Exit polls in Michigan indicate that a majority of voters rank the economy as the most important issue facing the country right now. It is no secret the Michigan economy has been suffering for a long time. Mitt Romney successfully recognized voters concerns and appealed directly to their fears in the days leading up to Michigan’s primary, while Senator McCain offered assistance to Michigan; it was more of a long-term plan than the immediate relief proposed by Mr. Romney.

Rudolph Giuliani’s plan is to wait until the end of January to enter the Republican primaries, and it seems to be on track. I thought initially this was a mistake. The Republicans have had three contests and a different candidate has won each time. Giuliani hoped this scenario would play out so he could sit out until the Florida primary on January 29. There are two more contests before Florida; caucuses in Nevada and a primary election in South Carolina, both on the 19th. Senator McCain is leading in South Carolina by a wide margin in recent polling.

The Democrats also caucus in Nevada on the 19th but their primary election in South Carolina is on the 26th. Senator Obama is leading by a comfortable margin in recent polling in the state.

The Democrats debated last night in Las Vegas. Discussion centered on diversity and gender. The candidates generally agreed to tone the potentially volatile issues down a bit. It appeared over the previous couple of days that these issues could wedge antagonism among the candidates. To date, they have all exhibited comradery behavior.

It seemed to me that voter interest in Michigan wasn’t an intense as it was in Iowa or in New Hampshire. Hopefully, voters will again be energized in the Nevada caucuses and in South Carolina’s primary.