In the Arena

If Mitt Wins…

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Jonathan Cohn has an excellent piece about the strength of Romney’s arguments in Michigan…alhough Romney hasn’t abandoned the demagogic swill that has marked his campaign throughout–in Michigan, specifically, he sucked up to the auto industry by opposing the recent increase in fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards and he jumped all over McCain’s perfectly reasonable–if poorly formulated–statement that a lot of the auto industry jobs aren’t coming back. (A better formulation is the one that Democrats have been using throughout, and that McCain–obviously, at a loss when it comes to economic issues–later embraced: green technologies will revive the auto industry.)

I have no idea what’s going to happen in Michigan today. Once again, the polling is inconclusive and probably inaccurate, since there is no contest on the Democratic side and no one is quite sure what all those Dems and Independents will do. Romney has already begun framing his spin: he’s going to focus on how Republicans voted. His assumption, of course, is that a McCain victory would be built on the strength of D & I support.

One demographic I’ll be very curious about is the Arab-American vote. There is a large Arab community in the Detroit area and McCain places great emphasis on the “transcendent war against radical Islamic extremists” in his stump speech. I’ll have more to say about McCain and foreign policy in my print column this week.