Maximizing Michigan expectations

An also-ran in Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney was not afraid to predict he would win the January 15 primary in Michigan, which is a home state of sorts for him.

An also-ran in Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney was not afraid to predict he would win the January 15 primary in Michigan, which is a home state of sorts for him. Anyway, he had little to lose by a show of confidence, because media coverage after the fact was sure to portray the win as dodging the proverbial bullet, and a loss as the beginning of the end. Good thing for him he won. Reports are indeed portraying the win as breathing new life into what was supposedly a dying campaign bid.

Whether he has any momentum in upcoming states is unclear. Now the focus is on South Carolina, where experts are pondering the influence of religious voters in the Republican race, and black voters in the Democratic race.

The US media is not the only media following the primary races in Michigan and elsewhere, by the way. People in countries around the world are taking an interest in the candidates, reports The Washington Post, including a taxi driver in Kenya who got up at 3 a.m. to watch hours of coverage on the Iowa victory of Barack Obama, whose father was Kenyan. Among the overseas outlets following the race, The Daily Telegraph is wondering which candidate would be best for Britain. Israel's Haaretz notes that in Michigan, the state's sizeable Jewish population is balanced by a large Arab community. And Le Figaro has a multiple-choice quiz for readers to test their knowledge of the candidates, including which one is married to a 29-year-old with a pierced tongue (answer: Kucinich).

Elsewhere on the trail …

Huckabee viewed more as eventual VP candidate than top-of-the-ticket.

Kucinich loses bid to participate in Nevada debate, which was probably better without him anyway, both in substance, and for the Democratic Party's image.

Edwards ads try to contrast candidate with Obama, Clinton positions.

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