Romney Projected To Win In Florida

The polls just closed in Florida and the media is already projecting that Mitt Romney will be the winner. This comes as no surprise today as the polls showed Romney with a lead, but immediately after the South Carolina primary this outcome was briefly in doubt. Since then Republican leaders have gone nuclear against Gingrich and Romney benefited from better debate performances.

Florida has violated the Republican Party rule that winner take all contests cannot occur until April, and Romney will take all fifty delegates, pending the inevitable challenge should Gingrich remain competitive. Gingrich does say he will remain in the race until the end, and he appears angry enough with Romney to possibly do so.

It now appears increasingly unlikely that Romney can be stopped despite the opposition of many conservatives. There just is not a viable candidate in the race to oppose him. It is too late for another candidate to enter the race and win as many filing deadlines have passed, but theoretically another candidate could enter and pick up enough delegates to keep anyone from winning a majority, leaving the decision to the convention. It is difficult, but not impossible, to envision scenarios which could still deny Romney the honor of losing to Barack Obama this fall.

Romney leading but having Gingrich remain in the race might be the best possible outcome following the Florida primary. As it is theoretically possible for the nominee of any major political party to wind up winning, we certainly do not want Gingrich to be the nominee. Gingrich is welcome to spend the next several months exposing all of Romney’s faults and continue to damage his image.

Obama May Benefit From Recovery In Mid West

Republicans have hoped that the economic downturn they created could help them win mid-western states should voters blame the incumbent for the state of the economy.  Despite all their effort to slow economic recovery, Bloomberg shows signs that Obama might wind up benefiting from recent economic  improvement in the region:

From northern Michigan’s iron mines to Pennsylvania’s natural-gas fields, the industrial heartland of America is humming with jobs again as a region once left for dead recovers faster than the rest of the U.S.

The turnaround may shape this year’s race for the White House as President Barack Obama seeks to reverse Republican gains in the Midwest. The title of his State of the Union address, “An America Built to Last,” evoked a theme of manufacturing’s revival meant to resonate on the campaign trail.

The economies of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania — all states Obama won in 2008 — have improved faster than that of the U.S. since the recession’s depth in April 2009, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. Michigan is expected to lead all 50 states during the next six months, the Fed data show.

“We’re going back to a region we abandoned a long time ago to get energy again from rocks that were already drilled a thousand times,” said Clay Williams, chief financial officer for Houston-based National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV), which started in Oil City, Pennsylvania, in 1862. “We’re going back to our roots.”

Economic recovery in so-called Rust Belt states may bolster re-election chances for Obama, who pushed the U.S.-backed bailout of General Motors Co. (GM) and Chrysler Group LLC, both based in Michigan. He visited the state in a three-day campaign swing following his speech, and was greeted by guest editorials in Detroit newspapers from Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan GOP Chairman Robert Schostak criticizing his record on the economy…

Michigan, Ohio and Indiana all ranked among the top eight performers for improvement of economic health in the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States from the third quarter of 2009 through the third quarter of last year, the most recent period available.

Automakers are increasing production after U.S. light- vehicle sales rose at least 10 percent for two straight years for the first time since 1984. This month, GM announced it had regained the title as the top-selling global automaker, which it lost to Toyota as it slid into bankruptcy.

The Obama campaign is banking on the U.S. auto industry’s comeback to damp the appeal of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Michigan, where his father was a popular governor, as well as to reverse Ohio’s swing to Republicans in the 2010 mid-term elections.