As the next big GOP primary approaches, a major chunk of the electorate has already weighed in.
The Michigan primary isn't until Feb. 28, but more than 100,000 Republicans have already cast their votes.
As of Friday, 105,500 voters had requested and returned GOP primary ballots, according to Mark Grebner, a consultant and Democratic elected official based in East Lansing. Grebner, a voter contact expert, estimated that the number is likely tens of thousands higher today.
That represents a substantial chunk of the likely electorate. In 2008, about 870,000 voted in the Michigan Republican primary, which Mitt Romney won with 39 percent of the vote.
Another 105,000 Republican ballots had been requested but not returned, Grebner said. But none of the GOP candidates appears to have a program aimed at contacting those extremely likely and potentially undecided primary voters, he noted.
Rick Santorum is making a play for the state where Romney was born and was once thought to be a heavy favorite. Recent polls show Santorum in the lead, and a win or near-win there could be a powerful blow to Romney.
Image credit: Reuters
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Molly Ball is Time magazine’s national political correspondent and a former staff writer at The Atlantic.