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Primary day in Michigan and Arizona




Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (L) greets diners at the Rainbow Grill on February 28, 2012 in Grandville, Michigan.
Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (L) greets diners at the Rainbow Grill on February 28, 2012 in Grandville, Michigan.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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The battle for the Republican nomination is showing no signs of letting up as two more states vote to apportion their delegates today. Most eyes have been focused on Michigan with the political pundits saying it’s a must-win for Romney. It is, after all, his home state, he was born in Detroit in 1947, and his father was the governor there in the 1960’s.

However, a win is far from assured for Mr. Romney. Polls show he’s neck and neck with Rick Santorum, with Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich running far behind the two front-runners. Part of the problem is that Romney’s having trouble selling his 2008 New York Times Op-Ed on the auto bailout entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” to voters. Michigan is obviously big in the automotive industry and a state in which unions still hold a lot of political sway.

But Michigan’s 30 delegates aren’t the only ones up for grabs tomorrow, Arizona’s 29 are also on the table. Romney is endorsed by Arizona senator and former Republican candidate for President, John McCain, and the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer. He has significant lead in the state and is nearly assured a win.

Although Michigan might be the bigger emotional win for either Romney or Santorum, it’s actually Arizona that will have the bigger impact on the race. Michigan hands out delegates based on the percentage of the vote a candidate wins, whereas Arizona is a winner-take-all state.

How will both races shake out? What are the big issues on the table in these two very different areas of the country? And what would it mean for both campaigns if Santorum were to pull out the win in Michigan?

Guests:

Mark Barabak, Political Writer, Los Angeles Times. Joining us from Tempe, AZ

Rick Pluta, Political Reporter, Michigan Public Radio

Jim Nintzel, Host of “Political Roundtable” on KUAT T.V, AZ public media; Instructor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism; Senior Writer, Tucson Weekly.