Arizona and Michigan primaries underway
After a lull over the past two weeks, the next two states to hold presidential primaries are Arizona and Michigan today.
Arizona is a closed primary (open only to registered Republican voters) with a mix of delegates being awarded by district whilst others are winner takes all. There are 29 delegates at stake.
In a RealClearPolitics average of all the polls, Mitt Romney is on 41.4% of the vote, Rick Santorum is second with 28.2%, Newt Gingrich comes third with 17.8% and Ron Paul trails on 9.2%.
The more interesting of the two primaries is the one taking place in Michigan. This is an open primary which means that Democrats can also vote for the ‘winner takes all’ 30 delegates.
This is the home state of Mitt Romney and he should be doing well. He has thrown a lot of money into the campaign with a lot of negative advertising against Rick Santorum. However, it doesn’t appear to have paid off. An American Research Group poll suggests that Rick Santorum is ahead with 36% of the vote and Mitt Romney trails him on 35%. Ron Paul has 15% of the vote and Newt Gingrich is on 8%.
Democrats might choose to throw the whole race wide open and help Santorum to beat Romney. If this happens then the result could be a major upset for Romney as the candidates go into Super Tuesday on 6th March when ten states will vote. Having spent a lot of money fending off Santorum in Michigan there will be less money for Mitt Romney to spend in those ten states.