Michigan Dems Power Santorum

Did Mitt Romney eke out a victory in Michigan? No. He actually won by a hefty margin. Did he lose blue-collar voters, showing weakness in that key sector? No. He carried them quite nicely.

So why don’t the results reflect this? Because the primary was invaded by Democrats who largely voted for Rick Santorum. Had the Democrats not done so, Romney would not have won a narrow 3-point victory in Michigan but would be celebrating a comfortable 7-point victory.

According to the Fox News exit polls, 9 percent of the 1.1 million votes cast in the primary were by Democrats who voted for Santorum over Romney by 53-18. Seventeen percent of these would-be spoilers voted for Ron Paul, and 3 percent backed Newt Gingrich. The remainder voted for Barack Obama or an uncommitted slate in the Democratic primary, where they belonged.

Had these Democrats not cast ballots in the Republican primary for Santorum, Romney would have been hailed as the easy winner last night.

We have to give Romney credit for an overwhelming win in Arizona and a significant-sized victory in Michigan in view of these results. But more importantly, we have to ask why these Democrats voted for Santorum.

Some of these Santorum voters were possibly pro-life Democrats who crossed party lines because they feared that Romney might go back to his pro-choice ways. But this was a most unusual turnout of Democratic voters, considering their own party did not have a contest. (Witness that 90 percent of the Democrats who participated voted in the Republican primary.)

Undoubtedly the turnout was deliberately orchestrated by the unions and the formidable Michigan Democratic organization in the hopes of nominating Santorum and upending Romney in his home state. It takes quite a bit of effort to turn out 100,000 Democrats to vote in the Republican primary. Why were the Democrats so intent on beating Romney and helping Santorum?

Rightly or wrongly, they — and the Obama high command — must believe that Romney would be the tougher candidate to beat in November.

The opposition has clearly and unambiguously endorsed Santorum and indicated its fear of Romney.

Shouldn’t we listen to them? Isn’t it important to take account of which candidate the opposition fears? Do we want to give them a Republican nominee they feel they can defeat, or one of whom they are afraid?

Obviously, the Democratic chieftains believe that Santorum’s position on social issues will give Obama plenty to run against in a general election. His opposition to contraception (although he does not want to make it illegal) and to amniocentesis (which he says leads to abortion) would make inviting targets for negative ads in the general election.

The Democrats want to run against Santorum. Who are we to second-guess their judgment and give them what they want?

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