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Michigan a Tossup?

At the New York Times, Nate Silver writes that the race in Michigan is too close to accurately predict:

People sometimes apply the term “tossup” a bit too broadly, using it to refer to anything close enough that they don’t want to render a prediction about it.

In Michigan, however, the term is appropriate. Rick Santorum, who once trailed Mitt Romney badly in the state, then surged to a clear lead there, then saw Romney regain his footing and pull back ahead, appears to have some late momentum in the race — perhaps just enough to win, and perhaps not.

According to Silver’s projections, Romney gets 38.7 percent of the vote, while Santorum gets 38 percent. It sounds like this is going to be another race that comes down to the wire like Iowa.

Meanwhile, Santorum’s scrambling to get out the vote – to Democrats, who are allowed to vote in the Michigan primary:

Santorum’s campaign, meanwhile, confirmed it was also using a robo call urging Michigan Democrats to cross over and vote for Santorum on Tuesday.

Oddly enough, some Michigan Democrats had the same idea:

Michigan Democratic strategist Joe DiSano has taken it upon himself to become a leading mischief maker.

DiSano says he targeted nearly 50,000 Democratic voters in Michigan through email and a robo call to their homes, asking them to go to the polls Tuesday to vote for Rick Santorum in attempt to hurt Romney.

“Democrats can get in there and cause havoc for Romney all the way to the Republican convention,” DiSano told CNN.

These Democrat-targeted campaign calls could definitely have an impact in a race this tight, considering Romney initially won Iowa by just 8 votes (before losing the title to Santorum, who won the final tally by 34 votes).

Romney went on Sean Hannity’s show last night and blasted Santorum’s robo calls to Democrats as a “dirty trick.” The fact that this is the issue Romney chose to talk about on the eve of the primary shows just how nervous his campaign actually is. A Santorum win today would no doubt be chalked up by the Romney campaign to underhanded tactics and Democratic tampering. If Romney loses his home state, he’s going to need any excuse he can get.


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