[Posted by Karl]
Polls close in both states at 9 pm ET tonight. Ed Morrissey predicts a 20-point win in Arizona for Romney, and a close two-point win for Santorum in Michigan. My fundraiser/consultant pal Nathan Wurtzel (who may still favor Gingrich) predicts Romney by 21 in Arizona, and Romney by a two-point margin in Michigan. Nate Silver has Romney by 16.1 points in Arizona, and Romney by less than a point in Michigan. May be a long night in MI, although Ed thinks technology will triumph and deliver timely results.
But what does it all mean? Imho, it all means that the media narrative trumps reality. Sure, if Mitt loses MI, it’s an embarrassment… if you buy it as his “home state.” And Matt Dowd will soil himself. On the other hand, maybe Mitt won MI in 2008 because GOP voters viewed him as the more conservative alternative to McCain… in which case, tonight will merely continue the pattern of a conservative base preferring the conservative alternative to the now-seen-as-more-moderate choice. We will hear media chatter about what MI says about either candidate’s chances in Ohio. While momentum is a factor in primaries, due in large part to the media, McCain crushed Huckabee in Ohio in 2008, while Romney had already dropped out. The media’s master narrative of any campaign in The Horserace, so it is not shocking they want one. The RNC wanted a longer campaign (a la Obama vs Clinton in 2008) and changed the rules to produce one. Mission Accomplished (even if the RNC may be having second thoughts about getting what they wished for). Neither of these schmoes is likely to win MI in a general election.
Nevertheless, I presume everyone else has an opinion. Discuss.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: From what I can tell, Romney is having a very good night.