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February 28th, 2012
 

Romney Bests Santorum in Michigan; Delegates Split Almost Evenly

Mitt Romney picked up a crucial win for his campaign in his home state of Michigan, besting Rick Santorum. Romney led Santorum 41-38 percent. Romney grew up in Michigan and his father served as governor for two-terms there. A loss would have dealt a severe setback to Romney’s presidential aspirations.

“What a win! This is a big night. Thanks you guys,” Romney told his supporters shortly after his victory was announced. “Just under a week ago, the pundits and the pollsters were ready to count us out.” He later added, “We didn’t win by a lot but we won by enough and that’s all that matters.”

Despite winning the statewide vote, Romney and Santorum pick up almost the same number of delegates. As of late Tuesday night, Romney acquired 14 Michigan delegates and Santorum gained twelve. Four more delegates were yet to be determined. Romney leads Santorum in overall delegates by 70-80, depending on which calculator you view.

Rick Santorum vaulted to an unexpected double-digit lead in the Michigan polls in mid-February. Increased media scrutiny on Santorum’s social stances, as well as attacks from the Romney and Ron Paul campaigns helped cut into Santorum’s lead. By the time Michiganders headed to the polls on Tuesday, Romney held a very narrow lead in the polls.

Interestingly, exit polls showed Romney beating Santorum in the Catholic vote. Santorum is Catholic. His campaign tried to tip the scales in his favor by encouraging Michigan Democrats to crossover and vote against Romney in the Republican primary. In the end, it was not enough and Romney emerged victorious. Ron Paul finished a distant third in Michigan with 11.6%, with Newt Gingrich taking fourth with 6.5%.

Despite the defeat, Rick Santorum put a positive spin on the result. “We came to the backyard of one of my opponents, in a race that everyone said, ‘Well, just ignore it, you have no chance here,’” Santorum told supporters. “Tonight, I want to say I love you back.”

Coupled with his victory in Arizona, Mitt Romney has regained the momentum in the GOP presidential race. Michigan awards 30 delegates on a “hybrid proportional” basis. Nine delegates are allocated proportionally based on statewide totals. The other 21 delegates are awarded based on the winner of each congressional district.

The next event on the GOP calendar is the Washington caucus, which takes place this Saturday. Then, the most crucial day in the primary race is next Tuesday, popularly called “Super Tuesday”. Ten states head to the polls that day. Mitt Romney has a chance to show he is the inevitable GOP nominee with a strong showing next Tuesday.

Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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