Rick Santorum Asks Michigan Dems to Vote in Republican Primary

Rick Santorum is asking Michigan Democrats to cross party lines and vote for him.

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Rick Santorum is asking for help in Michigan's presidential primary Tuesday from a very unlikely group–Democrats. The Associated Press reports that the former Pennsylvania senator targeted Michigan Democrats Monday in a series of automated phone calls encouraging them to help him take down Mitt Romney in Tuesday's contest.

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"Romney supported the bailouts for his Wall Street billionaire buddies but opposed the auto bailouts. That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker and we're not going to let Romney get away with it," the robocall told voters. "On Tuesday, join Democrats who are going to send a loud message to Massachusetts Mitt Romney by voting for Rick Santorum for president."

According to Michigan Republican party rules, only Republican voters are allowed to vote in the primary. However, voters are allowed to switch parties on the spot at polling places, so registered Democrats could cast votes Tuesday that will help determine the Republican winner.

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Romney, a Michigan native, is upset with Santorum's latest tactic. He called the robocall "a terrible, dirty trick" on Fox News Tuesday, and accused Santorum of teaming up with "Barack Obama's people."

Some Democrats think that Rick Santorum is unelectable, and a win for him in Michigan would help Obama by demoralizing Romney, who is perceived to be a more serious contender.

Reuters reports that Joe DiSano, a Michigan Democratic strategist, has been rallying support for Santorum in Michigan. "I think Santorum is completely radioactive and will bring an electoral disaster to the Republicans–he could deliver Obama a landslide," he said.

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Plans to get Democratic voters involved in the Michigan primary have been active on the Internet for the past two weeks. The liberal blog DailyKos launched what they call "Operation Hilarity" on Feb. 15, with the purpose of getting Democratic voters involved in order to secure wins for Santorum in Michigan and in primaries and caucuses in North Dakota, Vermont and Tennessee, which will take place on "Super Tuesday," March 6.

When polls in Michigan were first released, Santorum had a large lead over Romney. At one point, Public Policy Polling had Santorum with a 15 point lead over Romney. But, in recent days, the two have been virtually tied in polls, and many expect the results in Michigan to be extremely close.