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All eyes on Michigan; Update: Romney, Clinton win; Update No Kos effect; Update: Evangelicals for Mitt; Update: Romney/McCain speech spat

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 15, 2008 06:29 PM

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Update 10:52pm Eastern. There’s some hoo-hah over the timing of Mitt’s victory speech and McCain’s concession speech. Make of it what you will. Yawn.

Update 10:35pm Eastern. Evangelicals vote for…Romney.

Update: 10:09pm Eastern: There was no Kos effect.

Update 9:51pm Eastern. Romney proclaims “a victory of optimism.”

Update 8:59pm Eastern. Networks preparing to call the race. Kind of anti-climactic. But stand by…okay…there we go…Romney wins…Clinton triumphs over “Uncommitted.”

I’m switching over to the Dem debate

Update 8:54pm Eastern. The Detroit Free Press is filing blog reports from polling places here.

Update 8:48pm Eastern. Bill Kristol on Fox quotes Dean Barnett: “Bounces are so 2004.” Fred Barnes points out that whether Mitt wins in Michigan or not, he’s still probably going to come in third or fourth in South Carolina.

Update 8:22pm Eastern. Commenter Old Tanker in Michigan writes:

Well, I just walked in the door having gotten back from the polls. I would have loved to vote for Duncan or Fred but Mitt is the guy with the momentum here in Michigan and frankly, if he wins, I believe he would make a great President. Hell, they’re all head and shoulders above McCain. It wasn’t about holding my nose thankfully.

On a side note, voter turnout was terrible in my precinct. I voted at 7:30 tonight and was number 150….150!!!!

More on the Dem in-fighting here.

Update 8:13pm Eastern. Commenter Peejz in Michigan notes left-wing anger at Democrat Gov.–and Hillary Clinton endorser–Jennifer Granholm.

Update 8:05pm Eastern. Megyn Kelly on Fox News reports that exit polls show 69 percent of black voters casting ballots for “Uncommitted” over Hillary. More exit poll data at the Boston Globe.

Update 7:35pm Eastern. Questions for you:

If, as seems likely, Mitt comes through with a victory tonight, will he have the Kossacks to thank? Check out two dKos posts here and here anticipating a Mitt victory based on the election mischief called for by the Moonbat King.

Who will snag the women vote on the Dem side: “Uncommitted” or Clinton? The black vote?

Which poor election official will Ron Paul supporters target?

***
The polls in Michigan close at 8pm Eastern. I’m starting a new thread as we await the results. Jim Geraghty reports: “I’m surprised no one else has put this up yet. I’m hearing the first round of exit polls have Romney 35, McCain 29, Huckabee 15, Ron Paul 10, Giuliani 4. This doesn’t count absentee ballots. If this holds, the networks will be able to announce shortly after 9 p.m. eastern time…”

As noted earlier, turnout was light. The Detroit Free Press:

Around metro Detroit and across the state, turnout has been so low for the presidential primary that some clerks predict the majority of votes will come from absentee ballots.

Clerks say snowy weather and a non-race on the Democratic side have kept numbers down.

In Detroit, about 20,000 people had voted at polling places around the city by mid-afternoon. An additional 23,000 absentee ballots were cast by Election Day, said city Elections Director Daniel Baxter.

That represents less than 10% of the voters in the city, he said. “With the snow and in January, it’s still really dark out at 7 a.m., so maybe we’ll get 15 to 20%.”
Voters weren’t complaining about not being able to write in their favorite Democratic candidate because two of the front-runners — Barack Obama and John Edwards — withdrew their names from the ballot.

But several were upset about having to ask for a political party-specific ballot, which would identify if they had voted Republican or Democratic. “Some voters thought that was unconstitutional,” Baxter said. “And they ended up voting under protest.”

It’s always something. The days of relatively whine-free elections are over.

Stay tuned.

***

Huge grain-of-salt warning: Early exit polls show Romney ahead.

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