Michigan Primary

5:18pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Election 2012

'Real Jump Ball' In Romney's Native State Of Michigan

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves to supporters Tuesday during a primary night gathering at the Suburban Collections Showplace in Novi, Mich.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Mitt Romney won both states that held primaries on Tuesday. But his margin in his home state of Michigan appears narrow enough to keep the GOP nominating contest lively for some time to come.

NPR projected wins for the former Massachusetts governor in both Arizona, where he won comfortably, and in Michigan, where he led Rick Santorum, 41 to 38 percent, with 99 percent of precincts counted.

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4:30pm

Tue February 28, 2012
NPR Story

Picking A Winner In Michigan's Primary: Not As Simple As You Might Think

In a race that's as close and contentious as Michigan's Republican primary has shaped up to be, one would hope that after the dust settles at the end of election day, a winner will have emerged and we can all start speculating about the next group of states set to vote on Super Tuesday (even if Michigan has secretly been enjoying all the extra media attention).

But as MPRN's Rick Pluta told Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark earlier today, it's not quite that simple.

According to Pluta, "winning"  in Michigan really depends on whether you're talking about taking the popular vote  or the delegate count.

With the way the State's primary is set up, the two don't necessarily have to be won by the same candidate.

Pluta explains that Michigan's 30 delegates will be apportioned as follows:

  • 2 delegates will be awarded for the candidate who wins the popular vote
  • 2 delegates for each of the 14 congressional districts in Michigan, 28 delegates  in total.

So say, for example, that Mitt Romney, who has focused a lot on the relatively populous southeast part of the state, wins the popular vote.

He'll pick up 2 delegates for the popular vote and delegates for the districts he won.

But Rick Santorum, who has been courting conservatives outside of southeast Michigan, could pick up more delegates by winning in more districts.

It could mirror the 2000 election results where one candidate wins the popular vote, but the other picks up more delegates.

This is just one possibility - one exciting possibility, especially for political junkies.

According to Pluta, a lot of permutations are conceivable  including a full on tie with delegates evenly split. (For you hard-core political junkies, Nate Silver at the New York Times has a detailed breakdown of likely outcomes broken down by district)

With all this possible ambiguity, how is a winner decided? Are delegates or total votes more important?

Depending on who takes what, the candidates will no doubt try to spin the results in their favor, but Pluta says that at this point, just a week before Super Tuesday when roughly a third of all delegates are set to be awarded in a ten-state contest, perceived momentum from the popular vote could likely trump the relatively small number of delegates available in Michigan.

That is, of course, unless things drag on all the way to a brokered convention in which case every delegate could be crucial.

Either way, after today Michigan can sit back and watch the horse race continue.

- John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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10:25am

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

At UAW Conference Obama Defends Auto Bailout

President Barack Obama alongside UAW President Bob King prior to his speech at the United Auto Workers conference in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

In a speech to a convention of United Auto Workers, President Obama vigorously defended his administration's bailout of the auto industry.

Without naming his Republican opponents, a combative President Obama took shots at their opposition to the bailout.

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8:31am

Tue February 28, 2012
It's All Politics

A 'New Low'? Romney Has Admitted Voting In Other Party's Primary

Following a visit to his Michigan campaign headquarters on Feb. 28, Mitt Romney told reporters that Republican voters should choose the party's nominee.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In a final burst of campaigning in Michigan Tuesday, embattled GOP front-runner Mitt Romney complained that rival Rick Santorum was making automated phone calls to Democrats and urging them to vote against Romney in the Republican race. (Although only declared Republicans can vote in the party primary, voters can change their affiliation to cast a ballot.)

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7:57am

Tue February 28, 2012
It's All Politics

As Michigan Heads To Polls, Romney Buoyed By Santorum Stumbles

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 9:14 am

In a final bit of campaigning before Tuesday's vote, Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, wave to his supporters during a campaign stop in Royal Oak, Mich., on Monday night.
Rebecca Cook Reuters /Landov

Less than a month ago, it seemed inconceivable that Mitt Romney would have to fight for his political life in his home state of Michigan.

But fast-moving economic changes, the candidate's verbal stumbles and event venue blunders, and the ascent of flamethrower social conservative Rick Santorum have left Romney sweating to eke out a win Tuesday in Michigan's Republican presidential primary, where the latest polls show a tight race.

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