SNEAK PEEK: Primary Day in the Voter City

1 days until the Michigan primary

5 days until the Nevada caucuses

Michigan Primary:


At the Republican debate last Thursday, John McCain's and Mitt Romney's first answers were targeted to voters in Michigan – McCain putting out what he said was straight talk on jobs and the economy and Romney painting a rosier picture about the Michigan's economic future.


Interestingly, Thursday's debate was in South Carolina – but that exchange right out of the gate showed how critical the next-up Michigan primary is for the native son Romney and a resurgent and re-energized McCain.

Since New Hampshire, all other issues have taken a back seat as the candidates focus on what they would to fix the struggling Michigan economy

Romney can claim somewhat of a home field advantage, but that just raises the stakes for his campaign Tuesday. Romney was born in the state, his father served as governor from 1963-1969 and he announced his candidacy in Dearborn last year.

Despite the punditry and his 1-2 record in this nomination process so far, Romney is not looking at the Great Lake State as his last stand.

Tivo Alert!

"I'd like to win Michigan," he told ABC News' Cynthia McFadden in an interview that will air on Nightline tonight at 11:35pm ET. "I plan on winning Michigan, but I sure don't have to win Michigan."

A win in Michigan may give Romney much-needed momentum to get his campaign back on course heading into South Carolina and Super Duper Tuesday on Feb 5. A loss, however, to McCain (the Republican winner in 2000) or Huckabee might be a knockout blow.

On the Democratic side, the race is far less meaningful – Barack Obama and John Edwards will not even appear on the ballot. The two candidates did so to honor DNC rules forbidding non-approved states from holding contests before Feb 5.

Democratic voters will have six choices on the ballot - Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, uncommitted and write-in. An "uncommitted" selection is a vote to send delegates to the Democratic National Convention who are not committed or pledged to any candidate, freeing up delegates to choose whomever they'd like at the Convention. Write-in candidates will not be counted under state law, so Obama, Edwards, Joe Biden and Bill Richardson supporters are urged to vote "uncommitted".

(No Monty Brewster/"None of the Above" campaign – that won't win you delegates).

The DNC has stripped Michigan of 100% of its delegates so the results will have no impact on the overall battle for the 2025 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.

Michigan has an open primary – so Democrats can (and likely will) switch over and vote in the Republican primary. This may help McCain and is something that Romney acknowledged to Nightline's McFadden today in Detroit.

"There's no question in my mind that in a normal primary setting, I'm going to win Michigan," he said. "I have to have a little doubt because there's no Democratic primary going on. If it's a straight up primary, I win."

The Michigan Department of State will post unofficial results as counties report their totals on Tuesday.

On the campaign trail…


-- 8:30 am ET: Holds rally with voters, Traverse City, MI

-- 9:30 am ET: Holds media availability, Traverse City, MI

-- 12:15 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with Ann Arbor Economic Club and holds media availability, Ypsilanti, MI (with Sen. Joe Lieberman)

-- 1:30 pm ET: Holds media availability with voters, Ypsilanti, MI (with Sen. Joe Lieberman)

-- 7:50 pm ET: Holds event with voters, Charleston, SC


-- 8:45 am ET: Holds rally with voters, Grand Rapids, MI

-- 7:30 pm ET: Holds event with voters, Southfield, MI


-- 10:45 am ET: Delivers remarks at the National Troopers Coalition 2008 Winter Conference, Lake Buena Vista, FL

-- 12:45 pm ET: Visits with the Republican Club of Southeast Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, FL

-- 4:15 pm ET: Delivers remarks to voters, Jacksonville, FL

-- 7:15 pm ET: Delivers remarks to the Safari Club International N. Florida Chapter, Yulee, FL


-- Attends events with voters, Las Vegas, NV

As for the Democrats…


-- 9:00 pm ET: Participates in MSNBC/Nevada Democratic Party Presidential Debate


-- 9:00 pm ET: Participates in MSNBC/Nevada Democratic Party Presidential Debate


-- 9:00 pm ET: Participates in MSNBC/Nevada Democratic Party Presidential Debate


ABC News' Cynthia McFadden, Melinda Arons and Katie Escherich Report: 'That's Not My Job': Romney Not Evaluating Defeats LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Poll Cats LINK

ABC's Good Morning America Reports: Clintons Spend Weekend Defending Race Record LINK

ABC News' Ron Claiborne Reports: Frenemies: McCain, Huckabee Test Relationship LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Calling All Independents and Republicans Who "Don't Want Hillary" LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Obama: "My Opponents Didn't Expect Me to Be Here" LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: You Bought a Car Because It Belonged to Jon Voight? LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller and David Wright Report: Obama on 'Lawyers Getting Involved' in Nevada LINK

ABC News' Kevin Chupka Reports: Huckabee Treks Across Mich. In Last Voting Effort LINK

ABC News' Matt Stuart Reports: Romney Meets Tough High School Crowd LINK

ABC News' David Muir and Raelyn Johnson Report: Cate Edwards Involved in 'Minor' Car Accident LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 4 Hillary LINK

ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: Thompson Talks Economy in S.C. LINK

ABC News' Kate Snow, Susan Kriskey and Eloise Report: Clinton Receives Luke Warm Response After MLK Event LINK

ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: Thompson's New Ad: "Always" LINK

ABC News' Kate Snow Reports: For Chelsea, Silence Is Golden LINK

ABC News' David Wright, Andy Fies and Sunlen Miller Report: Obama Damps Down Racial Controversy LINK


Anything Goes in the 2008 Election According to Gary Langer of ABC polling, the Republican front is currently tied LINK

The Explosive Subject of Race The sensitivities that surround Senator Obama's candidacy LINK

Romney: "My Life Does Not Revolve Around Money" The Governor defends his personal contributions to his campaign. LINK

Mitt Romney: People Like Me The presidential candidate says pundit are wrong, his opponents are "friends" LINK

The Bottom Line on Race Issues George Stephanopoulos takes a look at poll numbers in the race to '08. LINK

Romney's Grandson Takes the Stage Mitt Romney's grandson steals the spotlight on the campaign trail. LINK

Romney: 'That's Not What I'm in the Race For' The former Mass. Governor is moving on, reluctant to discuss campaign mistakes LINK

Michigan Not a Must Win for Mitt Romney Romney: "I'm not going to have three states decide who should be the nominee" LINK