Washington (CNN) – Here's an early glimpse at what Democrats plan to argue once the results come in Tuesday night: no matter what the vote totals show, Mitt Romney is the loser after the Michigan and Arizona primaries.
Democratic officials and surrogates are expected to make the case that Romney's campaign is turning off independent voters nationwide who are must-wins in the general election.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Democratic officials point to a Politico/George Washington University poll that found 51% of independents nationwide now hold a negative view of Mitt Romney. That same poll shows President Barack Obama's favorability rating with independents at 53%. A CNN/ORC poll also shows Romney's negatives rising among independents over the last month, though that's not surprising during a negative primary battle.
Democratic officials argue Romney should handily win Michigan, a state in which he was born and raised. A memo by Brad Woodhouse, communications chair of the Democratic National Committee, released Tuesday argued "Romney should have had Michigan locked up from the very beginning."
Woodhouse wrote, "voters will see that for Mitt Romney - who has vastly outspent his Republican opponents and who keeps running farther to the right and alienating independent, moderate, and working class voters along the way - a win in Michigan and Arizona will come at a significant cost."
He argued that Romney alienated working and middle class voters with his opposition to the auto bailout - though an NBC/Marist poll shows a majority of likely GOP primary voters in Michigan also opposed the bailout.
As for Arizona, Woodhouse accused Romney of "shamelessly attempting to curry favor with Tea Party Republicans" with his embrace of immigration positions that the Democrat calls "divisive." Woodhouse writes, "These extreme positions are going to haunt him should he make it to November."
The memo also took brief aim at Santorum, notably pointing out the Politico/GW poll shows 28% of independents still have no opinion of him. Hint: that's a signal Team Obama and the Democrats believe they have plenty of opportunity to define him for voters before he can define himself.