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There’s increasing talk within Republican circles about a possible “savior” contender if Mitt Romney doesn't manage to shake off the doubts that have followed him around since he first joined the race. Reuters writes about the possibility of a “brokered convention” that would involve Republicans leaving their current crop of candidates and picking someone they feel has a better shot at winning the election against President Obama. Yet, Politico’s Mike Allen points out that it would be a “contested convention” because “brokered” “implies that someone is in charge.”
Semantics aside, everyone seems to agree that the key to this story is Michigan. If for some reason Romney doesn’t manage to win the Michigan primary on Feb. 28 then talk is bound to get louder about the need for a new candidate to enter the race. To be clear, most believe that won’t happen. “Most reporters still think Romney ‘will find a way to win Michigan,’” writes Allen. But that isn’t stopping “some of the nation’s most powerful Republicans [from] poring over filing deadlines and pondering worst-case scenarios.”
“It's hard for me to see how Romney rights the ship if he loses Michigan,” Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak tells Reuters. “There is no level of spin that can overcome that disaster.”
Who could be the “Hail Mary candidate?” Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s name is a favorite. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and New Jersey’s Chris Christie might also have a shot and could be persuaded to jump into the race.
Romney, of course, wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports the former governor, has bought around $7.7 million in TV ad time, notes Reuters. Considering the Super PAC has been fond of attacking all those who have threatened Romney’s position as the front-runner, it seems likely that Rick Santorum will face a barrage of negative advertising in the run-up to the crucial Michigan vote and Super Tuesday.
That might not help convince the party that he’s the right man for the job though, notes the Washington Post. “To be elected president, you have to do more than tear down your opponents,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who switched his support from Romney to Santorum on Friday.