BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — The chairman of the Republican Party in Michigan predicted on Monday that the outcome of his state’s presidential primary Feb. 28th would be “very close” and that the growing talk of a massive crossover vote by Democrats into the GOP contest Tuesday was exaggerated and out of proportion.
In speaking to HUMAN EVENTS at Steve’s Deli here in Bloomfield Hills, State Republican Chairman Bobby Schostak recalled that his last interview with us was at the same establishment back in December. At that time, he predicted to us that the nomination “would not be decided by the time of our primary and we would be relevant” in the choosing a Republican nominee against Barack Obama.
“I would say now we’re relevant,” he told us on Monday.
Schostak, who is neutral in the presidential contest (as state party rules require a chairman to be), would not predict a winner but said that the final results Tuesday would be “very close.” Responding to the mounting reports that state Democrats and union leaders would encourage crossover voting to the GOP primary in their own version of “Operation Chaos” (when Rush Limbaugh called on Republicans in ’08 to cross to Democratic primaries to back a weaker candidate), Schostak said in spite of “[Democratic State Chairman] Mark Brewer’s public statements” that he wasn’t backing such an effort, “there are widespread reports of e-mails from union bosses calling for just that.”
As state and national correspondents report with regularity these days, Michigan has no voter registration by party and a history of reliably Democratic voters participating in Republican primaries and vice-versa.
But the Republican leader also felt that a massive vote that could somehow counter the vote of reliable GOP voters was “exaggerated” because those crossover voters “would have to choose among four Republican candidates” rather than one over the other.
Schostak also predicted that Barack Obama’s taking credit for the recovery in the automobile industry would not hold up among voters in the fall, “because it is the industry itself” and how it is manufacturing its products rather than the bailout that is most responsible for the rebound of the auto industry in the U.S.
(Despite signs of recovery in the auto industry, Michigan’s unemployment last month was 9.3 percent — still above the national figure.)