Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney secured two primary wins on Tuesday night. In Arizona, a state Romney was expected to win and where his opponents did not spend valuable campaign time in, he received 43 percent of the GOP primary vote and all 29 delegates in the winner take all state. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was a distant second with 28 percent. Both former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, followed respectively with 16.2 percent and 8.4 percent.
Michigan was the state to watch, however. Gov. Romney defeated Sen. Santorum by a slim three percent margin (41 percent to 38 percent). It is Mr. Romney’s first home state before he moved to Massachusetts later in his life. Senator Santorum campaigned hard for not only conservative voters but also Democrats who could vote in the open primaries. Rep. Ron Paul received 12 percent and Speaker Gingrich, who is squarely focusing his efforts on the Super Tuesday March 6 Republican primary races, received 6. percent.
While there was talk that President Obama supporting union members could organize to vote for Santorum just to embarrass Mr. Romney, such a plan appears to have not come together.
And although Mr. Romney will win 21 delegates from the Michigan contest, and more specifically the congressional district results within Michigan, only 14 Michigan delegates will be allowed to vote at the GOP convention in Tampa because the state party broke Republican National Committee rules when it moved its primary date before the Super Tuesday contests on March 6. Senator Santorum won 18 delegates from the Michigan congressional districts, but only 12 of these delegates can vote at the GOP convention.
The Romney campaign has cleared it’s biggest hurdle, which was getting their candidate past a neck and neck primary that was in the candidate’s home state that his father once governed. Although Santorum and Gingrich are counting on southeastern states to help them regain boosts in their respective camps, the main danger is that primary season fatigue could very well be taking it’s toll and if that’s the case, Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich could be in trouble come March 6.