LANSING — Detroit-born Mitt Romney overcame negative vibes from past comments about his desire to let the city's auto industry go bankrupt to win the Republican primary Tuesday in his native state, beating out former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum by a total of 41% to 38%. He will now set his sights on ‘Super Tuesday’ and Saturday’s Washington state caucus.
Romney (2nd from left) during Michigan’s primary election night victory speech.
PHOTO: Natasha Dado/TAAN
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, also won Arizona by a large margin over Santorum, giving his campaign serious momentum heading into next week as he continues to work toward securing his party's nomination.
Romney ended up with 16 delegates from Michigan to 14 for Santorum after a post-primary review, as Romney won a total of seven districts compared with six for Santorum. All but two of Michigan's delegates were awarded based on who won each congressional district. Santorum fell short but seemed satisfied with his performance in his post-primary speech.
"I came into the backyard of one of my opponents,” he said, “and the people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates...All I have to say is, 'I love you back.' "
He also called it a “victory” considering that he battled Romney in his home state.
Santorum fared best with Democrats in the states after making efforts to appeal to that bloc of voters heading into the Tuesday. Some analysts speculated that the controversial move could ultimately hurt his standing long-term within the Republican Party.
Paul ended up winning a majority vote in Detroit, however, as well as in Highland Park and Inkster, but did not manage to win a county.
Reports show that turnout figures were low in Michigan this time around with just 16% of registered voters participating in the election according to the Secretary of State’s office, or about 1.2 million out of 7.3 million.
In Arizona, Romney took home all 29 delegates as part of the complicated process, counting towards his overall total as nomination time draws near.
Romney has 163 delegates now compared to 83 for Santorum, with Newt Gingrich at 32 and Paul at 19. Paul's campaign contended before the vote that the Texas Congressman is actually in 2nd place in the unofficial counts which are based on straw polls.
Talk of a surprise entrant into the Republican Party's search for a candidate will now likely quiet down for the time being heading into Saturday's Washington state caucus, which will be followed up by a 10-state slate next Tuesday.
A total of 437 delegates will be up for grabs. Key ‘Super Tuesday’ states include Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia.
For a candidate to ultimately win the Republican nomination, they must obtain a total of 1,144 delegates throughout the caucus and primary campaign.