Today is the much anticipated 2012 Michigan GOP primary. Just how important is this election in the State of Michigan? The latest Public Policy Poll, which has been fairly accurate in many of the recent primary games, shows Rick Santorum with 38% to Mitt Romney′s 37%, a very narrow lead. With the margin of error, the Great Lakes State is essentially a toss up. While both candidates opposed the bailouts of the auto companies headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, much more material is being used against Romney who advocated a managed bankruptcy. Several Super PACs, including Barack Obama′s one, Priorities USA Action, have been running ads against Mitt. There is even talk of a plot called Operation Hilarity to get Democrats to cross over and vote for Santorum in today′s open primary. Santorum, himself, has launched a robo-call blitz encouraging Democrats to vote for him.

2012 michigan gop primary

Many analysts and pundits are hyping today′s election in Michigan as being crucial for the GOP presidential race. They claim that should Mitt Romney lose the Michigan primary, finishing second in his original ′home state′ where he was born and his father served three terms as governor, then the gods of elections will cause the primary process to drag out well into June. Possibly even resulting in a brokered convention later this summer in Tampa, Florida.

But in the big scheme of things, the Michigan primary really does not amount to much. Unlike Arizona, which is holding its winner-take-all primary also today, Michigan will only assign delegates proportionally. So irregardless of who wins, the odds are that Santorum and Romney will walk away with about the same number of delegates. This then leaves us with the concepts of a moral victory or defeat, as well as the momentum factor with the Super Tuesday primaries next week.

Should Santorum win Michigan today, many believe that it will reinforce his standing as the Number One Conservative candidate running against the more moderate Romney. This would give Santorum a leg up for possibly winning several states on Super Tuesday, especially Ohio where he enjoys a solid lead in the current polls. Other states, such as Tennessee and Oklahoma, may also go for Santorum. Other states considered easy wins for Romney, like Idaho, Vermont and North Dakota, may become difficult battles.

So while there is something to the potential impact of today′s 2012 Michigan GOP primary, we have to keep in mind that in terms of delegates, today′s election will mean very little. If Rick Santorum does defeat Mitt Romney in his birth State of Michigan, the primary games could boost Santorum′s chances for preventing Romney from being the GOP nominee. Will Detroit, Michigan remember Romney′s call for the auto companies to go bankrupt? Will Santorum′s robo-call effort succeed in attracting Democrat voters to help him win? And what about the Barack Obama Super-PAC airing a lot of negative TV ads against Romney, as well as the Operation Hilarity plot? With the polls so close, it may be a very long night in the Great Lakes State before we know who wins today?