Mitt Romney wins crucial victory. Mitt Romney regains his momentum. Mitt Romney regains foothold. Mitt Romney two for two. Santorum scares Romney in his home state. Santorum mourns what might have been in Michigan. Santorum campaign celebrates tie in Michigan. Given how well Romney did in Michigan in 2008, and how well he should have done this week, it’s faint cause for celebration that not losing it Tuesday is viewed as a win. No matter how you spin the Michigan outcome, (even with the preliminary “win” in Wednesday’s Wyoming caucuses) ,the glide path toward the nomination is not to be a smooth one for Mitt Romney.
For a brief moment, Arizona’s winner-take-all primary rules made life a little easier for the former Massachusetts governor, who walked away with the state’s 27 delegates. In Michigan, where delegates are awarded in each congressional district, Romney’s “victory” turned out to be a split with Santorum. Yesterday's caucus "win" in Wyoming isn't the final say on who the delegates will be.
So all eyes are now on next week’s Super Tuesday event, with ten states voting, and several of them far to the right of Romney, and 419 delegates up for grabs. The Washington Post has done a good job of sizing up the battlegrounds. Massachusetts is one of the ten states to go to the polls next week, but its significance pales in comparison to Ohio, which shares many similarities to Michigan in religious and economic concerns. One poll in Ohio puts Santorum 11 points ahead of Romney.
Romney has 165 delegates so far. Next is Santorum with 85; Newt has 32; Ron Paul 19. But a candidate needs 1144 to win the nomination. Seventy-six are up for grabs in Ohio next week. Sixty-six in Newt’s home state of Georgia. (Forty-one in Massachusetts). But with the slates to be divided proportionately to the congressional district votes, don’t look for a knock-out punch. This fight is going 15 rounds, and it’s not yet clear who is going to end up on the ropes….or when.
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