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Sunday, January 13, 2007 - 11:55pm

With Wonderbread Elections Over, Competition Begins

Iowa and New Hampshire, states that are more the 95% white, are done having their say about who should be the next president.  Now, the other forty-eight states get to speak.  Next up are Michigan and Nevada, states that are far more diverse than their predecessors.  In Michigan, the Republicans hold their primary on Tuesday, while the Democrats battle in Nevada on January 19th.

The fight for Michigan is between Mitt Romney and John McCain with Mike Huckabee nipping at their heels.  The mainstream media will paint this as do-or-die for Romney, despite the fact that he already has more delegates than any other candidate.  If Romney finishes second, they say, he'll have to bow out of the race.  This argument is patently absurd, but it makes for great ratings so the media runs with it.  The story in New Hampshire was that if John McCain won, the media would proclaim him the frontrunner, but if he lost they said he'd have to withdraw.  Again, it is a ridiculous statement by an irresponsible press corps..

No matter what happens in Michigan, the fact is that all the Republican candidates except Mitt Romney are either scraping for money or have no chance of winning.  Sure, Romney's father was the Governor of Michigan, but Mitt does not need to win this state to stay in the race.  Giuliani and Thompson are broke, Ron Paul is destined for no more than 15%, and McCain and Huckabee are divisive figures who also have little in the bank.  Michigan could propel Romney back to frontrunner status, but even a 'silver' keeps him in the contest.

The Democrats have to wait until Saturday for the next Obama-Hillary clash.  Hillary had the momentum after NH, but with perceived gaffes by both her and her husband, the sentiment is shifting back to Obama.  There is no recent polling in the state, so it is difficult to gauge who should win.

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