Michigan thread and why it matters

I'm not staying up for the Michigan primary results, but you can follow the Republican-leaning viewpoint here and the Democrat-leaning viewpoint here (not sure if there's a specific thread on Daily Kos yet). Wordy but pretty straight reporting later here.
Here are my thoughts for what they're worth.
1) The Democrats will go and vote Republican to push Mitt Romney for two reasons. They are convinced he is beatable in November, and the more Republicans win different primaries (Huckabee got Iowa and McCain got New Hampshire), the more divided the Republicans will be. It's good politics, provided they start with the right "loser" to back.
2) Because the Democrats votes don't really count (it's a complicated issue to do with the party's nomination rules, see The Green Papers), there should be a lot less of them than Republicans, given that this is a very marginal state in the last presidential campaign. John Kerry beat George W. Bush with a 3.42% lead in Michigan. That's one of the SIX states the Democrats won with less than 4% leads (Wisconsin 0.4%, New Hampshire 1.43% [but a gain], Pennsylvania 2.5%, Minnesota 3.48% and Oregon 3.9%) in 2004. With a relatively unpopular incumbent...
For the Democrats, the easy targets are few in number: Iowa 0.67%, New Mexico 0.79% [both gains], Ohio 2.12% [yes FOUR states were closer than Ohio but somehow the conspiracy theorists never mention them] and Nevada 2.59% are the only targets under 4%. You can add Colorado on 4.67%.

So my tip is to look at the vote totals. If the Democrats poll more heavily in total than the Republicans do, then its VERY bad for the Republicans. It adds to the evidence from Iowa and New Hampshire of a party in organizational chaos.

3) Check the accuracy of the pollsters. If they broadly get Michigan right this time, they might get November right in this state, which could be cricial.

Now for some background.
The November election will be decided by an Electoral College count, with 269 (if you get the casting vote in Congress) or 270 (to be sure) votes required.
Here's the breakdown in the most tightly contested states in 2004 that I mentioned above.
0.40% Wisconsin (D), 10 votes
0.67% Iowa (R), 7 votes (gain from D)
0.79% New Mexico (R), 5 votes (gain from D)
1.43% New Hampshire (D), 4 votes (gain from R)
2.12% Ohio (R), 20 votes
2.50% Pennsylvania (D), 21 votes
2.59% Nevada (R), 5 votes
3.42% Michigan (D),17 votes
3.48% Minnesota (D), 10 votes
3.90% Oregon (D), 7 votes
4.67% Colorado (R), 9 votes

Democrats "at risk" 69 votes. Republicans "at risk" 46 votes.

And just for fun, every winning Presidential candidate since 1972 inclusive has won the following SIX states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennesee. In 1968, a third party candidate scored wins in some of the Southern states so I haven't included that election.

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