Crime/Corruption

Romney, Santorum benefit local broadcast outlets in Michigan

by Jane Briggs-Bunting

GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney emerged from an expensive and bruising campaign in Michigan, the state of his birth, with a narrow three percent victory over his current chief rival, Rick Santorum, in the overall vote counts. He tied with Rick Santorum, however, in the delegate count. Michigan is not a winner-take-all primary state. Santorum and Romney each won seven of Michigan’s 14 Congressional districts. So each man gets 14 delegate votes for the convention.

On election night the Detroit Free Press produced an interactive county by county map of the primary results. It shows Romney did well in southeast Michigan, the more densely populated Saginaw Bay area and the tip of the mitt. Santorum scored better on the state’s west side and in less populated areas with strong Christian fundamentalists and in much of the Upper Peninsula. The cult charge against the Mormon Romney likely helped.

CBS political war horse and commentator Bob Schieffer made some insightful comments about Romney’s traction problem on the network’s morning news show Wednesday.

Romney, who carried his home state solidly in 2008 against John McCain, and whom conventional wisdom had predicted months earlier would be the slam dunk victor this time around, had to launch a full scale barrage against a surging Santorum, who less than two weeks ago was polling 15 percentage points ahead of Romney. Media pundits and pollsters were breathless with anticipation. Wonder if Santorum will get the same sort of hyperventilating coverage before Pennsylvania’s April 24 primary. His constituents did toss him out of office previously.

But there was a a silver lining for Michigan’s broadcast outlets. The tight race induced both Romney and Santorum and their supportive Super Pacs to spend gobs of money for advertising. The stations need the revenue. The bad news was those of us living in the state had to sit through the slime throwing from both sides with inevitably more to come in November.

Maybe we can exercise our First Amendment rights and petition our deadlocked Congress to legislate a ban on Super Pacs that would pass Constitutional muster.

Also, a sad footnote to add to my previous post. Detroit lost another child last week. Nine-month-old Delric Miller was killed when 37 AK-47 bullets hit his Detroit home. He was sleeping on the couch. Police say the shooting was gang related. No arrests yet.