Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unofficial Michigan results by congressional district - Romney 16, Santorum 14

3rd Update 3-1 - Changing the rules after the fact gives Romney the extra delegate.

2nd Update 2-29 - Apparently the at large delegates will be split 1-1 because they were close. That means Romney and Santorum actually tied in Michigan.

Update 2-29 - According to MIRS, Santorum won 1-4, 6, 7, 13. Romney won 5, 8-12, 14.

I'd still like to see the Tuscola numbers. Surprised at 13 from the absentee numbers I saw, but knew it was close.

MIRS numbers:
Congressional District Vote Breakdown (according to the Michigan Republican Party).

1st: Romney, 32,252. Santorum*, 32,325.
2nd: Romney, 29,912. Santorum*, 39,900.
3rd: Romney, 31,999. Santorum*, 33,491.
4th: Romney, 27,117. Santorum*, 29,528.
5th: Romney* 21,691. Santorum, 20,837.

6th: Romney, 26,738. Santorum*, 31,126.
7th: Romney, 28,925. Santorum*, 30,133.
8th: Romney*, 32,930. Santorum, 25,234.
9th: Romney* 24,060. Santorum, 17,221.
10th: Romney*, 31,319. Santorum, 29,278.

11th: Romney*, 41,733. Santorum, 24,577.
12th: Romney*, 19,623. Santorum, 17,675.
13th: Romney, 7,946. Santorum* 9,481.
14th: Romney*, 18,157. Santorum, 10,844


First off, ignore the Sec of State's website for delegates. It's supposed to be by the NEW districts, and not the old districts. CNN did a great job with the county map.

I ran some numbers. The obvious districts ones I'm going to just call. Districts 2 and 6 went for Santorum just based on looking. Districts 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 went for Romney. I can't get a read on the 13th, so I'm going to assume it's Romney's unless I find results that say otherwise due to the 10,000 vote Romney spread in Wayne County. (Updated - Wayne County Precinct results are in. MIRS called it for Santorum.

District 1:
Santorum by about 590. Mason County wasn't included, but Santorum won it so I'll call it for Santorum.

District 3:
Santorum by about 1669

District 4:
Santorum by about 1982 (Saginaw's clerk numbers for district splitting)

District 5:
Depends on Tuscola County. Too close to call. ALL of Tuscola gives Santorum a 968 vote edge. With it, Santorum wins by 511. Without it Romney leads by 457. I can't call it. MIRS called it for Romney.

District 7:
I have Santorum up 930 not factoring in Scio Township. 1/2 of Scio Township is in the 7th, and it's the less democrat part, relatively speaking (Dexter side). Romney took the Washtenaw portion of the 7th by 865, not counting Scio. It's close, but I'm going to call the 7th for Santorum. - (Scio is in. Even with all of Scio included, Santorum wins by about 300-400)

District 13:
MIRS called it for Santorum. Crossovers may have won this one since I think Romney won (barely) the more republican areas due to absentee votes.

So right now as it stands:
Romney wins overall, CD 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14. Total of 16
Santorum wins CD 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 13. Total of 14.


What did I learn from this? Romney didn't win this election today. He won this election largely 30 days ago. Santorum may actually have won "today." The election wasn't only today though. Absentee voters skewed the polls off slightly, and turned what I expected to be 1% either way into an approximate 3% victory. Seniors according to an exit poll voted for Romney by 16%. Absentee voting went higher if the patterns I saw in Kent, Washtenaw, and Macomb Counties went statewide. I had a bad feeling when I saw a low turnout today at the polls, combined with heavy absentees for Romney. Romney polled well with seniors which concerned me because in elections, they often run the show and bring their pick the victory. That's not to any party's advantage in Michigan despite Obama's bad polling among seniors. Seniors would also be the folks who remember George Romney as governor where I'd only know the name from political history.

The other thing I thought was a mistake by both candidates was not visiting Livingston County. This is the 3rd most republican county by percentage in the state, and it was ignored. Romney won it, which isn't surprising because he DID visit Milford next door and has at least been here before. Santorum had a chance to introduce himself here and didn't do so. Many voters here relied on the news when defining Santorum. Many also did with Romney, but a lot of folks have met him or met someone who has met him, especially Oakland transplants. Advantage Romney.

This puts Romney in a good position for Super Tuesday, but nothing's set in stone yet. There's still a primary. Personally at this point, I'd like to see a brokered convention. I never thought I'd say that. I don't expect it to happen, but I think we'd get a better overall GENERAL election candidate from a convention than what we are saddled with today. Romney's organization saved his ass here today. It's his biggest campaign strength. The problem is that there's only so much that can be done with this flawed a candidate. Santorum didn't become a player until Iowa and then those three wins in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri (I think). He then did what he did in Michigan in only a month while taking a scorched earth blast from Romney. Will he recover or not? I don't know. I don't know if Newt's still in the game either.

After today, I'm rooting for the brokered convention. That's my new endorsement, long shot as it may be. Until the final decision is made, I'll be happy to go back to covering state level and local level stuff.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Michigan Results for February 28th Primary posted here


Polls have closed here outside of a couple of Yooper counties in central time.

I'm going to try and keep up with the results and post them here. Keep in mind the following.

The winner may or may not finish first statewide. The winner is who wins most of the congressional districts. I expect this to be a nailbiter. My prediction is Romney by 1% statewide thanks to absentees with Santorum being the actual winner by congressional district. I hope I'm half right and Mr Scorched Earth gets upset completely. Santorum likely got walloped with absentees. That's tough to get past, although possible. Mike Cox survived that in 2002 against Gary Peters.

There's also two state rep districts. The 29th and 51st. I'll post those results as I see them. My gut tells me we'll split those districts with the 29th going dem and the 51st staying with us. That's just a gut feeling.

Locally, there's a fire millage as well.


So far:

Santorum up 40-38% Statewide

Oakland County: (19 precincts in)
Romney - 3577
Santorum - 2623

Largely Waterford, Hazel Park, partial reports of W Bloomfield and Milford.

State Rep 29th
Bob Gray - 169
Tim Gremiel - 145


I think Romney's going to take this. - CNN Map

He's doing much better up north than I expected and doing very well in South Macomb which I didn't expect (North is closer). Low turnout skews the results to absentees and seniors. That's Romney's ace in the hole.

9:19 - Joe Graves is up.

Joseph Graves . . . . . . . . . 1,459 51.21
Steven M. Losey . . . . . . . . 1,244 43.66
Cary Neuville-Justice . . . . . . 127 4.46
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 19 .67
Total . . . . . . . . . 2,849
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 3
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 53

Tim Griemel is up 2-1 over Bob Gray in the 29th.

Overall, Mitt up 41-38 with 31% in. I'll start guessing Congressional districts when more results are in.

Statewide - Romney up 40-36%. They haven't called it, but Romney will win.

The Secretary of State also made a mistake using OLD districts for reporting by district. It's the NEW districts that matter.

District 1 - Close. Northern Lower is unexpectedly (to me) going for Romney with the UP going for Santorum.

District 2 - Santorum

District 3 - Close. Calhoun is split with Romney up less than 1%. Barry/Ionia heavily Santorum

District 4 - I think Santorum will take this one.

District 5 - Close.

District 6 - Santorum

District 7 - Close.

Districts 8-14 - Romney

If Santorum hangs on to 3, 5, and 7, it will be 16-14 Romney in delegates.

Also, Tim Gremiel is going to take the 29th district, and Joe Graves is up 800 votes in the 51st.

Howell fire millage passes easily.

Joe Graves and Tim Gremiel are the winners for their state rep races. Graves was in particular good news on an otherwise bad news day for conservatives.

The media made it official and called it for Romney. I was looking closely at Macomb results. Absentees were the key. Election Day starts 30 days before the actual election day.

I'll get into the number crunching for congressional district tomorrow.

Less than two hours left. Don't forget to vote! Go Santorum!

The internal polling must be close. I say because Romney's surrogates - specifically Bill Schuette/Rusty Hills/Randy Richardville here are going crazy right now all at once. They are mad because Santorum is going after social conservative Reagan Democrats, many of which are union members. I know these types of people very well. My family has a large number of them. In order to win in November, you need these votes to win. Period.

Romney supporters largely wanted the open primary. Irony is that it might - we don't know yet - might come back and bit him in the arse. Because independents and democrats according to polls do not like Romney, they are going crazy. You chose the system. We could have had a caucus. You chose the system. This is coming from a guy who voted for Paul Tsongas (D) in 1992. This is from a guy who bragged about voting in democrat primaries in the past. Now that it hurts him, he's whining. This was a process backed by the same people going crazy today. The Bill Schuettes of the party. Many of us wanted a caucus. Some wanted a convention. They wanted the open primary, and they got it. They chose the rules of the game.

Personally, I wouldn't be unhappy with a brokered convention if someone new gets the nomination. Of those left currently in the race, I think Santorum is the best choice. He's pro-life, does not support Romneycare, is pro-2nd Amendment, did not raise fees or taxes, and has in the past voted for a balanced budget. He also supports manufacturing and energy development. Romney became pro-life when he ran for president, signed a gun ban, raised fees, enacted Romneycare, and flip flops so often that people flat out do not trust him. How again is this guy the "electable one?"

In addition, I have a bit of resentment in how Romney was pushed on us. We were told, over, and over, and over again from the pundits and politicians that he's "the ONLY electable one" without one shred of real evidence why he is electable and HOW he appeals to independent voters. None. All I've been getting is a shitload of robocalls about how the other guy sucks. Now one robocall sent to union members about how Romney supported the Wall Street bailout and opposed the auto one, and they go ape. Santorum is consistent and against both bailouts. That's not a secret. He said that on multiple occasions and took heat for it. Romney's taking heat too from the same people he was supposed to "appeal to" as he's "the electable" one.

Team Scorched Earth is getting scorched, and they don't like it. Too bad.

Internal Poll - Santorum up 5 in MI?? Last PPP Poll Santorum up 1, Last Mitchell Poll Romney up 1

Take a leaked internal poll from an anonymous source for what it is worth. I do not know how true this is.

From Buzzfeed

From the source:
Santorum- 33%
Romney- 28%
Gingrich- 12%
Paul- 6%


I think the Ron Paul numbers are a little low there, but that could be due to me being in my 30's and a 2nd Amendment backer, knowing a lot of both 20 somethings and gun owners who will support him. I also do not expect either side to win by 5 pts. I might be wrong.

Recent polling overall moved from Mitt heavily to Santorum, heavily back to Mitt, and at the end slightly towards Santorum finishing about dead even. Low turnout I think favors Mitt because of the absentees. PPP has Santorum up one in today's poll, Mitchell has Romney up 1. That means this one should go to the wire.

Last area code numbers: (PPP). 17% Overall absentee, 83% overall election day estimates.

231 - Absentee 71-29 Romney, Election Day 43-33 Santorum
248 - Absentee 56-26 Romney, Election Day 43-29 Romney
269 - Absentee 44-37 Romney, Election Day 40-31 Santorum
313 - Absentee 45-27 Romney, Election Day 40-25 Santorum (Surprising with Grosse Pointe)
517 - Absentee 57-30 Romney, Election Day 46-40 Santorum
586 - Absentee 73-27 Romney, Election Day 53-32 Santorum
616 - Absentee 63-27 Romney, Election Day 51-26 Santorum
734 - Absentee 50-31 Romney, Election Day 31-30 Santorum (surprising)
810 - Absentee 67-24 Romney, Election Day 42-25 Santorum
906 - Absentee 100% Romney, Election Day 45-26-18 Santorum, Paul, Romney
989 - Absentee 46-27 Romney, Election Day 43-30 Romney (surprising)

I predicted yesterday Santorum taking the delegate win with Romney winning overall by 1 due to Oakland County results and the absentees. We'll see what happens.

Election Day

I can't speak for the rest of the state but I was able to walk in, vote, and leave. Voter number 25 in my Green Oak precinct. I voted for Santorum. There was no campaign activity that I saw either, although there was some grumbling overall about the number of robocalls out there.

Besides the presidential primary, we have:

State Rep elections for the old 29th and 51st districts. Good luck to Bob Gray and Joe Graves.

A millage election in the zone covered by Howell area fire authority.

Updated - 1:20. Looks like low turnout in other parts of Livingston County as well. Parents were 89-90 around 12:30 in a heavily GOP precinct in Genoa Township.

Ridiculous laws of the week - part 1

Back when I was in undergrad, one of my favorite websites was a sports related site called "Jerk of the Week." The site is no longer with us and covered the major sports and gave "jerk points" for every action that made it. I thought about a jerk of the week for politicians, but instead decided on focusing it on one of my biggest sources of political related heartburn - bad laws.

Those who have read Atlas Shrugged know this quote.

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kinds of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of lawbreakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

One of the biggest problems with this country and state is the fact that there's too many laws. Many are archaic, or not even needed in the first place. A lot of those laws are also administrative regulations and not even statutes. I said last year that you are probably a criminal and don't even know it. It is Atlas Shrugged coming to life. This is the fault of both parties equally to get to this point.

Here's the first law I'm going to start with. It's one that almost everyone has broken at some time or another.

750.314 Winning at gambling.

Sec. 314.

Any person who by playing at cards, dice, or any other game, or by betting or putting up money on cards, or by any other means or device in the nature of betting on cards, or betting of any kind, wins or obtains any sum of money or any goods, or any article of value whatever, is guilty of a misdemeanor if the money, goods, or articles so won or obtained are of the value of not more than $50.00. If the money, goods, or articles so won or obtained are of the value of more than $50.00, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

If you win a $50.01 bet, you can go to jail for a year and be fined $1000. On the other hand, you can go to the Casino or play Keno at the bar after five glasses of whiskey and it be perfectly legal. You can play the Lottery, and it's legal. You go to a friend's house for a game of poker, and it better be for chips.

I understand the push to limit actual gambling dens, but do you really need to ban a friendly game of poker? I'll answer it. No you don't. Stop making criminals of good people.

There's plenty more where that came from.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Michigan Primary Preview - What to look for

This primary is different than a lot of them. The winner isn't who gets 50.1% of the vote statewide this time. It's the winner of each of the new congressional districts (you can see which district you are in on the sidebar) The statewide winner gets two delegates. The statewide winner probably gets two delegates, which counts the same as one district.

You could see Romney 51-49 or Santorum 51-49, and the other guy getting more delegates and actually winning. Because of the districts, areas I have to watch, in no order by district.

District 1 - The UP does things their own way. They will likely decide this district. The Lake Michigan coast I expect to go Romney and inland I expect to go to Santorum.

District 2 - Muskegon could make an impact, but Ottawa County will probably decide this unless it is close. Kentwood and Wyoming could also be players here.

District 3 - Kent County is the bulk of the district. If it's close, watch Calhoun County, Barry County, and Ionia County.

District 4 - Clinton County is a new addition here and the fastest growing county in the state. Midland is an anchor, along with a lot of the Saginaw Suburbs. There's also a large number of rural areas in this district.

District 5 - Southern Genesee County has their own state rep election to replace Paul Scott. Crossover independents and democrats could very well decide this district. Watch places like Flushing, Davison, Bay County, and Standish.

District 6 - All of Allegan County is now in the district. That's the big anchor here. Kalamazoo and Berrien Counties also can impact this.

District 7 - Monroe County replaced Calhoun County. This district became more populist with that move. Hillsdale and Branch are small counties, but impact heavily due to its GOP percentage. Jackson County is the anchor. Spring Arbor and Summit Townships lead the way there.

District 8 - I'm biased, but I think both candidates make a major mistake by not going to Livingston County. It's the third most Republican County in the state by percentage. I think this hurts Santorum more than Romney since Romney went to nearby Milford. North Oakland also has a little different personality than the "Oakland County" portrayed in the media. Ron Paul could make an impact in Lansing and some of the rural areas as well.

District 9 - Part of Romney's old home area is in the district. It also has a lot of democrat areas in South Macomb. I expect Romney to win here due to the Oakland part of the district, but South Macomb could throw a monkeywrench into some plans.

District 10 - North Macomb will have a lot to say about this district, but so does the thumb, especially if it votes as a block.

District 11 - Probably Romney's best district unless West Oakland and Western Wayne County surprises me. If Novi, South Lyon, and Northville go Romney, it's over in this district. Auburn Hills will have a state rep race as well tomorrow. Good luck to Bob Gray.

District 12 - Who wins here. Ann Arbor area crossovers or Downriver/Dearborn crossovers?

District 13 - Redford, Garden City, and Westland have a lot of power tomorrow. Detroit is unpredictable.

District 14 - Grosse Pointes, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield will probably decide this district. Detroit is also unpredictable.

Looking at the state results at the Secretary of State's office only will give you part of the story. An "Oakland County" result will only give part of the story. One think polling hasn't done is subdivide Oakland County by the district. North Oakland and to a lesser extent West Oakland each have their own characteristics. The same goes for Wayne and Macomb Counties, and Kent to a lesser extent.

My predictions I made last week and will stand by today are this:

MI-1 - Santorum. Romney will likely win the areas near the Lake Michigan Coast, but will probably get beat bad with the more populist inland. He'll probably lose the UP as well.

MI-2 - Santorum. Romney lost here in 08

MI-3 - Santorum, but close. The new third drops Kentwood and Wyoming. Barry and Ionia Counties should be friendly to Santorum, as should the rural parts of Kent County. Calhoun County will be key as well.

MI-4 - Santorum. I think this is just a bad matchup district for Mitt.

MI-5 - Santorum - Romney's closing some ground here, but I think he hangs on.

MI-6 - Santorum - Romney lost here in 08.

MI-7 - Santorum - Another bad matchup for Romney. More so with Monroe County.

MI-8 - Romney - Tough to predict, but Santorum may have a missed opportunity in not going to Livingston County. Romney didn't either, but campaigned in nearby Milford.

MI-9 - Romney - Big.

MI-10 - Santorum - Macomb is volitile, and so is the thumb. I think the thumb will break heavily against Mitt, while Macomb will be close.

MI-11 - Romney's best district.

MI-12 - Romney. Ann Arbor crossovers will save him.

MI-13 - Santorum. I'm going against the grain, but Redford and Westland is probably tougher turf for Romney than the major GOP vote in Wayne County (MI-11 or the Grosse Pointes in MI-14)

MI-14 - Romney. The Pointes, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield will go for Mitt.

I'm not that confident in my predictions about 3, 5, (both Santorum) 8, 12,(Romney) and 13. (Santorum). I'm going to guess Romney wins by 1% due to absentees and a big win in Oakland County, but Santorum takes the delegates.

Santorum - 18
Romney - 12

We'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thanks for the robocalls, Mitt Romney.

I got home yesterday and found five robocalls on my answering machine. So far, I've gotten three of them today with another four-five hours left. At least half of them were calls of the "vote for me, he sucks" variety. If Romney wants to portray himself as a fiscal conservative, I have two words for him. Fee increases. One more word. Romneycare.

I have not received one robocall from the campaigns or superpacs supporting Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul. Nor even the usual offenders with leftist group American Family Voices. The only offender lately has been Romney's campaign or Superpac. The robocalls are usually bad this time of year, but the worst part is that this is ALL from ONE campaign - at least here in Green Oak Township, Michigan.

I'll be doing my best to teach Mitt a lesson by voting against him Tuesday and voting for Rick Santorum. In the meantime, could everyone please shut the hell up with these robocalls. I can't stand those things.

Don't forget the special elections! Joe Graves and Bob Gray are running for state house

While all the hype for the February 28th Special election is for the presidential primary, there are some other elections going on that day. Two of the most important are in the state house where there's two vacancies. These are the OLD districts, not the redistricted areas which do not take affect electionwise until August.

Bob Gray is running in the old 29th District, covering Pontiac and Auburn Hills. This is a longshot, but if there is any chance at all of winning, it is due to the republican presidential primary being on the same day. If most of Pontiac stays home, we have a shot. This election is to replace Tim Melton who resigned to take a job at an educational organization.

The other election is highly contested between Joe Graves and MEA Union official Steve Losey in the old 51st district. This is to replace the recalled Paul Scott who was scalped by the MEA last year. All their work could be for nothing if Joe Graves wins the replacement election. This is in Southern Genesee County.

If you're a Republican in Pontiac, Auburn Hills, Argentine Twp, Mundy Twp, Fenton, Linden, Grand Blanc, or Atlas Twp, this election is extra important with the state rep races. Joe Graves and Bob Gray are on Tuesday's ballot.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Talk is Cheap, especially from politicians

I actually skipped the debate. Again. One reason is that I already made up my mind and no "words" will change that. The other reason is that all debates do is show talk and not action. These are politicians. The only time talk matters is if that is all there is to go on, and if politicians flip and flop all the time showing pandering. I don't mind true conversions on issues, but everyone knows I have little tolerance for opportunists or vagueness.

My concern especially this year among Republican primary voters is over reliance on debates and talk. Rick Perry dropped out because he's bad in debates. What does that really mean? It means he can't give 30 or 60 second soundbite answers to questions. That's it. Some are better at it than others. I don't speak fast. That's hurt me at times and helped at others. It doesn't change the fact that I have my strengths with some issues and weaknesses at others. What Perry's debate weaknesses do not reflect on is his 12 years as Governor of Texas.

Tim Pawlenty dropped because didn't gain traction due to him being "boring." Why the Hell should that even matter? Does that reflect on his two terms as Governor of Minnesota?

As primary voters or even general election voters, we need to stop worrying so much what politicians say, or if they are interesting. We need to focus on what they do. We need to do the research.

Mitt Romney has a four year record as Massachusetts Governor.
Rich Santorum has a 16 year record in Congress.
Newt Gingrich has a 21 year congressional record.
Ron Paul has a 23 year congressional record.

Actions count, and actions aren't hard to find. has a long record of roll call votes from Santorum, Gingrich, and Ron Paul, as well as Obama from his senate years. Don't take some cherry picked advocacy group's word for it either. Look them up yourself from the times they were in office.

Romney was in office from the 2002 election till 2006 when he declined to run for re-election. It's not hard to find a governor's record either. It's a little harder to find things straight from the source since Romney's stuff was scrubbed, but there's plenty of articles about things he's done as governor.

I don't need to be given a rah-rah speech or to be lead. There's only a handful of people I will follow and presidents aren't one of them. I need someone who I can trust to sign the right legislation, appoint good people to the executive departments, appoint good judges and justices, and not screw up foreign policy. We're the board of directors looking to hire a CEO. No more no less. Don't lead me. Do your job, and stay out of my way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Unintended Consequences of Obama and Sebelius's mandate

There are many opinions about contraceptives. The media is going crazy about this issue. The fact is that nobody is trying to ban them. There is a battle over requiring religious organizations to pay for it. That's not only wrong due to separation of church and state, but it's going to cause a lot of people to lose coverage. It shows how stupid and shortsighted bureaucrats can be, as well as Obama for signing off on that.

A blind man could see this coming. From Yahoo - The Ticket

On a chilly winter day earlier this month, 120 college presidents--mostly of Protestant schools--from around the country met in Washington for an annual meeting sponsored by the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, a group that represents 136 American schools and more than 400,000 students. One topic kept coming up in the discussions: How to combat President Barack Obama's proposed mandate for religious employers to provide health insurance that offers free contraception, a decision that would affect all of their institutions--and could violate some of their deepest-held beliefs.

During the conference, 25 of the presidents held a separate policy meeting to discuss the proposed directive, which was first established in the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and was upheld this year by the Department of Health and Human Services. The mandate, later softened by the Obama administration, would have required non-church religious institutions like schools and hospitals to offer health insurance plans that include free access to contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. Many of these presidents made trips to the offices of their representatives to urge them to fight against the decision.

Much of the news coverage of the battle over the contraception mandate focused on the outcry from the Catholic Church, but employers affiliated with Protestant denominations--especially religious colleges who offer insurance plans to students--waged an equally outspoken crusade against the decision. A coalition of more than 60 faith-based groups co-signed a letter to President Obama in December urging him to broaden exemptions to the mandate, and the council's president, Paul Corts, twice sent letters to the administration urging them to reconsider.

After the Obama administration first announced the mandate, colleges associated with Protestant churches and schools founded as expressly Christian institutions fought for exemptions, warning that the mandate could force them to deny health insurance to students who rely on the school's health care plans.

Here's the bottom line. Thanks to the Obama administration's stupid decision, a lot of people will have their health care dropped. Religious organizations will not violate their beliefs. Do not ask them to do so. They will shut down before giving in, just as many adoption agencies did because of gay adoption policies in Massachusetts. If you want these people covered with any health coverage, then you better tell Obama to reverse the policy period. The choices aren't to cover contraceptives or not. The choice is health coverage period or not. By picking that culture war fight, everybody loses.

In addition, how many hospitals are religious-run. In Michigan, a large number of hospitals are Catholic owned. Providence is one of the biggest in neighboring Oakland County. Is this the first step to mandate abortion coverage? Yes, I know about the Hyde Amendment, but with Obamacare on the horizon, what's in store now?

I shouldn't expect anything less from the Peter Principle in Chief.

Don't insult my intelligence

Everyone that follows Michigan politics knows that Romney is the choice of most of the establishment. Nowhere is that more apparent than our congressional delegation. Only Justin Amash and Candice Miller have not endorsed Romney. Some of them are worried that Romney isn't doing well here. He may yet win Michigan, but it's going to be closer than they wanted. He may lose in the end. That will be decided the 28th.

Politico has a story about the concerns with Romney's campaign. I'm not exactly enamoured with the quotes from Dan Benishek and Bill Huizenga. I've met all of them on different occasions and like them, but they don't get it when it comes to Romney.

The problem, the members said, is simple: Romney has failed to stir the passions of the Republican faithful.

“There’s obviously an element out there looking for an alternative,” said GOP Rep. Bill Huizenga, a former state representative whose district encompasses part of western Michigan.

“I think it breaks back towards him, but he’s got to go earn it,” Huizenga continued. “He’s gotta go at it. He’s got to get everyone fired up.”

Rep. Dan Benishek, a freshman from the socially conservative Upper Peninsula, was more direct in assessing the challenge Romney faces.

“I wish he would be more passionate,” said Benishek, a former Herman Cain supporter who switched to Romney after Cain dropped out. “That’s always been my wish about Mitt.”

Wrong. It's not about passion. They make it sound like Romney can give a homerun speech and all will be well. No. That insults the intelligence of non-Mitt supporters. The problem is trust. The problem is that a lot of people do not trust Mitt Romney and do not believe what he says. That is the problem with flip-flopping too many times, especially right before you decide to run for president. ACTIONS count.

Tim Walberg's a little better on this, but still doesn't completely get it.

“I think Romney will have to explain to the pro-life community that he is true,” Walberg said. “Santorum, of course you can’t get past him on those issues. He’s 100 percent.”
“I think Santorum is going to have to contend with the same things that Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich have had to contend with, and the same things that Romney has had to contend with for the entire time,” Walberg said.

“I think Romney has been out there for a while now,” he added. “It’s always been suggested in the national media that Romney doesn’t have it for conservatives, and after a while people begin to believe that kind of stuff.”

I don't have to go to the national media to know Romney's record with conservatives. Romney's 1994 campaign against Ted Kennedy along with his 2002-2006 tenure as Massachusetts governor does the job. Romney signed a gun ban. Romney gave us Romneycare. Romney was "pro-choice" until he decided to run for president. He raised fees (taxes) as governor. Talk it cheap.

Rick Santorum isn't perfect, but I know what I'm going to get from Santorum. His 16 years of actions speaks for itself. Good. Bad. Ugly. I'd rather have that rather than gamble that Mitt won't flip-flop into Romney version 5.0.

Poll Update - 2nd PPP poll less of an outlier

Last Thursday, I had a post about the delegate process and listed polls and congressional districts.

I never thought Santorum was up 15 over Romney in Michigan. Most of the polls have it 4-10 pts. I think 4 is accurate, right now as things stand today. Will it change in a week? Possibly.

What I like about the PPP polls is that delegates in Michigan are chosen by Congressional District. All the polls are statewide only or listed by some regions. PPP used phone area codes. While that's not a perfect assessment of the polling by district, it does show a rough estimate.

Here's the latest from PPP

Area Code:
231 - 44-22 Santorum - West/NW MI. Muskegon to Traverse City
248 - 36-32 Romney - Oakland County
269 - 48-35 Santorum - Hastings, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, St Joe
313 - 43-22-21 - Romney, Paul, Santorum. Big shift in Wayne County - Is this the Grosse Pointes or Redford/Westland? Paul vote is probably Dearborn.
517 - 40-33 Santorum - Big shift to Santorum. Lansing area, Western Livingston County, Hillsdale, Jackson.
586 - tied at 38. Macomb County.
616 - 37-35 Santorum - Grand Rapids, Holland, Ionia
734 - 40-29 Romney - Big shift to Romney. Ann Arbor, Ypsi, Southernmost Livingston County, Monroe. I'm not surprised here with Ann Arbor.
810 - 46-19-18 Santorum-Paul-Romney. Eastern Livingston, Flint area, Lapeer, Port Huron.
906 - 29-27-21 - Santorum-Romney-Paul - The UP. Small sample of numbers fluctuated here.
989 - 39-29 Santorum-Romney - From Saginaw to Northeastern Michigan.

Based on this:
Santorum takes - CD 1, CD 2, maybe 3, CD 4, CD 5, CD 6, CD 7, CD 10 (thanks to thumb),
Romney takes - CD 9, 11, probably 12, 14.
Tossup - My own 8th District and the 13th

These are the NEW districts that count, not the old one's. That could help or hurt Romney in a big way since the Bloomfield/Birmingham areas - his home base - are carved up into several districts.

The 9th has Southfield Township and Bloomfield Township.
The 11th has part of West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, and Birmingham, as well as Troy.
The 14th has most of West Bloomfield.

Romney in all polls leads Oakland County. The question is where in Oakland. Oakland County is a big place, and doesn't think uniformly throughout the county.

Also the big shift his way in 734 and 313. Where was the 313 samples? I'm guessing largly Grosse Pointe, in the 14th district. Does Redford and Westland in the 13th lean the same way? I'll be somewhat surprised, but it's possible. The 734 numbers here reflect my more original thoughts. I don't see Ann Arbor or suburbs warming up to Santorum. I think Romney would also play well in Plymouth (11th District).

I see this going likely 8-4 Santorum with two up for grabs in the race for Congressional districts. If I got pushed into the corner, I'd guess Romney with the 8th and Santorum the 13th, both narrowly making it 9-5. I wouldn't be shocked at 8-6 or 10-4.

That's also if things don't change. A late surprise attack wouldn't shock me in the slightest.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

State House Redistricting - District 79 (HD-79)

State House - District 79
Current Rep - Al Pscholka (R-Lincoln Township)

GOP - Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville)
Dem -  Jim Hahn (D-Stevensville)

Update 5-27-2012 - Turnout will be the difference in this district. I'm calling this almost safe. If we kept this in 08, we should keep it in 2012.

Update 8-30-2012 - Jim Hahn won the primary. 

Old District (79th)
Al Pscholka - 17,293
Mary Brown - 8,761

I'll call this district almost safe. I can't call it safe because it's a 22% black district with Benton Harbor and Benton Township. It also has the GOP strongholds of Berrien County. This district has not been competitive downticket. The closest it has been was 6500 votes in 2008, with Obama on the ticket. The close calls for state rep have not been here as they were in the 78th district next door. On the other hand, Obama did better here than he did next door. If a democrat drives up the Benton Harbor votes and gets the same thing downticket while getting just enough crossovers, he can win. It just hasn't been done. That's why this district is almost safe. There's still bad potential to get caught looking if you're not careful.

The old and new districts here are almost the same. Sodus Township is dropped to the 78th district. Other than that, it's a battle of strongholds. Bainbridge, Lincoln, Coloma, and Royalton Townships lead the way for the GOP. St Joe leans heavily Republican, but not quite the same margins as in Lincoln Twp. Benton Harbor and Benton Township lead the way for the dems. They are mostly black and it shows in the election results. McCain won everywhere except the Bentons (and lost Watervliet by 6). He still lost the district, which shows how strongly democrat Benton Harbor is. That number is not a misprint.

This one should stay ours, but don't get caught looking.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Bainbridge Twp 926 519 1445 407 64.08% 35.92% 28.17%
Benton Harbor 94 4364 4458 -4270 2.11% 97.89% -95.78%
Benton Twp 1480 5108 6588 -3628 22.47% 77.53% -55.07%
Bridgman  625 555 1180 70 52.97% 47.03% 5.93%
Coloma  412 327 739 85 55.75% 44.25% 11.50%
Coloma Twp 1437 949 2386 488 60.23% 39.77% 20.45%
Hagar Twp 992 805 1797 187 55.20% 44.80% 10.41%
Lake Twp 943 715 1658 228 56.88% 43.12% 13.75%
Lincoln Twp 5112 3165 8277 1947 61.76% 38.24% 23.52%
Royalton Twp 1743 886 2629 857 66.30% 33.70% 32.60%
St Joseph 2331 2253 4584 78 50.85% 49.15% 1.70%
St Joseph Twp 3240 2975 6215 265 52.13% 47.87% 4.26%
Watervliet 332 339 671 -7 49.48% 50.52% -1.04%
Watervliet Twp 751 589 1340 162 56.04% 43.96% 12.09%

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Total 20418 23549 43967 -3131 46.44% 53.56% -7.12%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Bainbridge Twp 1016 394 1410 622 72.06% 27.94% 44.11%
Benton Harbor 161 3600 3761 -3439 4.28% 95.72% -91.44%
Benton Twp 1739 4123 5862 -2384 29.67% 70.33% -40.67%
Bridgman  772 427 1199 345 64.39% 35.61% 28.77%
Coloma  444 308 752 136 59.04% 40.96% 18.09%
Coloma Twp 1573 829 2402 744 65.49% 34.51% 30.97%
Hagar Twp 1146 671 1817 475 63.07% 36.93% 26.14%
Lake Twp 1098 594 1692 504 64.89% 35.11% 29.79%
Lincoln Twp 5646 2474 8120 3172 69.53% 30.47% 39.06%
Royalton Twp 1717 661 2378 1056 72.20% 27.80% 44.41%
St Joseph 2630 1865 4495 765 58.51% 41.49% 17.02%
St Joseph Twp 3808 2326 6134 1482 62.08% 37.92% 24.16%
Watervliet 418 270 688 148 60.76% 39.24% 21.51%
Watervliet Twp 826 513 1339 313 61.69% 38.31% 23.38%

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Total 22994 19055 42049 3939 54.68% 45.32% 9.37%

Last St House GOP DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Bainbridge Twp 716 151 867 565 82.58% 17.42% 65.17%
Benton Harbor 95 1457 1552 -1362 6.12% 93.88% -87.76%
Benton Twp 1136 1908 3044 -772 37.32% 62.68% -25.36%
Bridgman  546 210 756 336 72.22% 27.78% 44.44%
Coloma  336 117 453 219 74.17% 25.83% 48.34%
Coloma Twp 1093 454 1547 639 70.65% 29.35% 41.31%
Hagar Twp 795 355 1150 440 69.13% 30.87% 38.26%
Lake Twp 766 244 1010 522 75.84% 24.16% 51.68%
Lincoln Twp 4289 1032 5321 3257 80.61% 19.39% 61.21%
Royalton Twp 1449 334 1783 1115 81.27% 18.73% 62.54%
St Joseph 1981 872 2853 1109 69.44% 30.56% 38.87%
St Joseph Twp 2822 1243 4065 1579 69.42% 30.58% 38.84%
Watervliet 222 124 346 98 64.16% 35.84% 28.32%
Watervliet Twp 583 189 772 394 75.52% 24.48% 51.04%

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Total 16829 8690 25519 8139 65.95% 34.05% 31.89%

State House Redistricting - District 78 (HD-78)

State House - District 78
Current Rep - Sharon Tyler (R - Niles) - Not running for re-election.

GOP - Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs)
DEM - Jack Arbanas (D-Buchanan),

Update 5-27-2012 - Tyler's running for Berrien County Clerk instead. With the proximity to Chicago and South Bend, I'm a little worried about the district this year. There's primaries on both sides, which is good.

Update - Dave Pagel and Jack Arbanas won their primaries for the open seat.

Old District (78th)
Sharon Tyler - 15,218
Cindy Ellis - 8010

This district on paper should lean Republican, but the old district has given us some close calls. In 2008, Tyler won by 1600 votes. In 2006, Neal Nitz won by 900. 2004 was better (6000) as was 2002 (3100). This is a district that can't be taken for granted. It is what I call a prototypical "caught looking" district. There isn't a lot of major strongholds here for the GOP. There are some small strong areas, and a couple of lean dem areas, but there's no Benton Harbor here, nor Lincoln Township. While the GOP has historically won this district, it's not a gimme in a bad year as shown by the 06/08 numbers.

The old district covered in Berrien County Baroda, Berrien, Bertrand, Buchanan, Chikaming, Galien, New Buffalo, Oronoko, Pipestone, Three Oaks, and Weesaw Townships as well as the cities of Buchanan, Niles, and New Buffalo. It also covered in Cass County the City of  Dowagiac, Howard, Silver Creek, and Wayne Townships.

The new district drops Dowagiac and Wayne Township and picks up Milton and Ontwa Townships in Cass County. It picks up Sodus Township in Berrien County. The rest of this stays the same.  That makes it slightly safer with Dowagiac's dem leanings, but I'll consider this district lean GOP and not safe. In addition, keep in mind that the influence here is Chicago and South Bend, not Grand Rapids or Detroit. Obama is from Chicago, and did extremely well within a 90 minute radius of the city, including Berrien County. Part of that was Benton Harbor, but he did well in both Berrien County districts. We'll need to be prepared for trouble here, especially this year. There's no excuse to be caught looking when your opponent catches fire and causes an upset victory.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Berrien County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Baroda Twp 851 614 1465 237 58.09% 41.91% 16.18%
Berrien Twp 1398 903 2301 495 60.76% 39.24% 21.51%
Bertrand Twp 776 642 1418 134 54.72% 45.28% 9.45%
Buchanan  792 1140 1932 -348 40.99% 59.01% -18.01%
Buchanan Twp 895 794 1689 101 52.99% 47.01% 5.98%
Chikaming Twp 907 950 1857 -43 48.84% 51.16% -2.32%
Galien Twp 312 381 693 -69 45.02% 54.98% -9.96%
New Buffalo 390 504 894 -114 43.62% 56.38% -12.75%
New Buffalo Twp 591 739 1330 -148 44.44% 55.56% -11.13%
Niles 1712 2976 4688 -1264 36.52% 63.48% -26.96%
Niles Twp 2906 3301 6207 -395 46.82% 53.18% -6.36%
Oronoko Twp 1794 1858 3652 -64 49.12% 50.88% -1.75%
Pipestone Twp 662 395 1057 267 62.63% 37.37% 25.26%
Sodus Twp 559 411 970 148 57.63% 42.37% 15.26%
Three Oaks Twp 627 770 1397 -143 44.88% 55.12% -10.24%
Weesaw Twp 540 454 994 86 54.33% 45.67% 8.65%

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Cass County:

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Howard Twp 1363 1590 2953 -227 46.16% 53.84% -7.69%
Milton Twp 895 661 1556 234 57.52% 42.48% 15.04%
Ontwa Twp 1237 1241 2478 -4 49.92% 50.08% -0.16%
Silver Creek Twp 840 749 1589 91 52.86% 47.14% 5.73%

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Total 20047 21073 41120 -1026 48.75% 51.25% -2.50%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Berrien County:

0 0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Baroda Twp 969 474 1443 495 67.15% 32.85% 34.30%
Berrien Twp 1552 708 2260 844 68.67% 31.33% 37.35%
Bertrand Twp 799 541 1340 258 59.63% 40.37% 19.25%
Buchanan  1005 958 1963 47 51.20% 48.80% 2.39%
Buchanan Twp 1014 741 1755 273 57.78% 42.22% 15.56%
Chikaming Twp 1124 842 1966 282 57.17% 42.83% 14.34%
Galien Twp 376 334 710 42 52.96% 47.04% 5.92%
New Buffalo 474 451 925 23 51.24% 48.76% 2.49%
New Buffalo Twp 624 675 1299 -51 48.04% 51.96% -3.93%
Niles 2145 2426 4571 -281 46.93% 53.07% -6.15%
Niles Twp 3210 2705 5915 505 54.27% 45.73% 8.54%
Oronoko Twp 2057 1310 3367 747 61.09% 38.91% 22.19%
Pipestone Twp 724 330 1054 394 68.69% 31.31% 37.38%
Sodus Twp 566 344 910 222 62.20% 37.80% 24.40%
Three Oaks Twp 826 583 1409 243 58.62% 41.38% 17.25%
Weesaw Twp 627 369 996 258 62.95% 37.05% 25.90%

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Cass County:

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Howard Twp 1599 1327 2926 272 54.65% 45.35% 9.30%
Milton Twp 921 523 1444 398 63.78% 36.22% 27.56%
Ontwa Twp 1730 921 2651 809 65.26% 34.74% 30.52%
Silver Creek Twp 963 639 1602 324 60.11% 39.89% 20.22%

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Total 23305 17201 40506 6104 57.53% 42.47% 15.07%

Last St House GOP  DEM Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Berrien County:

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Baroda Twp 705 242 947 463 74.45% 25.55% 48.89%
Berrien Twp 1094 341 1435 753 76.24% 23.76% 52.47%
Bertrand Twp 689 218 907 471 75.96% 24.04% 51.93%
Buchanan  655 435 1090 220 60.09% 39.91% 20.18%
Buchanan Twp 786 323 1109 463 70.87% 29.13% 41.75%
Chikaming Twp 736 574 1310 162 56.18% 43.82% 12.37%
Galien Twp 249 145 394 104 63.20% 36.80% 26.40%
New Buffalo 300 271 571 29 52.54% 47.46% 5.08%
New Buffalo Twp 464 354 818 110 56.72% 43.28% 13.45%
Niles 1402 1060 2462 342 56.95% 43.05% 13.89%
Niles Twp 2405 1202 3607 1203 66.68% 33.32% 33.35%
Oronoko Twp 1392 631 2023 761 68.81% 31.19% 37.62%
Pipestone Twp 554 163 717 391 77.27% 22.73% 54.53%
Sodus Twp

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Three Oaks Twp 466 297 763 169 61.07% 38.93% 22.15%
Weesaw Twp 432 193 625 239 69.12% 30.88% 38.24%

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Cass County:

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Howard Twp 1158 549 1707 609 67.84% 32.16% 35.68%
Milton Twp

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Ontwa Twp

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Silver Creek Twp 742 262 1004 480 73.90% 26.10% 47.81%

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Total 14229 7260 21489 6969 66.22% 33.78% 32.43%

State House Redistricting - District 77 (HD-77)

State House - District 77
Current Rep - Thomas Hooker (R-Byron Township)

GOP - Thomas Hooker (R-Byron Center)
Dem - Scott Barton (D-Byron Center)

Update 5-27-2012 - We have another rematch.

Old District (77th)
Thomas Hooker - 18,088
Scott Barton - 6,913

This is a safe district unchanged by redistricting. It covers Byron Township and the City of Wyoming. Wyoming leans GOP outside of the 2008 cratering by McCain. It is still getting bluer with minorities, particularly Mexicans moving there from Southern Grand Rapids. Byron Township is one of the most GOP areas of Kent County, consistently over 70% GOP with 5000+ vote spreads. Until the dems start winning Wyoming by 5000+ votes, this won't even be competitive. Even in 08, it wasn't that close.

McCain Obama Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Byron Township 8055 3195 11250 4860 71.60% 28.40% 43.20%
Wyoming 15042 15682 30724 -640 48.96% 51.04% -2.08%

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Total 23097 18877 41974 4220 55.03% 44.97% 10.05%

Bush Kerry Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Byron Township 8084 2264 10348 5820 78.12% 21.88% 56.24%
Wyoming 18524 11979 30503 6545 60.73% 39.27% 21.46%

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Total 26608 14243 40851 12365 65.13% 34.87% 30.27%

Last State House GOP Dem Total Diff GOP DEM Diff
Byron Township 6777 1164 7941 5613 85.34% 14.66% 70.68%
Wyoming 11311 5749 17060 5562 66.30% 33.70% 32.60%

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Total 18088 6913 25001 11175 72.35% 27.65% 44.70%