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Romney Campaign Mobilizes Local Voters Ahead of Feb. 28 Primary

Campaign's expectations high despite recent surge by Santorum.

While presidential candidate Mitt Romney suffered a setback this week with three Republican primary losses to Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), his Michigan campaign still thinks he has the best chance to win in November.

State Sen. Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) said the Massachussetts Republican and Michigan native has "the best electability" of the remaining GOP candidates, and is the only candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama.

Richardville spoke Friday during a strategic meeting with fellow Romney supporters and area Republicans at in Canton.

Richardville, who supported John McCain in the 2008 primary election, said he became a fan of Romney during a meeting following his primary loss, in which Richardson saw "the fire in (Romney's) eyes."

Niece thinks Romney can beat Obama

Ronna Romney McDaniel of Northville, Romney's niece, acknowledged the primary will be tough, but said if her uncle can win the Michigan primary, the support could carry over to the national election.

"Mitt is the only person who can stop Obama," McDaniel said. "Michigan will be in play if Mitt wins."

Campaign to step up efforts in Michigan

Rob Macomber, Romney's state director in Michigan, said the candidate's campaign will have an increased presence in Michigan, with a call center opening in Livonia next week and visits to the state tenatively planned, including Grand Rapids on Feb. 15 and Monroe County and Farmington on Feb. 16. Macomber said the election night party likely will be held in Troy.

Macomber urged the local supporters to participate in the campaign's call program, where they dial other registered primary voters to persuade them to vote for Romney and encourage early absentee voting.

The hope is, Macomber said, to slow Santorum's recent momentum and hold off Newt Gingrich.

"Santorum has made it known in the media that he's taking Michigan very seriously," Macomber said.

While Romney holds a double-digit lead over Gingrich and Santorum in Michigan polls, Macomber said that lead could shrink as Feb. 28 approaches.

"The race will tighten," he said.

Dale Murrish February 11, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Rick Santorum said in Colorado that he's the only candidate who can beat Obama, and he might well be right. You can bet all the negative ads that have been launched against the Republicans by each other will be repeated, and more, in the general election. So far I've heard nothing bad said about Santorum that he doesn't have a gracious answer for. And I seriously doubt there will be. I thought we rejected aristocracy in 1776 and choose candidates by their philosophy of governing, not less relevant factors like birthplace or family connections. Mr. Romney will have to make his case to the conservative base of the Republican party. So far most have endorsed him because he's "the only candidate who can beat Obama." I voted for him last time, but this year he's my second choice. Dick Morris said recently that the political landscape is littered with presidential candidates who ran the general election before closing the sale with their own party. Romney has yet to do that. I prefer Rick Santorum this time, for reasons I stated January 20 while he was still a dark horse: http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/wanted-a-president-with-character-vision-ability-to-unify
Herb Helzer February 14, 2012 at 04:31 PM
John, that last paragraph is misleading. The most recent of the Michigan polls from the RCP page -- Public Policy Polling's from 10-12 February -- shows Santorum with a 39-24 lead over Romney. It's the only one taken after Santorum's trifecta win one week ago. Also, according to First Read this morning: "A Pew Research Center survey among registered GOPers (conducted Feb. 8-12) has it Santorum 30%, Romney 28%, Newt Gingrich 17%, and Ron Paul at 12%. Gallup (also conducted Feb. 8-12) has it Romney 32%, Santorum 30%, Gingrich 16%, and Paul 8%. And New York Times/CBS has it Santorum 30%, Romney 27%." Of course, that's national polling, but the point is, Willard "Mitt" Romney doesn't have a double-digit lead anywhere, and is actually trailing is most polls. Will that change in two weeks? Probably.
Herb Helzer February 14, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Update: Found this at http://politicalwire.com/archives/2012/02/13/santorum_leads_in_michigan.html -- an American Research Group poll in Michigan has Santorum 33, Romney 27, Gingrich 21, Paul 12.

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