GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won the primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday night, edging out rival Rick Santorum in his home state and giving his campaign a major boost.
Romney’s Arizona triumph came in a race that was scarcely contested, and he pocketed all 29 of the state’s Republican National Convention delegates at stake, The Associated Press reported.
In Michigan, the state where Romney was born and raised and where his father served as governor, the on-again, off-again front-runner had to wage a tougher-than-expected campaign to avoid an embarrassing loss to Santorum, NBC News reported.
NBC News, CNN and The Associated Press projected Romney as the Michigan winner.
Returns from 71 percent of Michigan’s precincts showed Romney at 41 percent and Santorum at 37 percent. Paul was winning 12 percent of the vote to 7 percent for Gingrich, AP reported.
“We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough and that’s all that counts,” the Washington Post reported Romney telling supporters in Michigan following the win.
Santorum cast the close outcome in Michigan as a sign of success, noting that it came in Romney’s “backyard,” the Washington Post reported.
“A month ago, they didn’t know who we are, but they do now,” he told supporters in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The two other GOP candidates, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, made little effort in either state, looking ahead instead to next week’s 10-state collection of Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, the AP reported.
Speaking from Virginia, where he hopes to do well next Tuesday, Paul told supporters that his campaign was “still winning a lot of delegates and that’s what counts,” the New York Times reported.
Gingrich delivered somewhat of a rambling lecture and concession speech in Georgia long before polls closed in either state, telling several stories about his past in Georgia before turning to energy policy, according to the New York Times.