The Ticket

What to watch for this weekend in politics

The Ticket

Mitt Romney faces another pivotal moment in his fight to secure his frontrunner status when he speaks to the Detroit Economic Club at 12:15 p.m. EST Friday. The speech gives him an opportunity to focus on his comfort zone — tax policy, cutting spending and adjusting entitlement programs — rather than on social issues. It also is an opportunity to counter Rick Santorum's strong showing in Michigan, a state that not too long ago was thought to be safe for Romney.

One other thing to watch: How will the seats and stage at Ford Field be arranged so that it doesn't look like Romney is speaking to an empty arena?

The Detroit speech is only the beginning of Romney's weekend of campaigning. He has a town hall in Kalamazoo at 7:10 a.m. EST, and more stops planned on Saturday and Sunday.

Romney won't be alone in Michigan. Santorum will be in Walled Lake at 6:30 p.m. EST Friday and in Lincoln Park at 8 p.m. EST. And, except for a swing down to Tennessee, he'll be in Michigan on Saturday.

Newt Gingrich will be pursuing his strategy to skip next Tuesday's primaries in Arizona and Michigan and focus on the contests to come. He has four stops planned in Washington state Friday; he'll be in California Saturday; and he'll be back home campaigning in Georgia on Sunday.

Ron Paul had no Friday campaign stops listed on his campaign web site, but he'll be on the stump in Michigan on Saturday with three events and on Sunday with one event.

And then there is this: Remember "Joe the Plumber," aka Joe Wurzelbacher. He's running for Congress in the 9th Congressional District in Ohio, and Herman Cain will be helping him out on Friday.

Sources: Yahoo! News, Associated Press

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