I have no clear sense of how things will go in Michigan, but it seems clear that economic issues will play a major role in that state, given the downturn there. Thus, it can’t be good news for Romney that New Hampshire voters seemed convinced that McCain was better equipped than Romney to deal with the economy.
I’m informed that among the 51% of voters who feel the present state of the economy is poor or not good, McCain beat Romney 42% – 21%. And among the 31% of voters who said the economy was their number one issue in general, McCain beat Romney 39% – 22%. As Hugh Hewitt put it (via NoCo Politics), those in struggling cities and rural communities voted for McCain; those living in “up and coming” cities or on a two-acre lot voted for Romney. According to Hugh, “this suggests trouble for Romney in Michigan. . .”
On the other hand, McCain is super-popular in New Hampshire. Without the “halo” effect, “economic” voters may have less faith in him. Moreover, Mike Huckabee is a serious contender in Michigan and will compete with McCain there for lower income and rural voters who are worried about the economy.
UPDATE: And of course, there’s this: McCain has supported higher fuel efficiency standards.
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