes.

Senator McCain has also been quick to charge Romney with flip-flops, but the Arizona maverick went from a Thursday night debate lecture on how Michigan jobs were gone and not coming back to extolling his optimism about the ability of Detroit to get those jobs back.

The Straight-Talk U-Turn: “We can restore Detroit’s supremacy in the automotive world,” McCain said at the Andiamo Celebrity Showroom. “I’m optimistic.”

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