Commentary Magazine


The Michigan Primary and the Nevada Debate

We will be live-blogging the results in the Michigan Republican primary tonight, and simultaneously writing about the Democratic presidential candidate debate in Nevada, starting at 9 pm eastern time. Two quick thoughts.

1) If the exit polls hold up and Mitt Romney wins, that will mean three different Republicans have won the first genuinely contested state contests — Huckabee in Iowa, McCain in New Hampshire, Romney in Michigan. It is possible Fred Thompson will win South Carolina next week. And all these results make it even more plausible that Rudy Giuliani will hold on to win Florida two weeks from now, because there will be no frontrunner and therefore no one will benefit from momentum in the effort to prevail in Florida.

Five contests. Five different winners. All going into Super Tuesday. It sounds like chaos, but maybe it’s the best thing for the GOP, because the party is going to have to generate some kind of news excitement if its candidate is to have a chance in November.

2) Expect a ridiculous amount of discussion in Nevada tonight about strange issues that seem to be about nothing — maybe like the taxation of gratuities. The main voting bloc in the Democratic party in the state consists of people who work in hotels, and Hillary needs to peel part of it away from Obama, who secured the endorsement of its union.