Last May, unions, in the person of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka warned Democrats that union members might no longer be Democrats' foot soldiers. Republicans promptly drove them back to the fold by attempting to destroy public worker unions.
It seemed curious at first that Mitt Romney decided that the best way to get votes in Michigan was to bash unions. But considering the Republican Governors and legislatures who made a business over the past 18 months of trying to utterly destroy public employees' unions, it makes more sense. Romney evidently decided his shot at getting any union votes had been pretty much sabotaged by his own party before he ever got there. He's not even likely to get the 25% or so he could have expected just because that's the typical Republican take from union members.
A week from the election on the 28th, and the polls show the two top candidates, Romney and Santorum drawing closer together in both Michigan and Arizona. Santorum is ahead by four points in Michigan, and Romney is about the same amount ahead in Arizona. But they aren't really campaigning, they're advertising on TV. Romney claims he has the ability to outspend Santorum forty to one, so he's just lobbing TV and radio commercials like hand grenades. They do not tout his ability... they simply attack Santorum relentlessly.
Santorum is spending what he has, and the ads are the same in form and style, but there aren't enough of them. He has to spend time with people in Michigan when he'd rather be campaigning in Ohio where Mitt has no history. Instead of bashing unions, Santorum ignores them and concentrates on arcane religious metaphors.
Both candidates need the delegates, but they're not fighting for the hearts and minds of Michiganders... because the primary is it. Michigan has elected a Republican Governor and legislature... again. And again they've done what they said they would; they've attacked state employees' unions, taxed the elderly, the poor and children, and handed that money to businesses and wealthy investors. Michigan will not vote for a Republican for President this year.
As Rochelle Riley, columnist for the Detroit Free Press said in her Friday column: "...at the end of the day, one was a governor's son who became a governor and got a governor's endorsement. The other: He was anybody but Romney."