Quantcast

Why the GOP Can't Win in Michigan | The Nation

  •  
Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

Why the GOP Can't Win in Michigan

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Tonight we will learn what pundits and politicos have been clamoring to find out: whether Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum will win the Michigan primary. And yet, for all the attention paid to the primary, especially given Romney’s Michigan roots, relatively little focus has been given to the more important story: that come November, neither of these candidates has much of a chance of carrying the state. After all, it is in Michigan that a battle over perhaps the defining issue of 2012—the role of government in America’s recovery and it’s future—is playing out beneath the headlines. And it’s a battle Republicans are losing.

It hasn’t always been this way, of course. Bill Clinton was the first Democrat to win Michigan in twenty years, and even in the years since, the state has been a perpetual part of the presidential battleground. But this year it looks like it won’t even be close. A February NBC/Marist poll has the president beating Romney by eighteen points in Michigan and Santorum by twenty-six.

The reason for the dramatic change is simple enough. Michiganders have seen what President Obama spoke of in his 2012 State of the Union: that “the nation is great because we get each other’s backs”; that “we worked as a team” to restore the economy; and that the winning team included the government. Michiganders have seen the good that government can do, and they like it.

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.