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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Romney Wins AZ Primary Big And Squeaks By With Home State Win In MI By 3%

By Susan Duclos

Mitt Romney was declared the winner Arizona immediately after the polls closed, no big surprise since he was leading in the polls consistently in the weeks leading up to the contest. With 82 percent reporting Romney has a 47-to-27 margin win.

All eyes were turned to Michigan which Romney was expected to win handily since it was his home state and his father was a popular governor for most of the 1960's, but polling leading up to it showed Santorum momentum and lead, then Romney took a small lead this past week and as of the night before the primaries, Santorum started getting momentum again but it was too little too late and Santorum was outspent in campaign ads by 2-to1 resulting in a win that is described by MSNBC as "ugly.".

CNN shows that with 95 percent reporting Romney won with a 3 percent, 41 to 38 percent.

As with Romney's Florida win, where he took the state but won less counties than Newt Gingrich did, the same happened in Michigan with Rick Santorum winning more counties than Romney, but Romney took the larger metro areas as the map below shows.

Romney cannot seem to close the deal with conservative voters and while he is the front runner and is positioned well, Super Tuesday is around the corner (March 6, 2012) and 10 states hold their primaries/caucuses, many of which are larger and have not been penalized with a loss of delegates for moving the date of their contests forward against RNC rules.

To obtain the Republican nomination a candidate must hit the magic number of 1,144 delegates, and after Super Tuesday's contests, conservative voters and pundits will be better positioned to know if that magic numbers can be reached by Mitt Romney.

As of now, according to Real Clear Politics, Romney has 142, Santorum 59, Gingrich 32 and Paul 20.

Examples: Santorum leads in the polls for Ohio and Ohio has 66 delegates. Gingrich has a massive lead in Georgia polls (his home state) and Georgia has 76 delegates. Romney is ahead in polling in Massachusetts, where he was Governor, but that state only has 41 delegates.

Before Super Tuesday is one last contest, in Washington on March 3, 2012, where Rick Santorum holds a double digit lead over Mitt Romney.

In the end it is all going to come down to delegates and if any GOP candidate in this race can obtain the 1,144 by the end of the primary/caucus schedule.

Barring any candidate dropping out before Super Tuesday, which looks highly unlikely, the delegate strategy both Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich have been implementing may keep any of the GOP candidates from hitting the 1,144 mark by June, which holds the last contest.

Which increases the odds of a brokered convention.