Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


A Jewish Guide to the MI and AZ Primaries

Who’s hot and who’s cold

Print Email
Michigan!(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Number of candidates actually contesting: Four.

Their names: Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum.

Percentage of state population that is Jewish: .8 percent (Michigan); 1.7 percent (Arizona).

Where that ranks: Tied for 24th out of 50 (Michigan, with New Hampshire); tied for tenth (Arizona, with Delaware).

Jewish issues? Santorum’s rise has made social issues to come to the fore (to the horror of much of the Republican establishment, which wants the election to be about jobs and values to be translated into foreign policy). Debates over contraception have the potential to polarize the Jewish vote, as observant, Orthodox voters head one way and less- or unobservant ones head another, but those tendencies tend to already exist, and anyway that will be a bigger deal come general election season if it is a deal at all.

Who’s going to win? Not sure! (Michigan); Romney (Arizona).

Does it matter? Oh yeah. Santorum began with a huge lead in Michigan, which dwindled and then disappeared, particularly after a relatively strong debate performance from Romney last week; in recent days, however, the momentum has swung back (Romney’s unquenchable knack for gaffes has helped), so that now it’s pretty much a toss-up. A big Rust Belt state not unlike his own Pennsylvania, this is the state Santorum should win if he’s going to win on the strength of more than just social conservatives uneasy with Romney. If Romney wins Michigan, Santorum still lives to fight another day (particularly if it’s by a small margin), but the talk starts to turn to Romney-as-nominee. If Santorum wins Michigan—even by a little—he heads into Super Tuesday, next Tuesday, including the huge prize of Ohio, with a ton of momentum; just as importantly, talk of drafting Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels or Paul Ryan or you or me as the Republican nominee grows from faint murmur to audible tremor.

Arizona doesn’t matter. Romney will win it easily.

Open or closed primary? Open (Michigan), closed (Arizona).

Proportional or winner-take-all? Proportional (Michigan), winner-take-all (Arizona). This is why Arizona was largely uncontested. It’s also plausible that the overall winner in Michigan will not get the most delegates (but winning the whole state is much more important, because of the political narrative).

Wait, you haven’t really discussed Gingrich. Awkward, right?

Well he could at least be the vice-presidential nominee, right? Hahaha.

Paul Factor? He’ll certainly want to try to steal as many delegates as he can in Michigan, and the open primary helps him. What hurts him is Michigan’s 59 delegates were reduced to 30 as a penalty for their moving their primary before Super Tuesday.

Number of delegates to the Republican National Convention: 30 (Michigan), 29 (Arizona).

What’s next? Super Tuesday!

Which is? Exactly as it sounds.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

salemst says:

Mitt will be the nominee. Santorum appealing for Democrat votes to help him win Michigan is the end of his campaign. GOP voters will regard this tactic with hostility. Cavorting with the political enemy–Democrats–to win a GOP nomination won’t cut it.

It will be held against him going forward.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

A Jewish Guide to the MI and AZ Primaries

Who’s hot and who’s cold

More on Tablet:

The Kindergarten Teacher Who Won Cannes

By Vladislav Davidzon — Hungarian actor Géza Röhrig stars in Auschwitz drama Son of Saul