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Michigan Primary

  • The combination of Michigan's delegate allocation rule and Arizona's rule-violating winner-take-all contest could mean that Mitt Romney's twin victories provide him little ultimate benefit — and highlight again the dual-track GOP primary campaign.
  • As the GOP primary race moves into March, we look at the candidates' prospects in the 10 Super Tuesday states, where a trove of 413 delegates are up for grabs. Already Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are battling over Ohio, with its 43 delegates and Midwest bragging rights.
  • The entire political industry had been poised for weeks for a Rick Santorum breakthrough in Michigan, not quite believing it could happen but believing the polls that said it could.
  • Rick Santorum gave a speech to his supporters at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids. He said his campaign put up a good fight in his opponent's backyard. "The people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates in Michigan, and all I have to say is I love them back," said Santorum. NPR's Don Gonyea characterized the speech as a concession speech even though he didn't formally congratulate his opponent in the speech. Santorum could pick up Michigan delegates depending on how votes in Michigan's 14 congressional districts shake out. Santorum spent part of the speech talking about energy and how President Obama is keeping a lid on traditional energy exploration in the U.S. to the detriment of the economy. We'll have more later from MPRN's Rick Pluta.
  • Vote tallies are starting to come in for Michigan’s Republican primary election. Early results show Rick Santorum with a slimlead over his rival Mitt Romney. But Romney’s supporters in southeast Michigan say they’re optimistic and feeling good about the Michigan-native’s odds. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is heading up Romney’s campaign efforts in the state. Schuette says he is disgusted that Santorum encouraged Democrats to vote in the GOP primary against Romney. “I think that’s stupid, and I think most people view that as cynicism or hypocrisy in its worst form. I don’t get too stressed by it. What it really does show is there’s something in the air of desperation from the other side,” said Schuette. But Schuette says he thinks Romney will walk away with a win in Michigan tonight.
  • Mitt Romney has won Arizona and, in a close race, his home state of Michigan. But the narrow win there over Rick Santorum may do little to help Romney's chances in upcoming primary states where his poll numbers have already been weak.
  • 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(*Note: Michigan currently has 15 congressional districts but the state is losing a district this year because of the state's population decline in the 2010 Census). 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
  • Mitt Romney complained that Rick Santorum was encouraging Democrats to influence the outcome of the GOP primary. But he has acknowledged doing that himself in Massachusetts.
  • Mitt Romney's inability to capitalize on the advantages of a state where his father served as governor and headed an auto company marks the latest, but perhaps most embarrassing, turning point in his tumultuous quest to secure the GOP nomination.