Mitt Romney is so weak, Rick Santorum may actually win Michigan tonight. (Jim Young/Reuters)
Based on media reports from MSNBC and Fox News, the early exit polls show an electorate that is 10 percent Democratic (compared to 7 percent in 2008). Of those, 50 percent have voted for Rick Santorum, while 15 percent have voted for Romney. That means that if those results were to hold up, pro-Santorum Democrats would give Santorum a 3.5 percent boost
Not every one of those Democrats will have voted for Santorum to mess with things. Some of them legitimately like him! But if this thing ends up within a couple of points, it'll be because of people like this:
If Mitt Romney loses Michigan tonight, it could be because of people like Dennis Budziszewski, 63, of Canton.
A diehard Democrat and retired autoworker, Budziszewski REALLY doesn’t like Romney, and instead cast a ballot for former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Come November, he will vote for President Barack Obama.
But today, he just wants to embarrass Romney.
“I’ve been pushing this on Facebook for days,” he said. “There’s a very real possibility we can pull this off.”
TPM talks to a few more
Ultimately, it all depends on how close the final results end up. But it's clear that the combined anti-Romney air barrage from the Obama campaign, its Super PAC, and MoveOn kept Romney from running away with Michigan, and made it close enough that crossover voting—prodded by the Michigan Democratic Party, Michael Moore, various local unions, and us—might deliver Santorum the victory.
Whether it happens, we'll know in a few hours, assuming Michigan is more competent in vote counting than Nevada or Maine. But if nothing else, Mitt Romney had to blow a day whining about those mean Democrats who cast ballots in a primary his own allies fought to keep open. For a party that loves strength and confidence, whining is death.