*** Bumped to the top. Scroll for updates. ***
Here is the polling data for MI, which has McCain and Romney neck and neck.
Will Romney win his “home state,” as many are saying he needs to in order to have a chance at the nomination? Perhaps McCain’s “surge” will continue? Or will Huckabee steal the day? Keep in mind also that the Republican party punished Michigan by taking away half of their delegates as a result of them moving up their primary.
Also, how much effect, if any, will Dem saboteurs have on this primary?
Make yer predictions here, mateys!
Update 1 – 4:06 PM: Scott at Election Projection weighs in with his predictions here. I think Romney will win in a squeaker.
Update 2 – 6:38: The Associated Press is reporting on exit polls:
On Tuesday there were both Democratic and Republican primaries and though ballot maneuvering left the Democratic side in essence non-competitive, apparently it kept some Democrats from migrating to the Republican contest — where they made up fewer than one in 10 voters. In 2000, Republicans made up only 48 percent of the GOP primary electorate; Tuesday they were two-thirds of it. A quarter of Republican primary voters Tuesday called themselves independent, down from 35 percent eight years ago.
In all, the exit poll indicated seven in 10 voters Tuesday opted to vote in the Republican primary. Among those who did vote on the Democratic side, more than three in four called themselves Democrats.
IT’S THE ECONOMY … AT LEAST IN MICHIGAN
Given four choices, half of Michigan Republican primary voters picked the economy as the most important issue facing the nation — compared to just 26 percent in the Iowa GOP caucuses and 31 percent in the New Hampshire Republican primary. Its auto industry ailing, Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Among the other choices, one in five picked Iraq, one in seven said immigration and one in 10 called terrorism the country’s most important issue.
On a different question, only three in 10 Michigan GOP voters rated the nation’s economy excellent or good, compared to half of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.
ON OTHER ISSUES …
Among Michigan Republican primary voters:
_ six in 10 say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases
_ a similar number approve of the war in Iraq
_ a little more than half say it should be higher priority for the next president to reduce the budget deficit rather than cut taxes
Drudge is reporting: EXIT POLLS SHOW: Romney 34, McCain 29, Huckabee 16…
Polls close at 8 pm ET.
Charlotte’s next door neighbors at the Gaston Gazette will have live results. I don’t know if that one will auto-refresh, tho. I’ll keep searching for other live results sites.
Update 3 – 6:49 PM: Politico will have the results up as they happen later …. no direct link to the results page just yet.
Update 4 – 7:41: The Boston Globe also reports that early exit polls are looking good for Romney, and bad for McCain, as it looks like Independents didn’t turn out for this year’s Republican primary like they did in 2000.
Here’s Fox News’ Meghan Kelly on the exit polls.
Update 5 – 8:06: The polls are now closed in MI. If the results are anything like the exit poll predictions, it’ll be an early night for us all. Here’s another site that will have results, and it auto-refreshes. There’s still no direct link to Politico’s primary results page.
Update 6 – 8:10: The results are starting to come in, and the Gaston Gazette has ’em. Keep refreshing that page for updates.
Update 7 – 9:05: With 10% reporting, CNN is calling it already for Romney.
Update 8 – 10:14: Here’s an interesting tidbit of info: Romney edged out Huckabee on evangelicals 32% to 31%.