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.