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Mitt Romney won the day on Tuesday (following Santorum’s surprise February hat trick) with a pair of much-needed wins against his Republican primary opponents.
Or did he?
In Arizona, at least, Romney carried the day, collecting all 35 delegates in the state’s winner-take-all contest. But in Michigan — the candidate’s home state, where his father once governed and held an executive position at local job provider AMC — the win was murkier. There, Romney prevailed by a slim 3 percent margin, despite a significant money and ground advantage. And aside from the theoretical effect of his win-mentum, the fact is that the pair will mostly split the state’s delegate votes.
So where does that leave us — and them? Pundits are mixed on whether the lack of a delegate majority will force a brokered convention, but next week’s Super Tuesday may clear that up. In the meantime, we present some pertinent stats below to help inform your opinions.
Election by the numbers
Romney won an estimated 46 delegates on Tuesday to Santorum’s estimated 13. (The Santorum camp claims 15, but the final count will take a little while to sort out.)
Due to GOP?sanctions related to Michigan’s state party moving its primary to before Super Tuesday, however, only 14 of Romney’s estimated 21 Michigan delegates will be able to vote. Likewise for
Santorum:?Only 12 of his MI?delegates can vote at the national convention.
Romney handily carried Michigan voters earning $100,000 or more annually — taking this influential demographic by a 14-point margin. On the other hand, Romney lost out among voters making less than $100,000 and those who have not attended college.
In order to win the nomination, a candidate will have to secure 1,144 delegate votes by the August convention in Tampa — a majority of the total 2,286 delegates. Fox News estimates candidates’ current delegate shares as follows: Romney 209, Santorum 96, Newt Gingrich 32 and Ron Paul 19.
3 to 1
Democratic voters pulled the lever for Santorum in Michigan by a 3-to-1 margin. Whether that was due to the Santorum camp’s controversial robocalls — in which they called Democrats, encouraging them to come out and vote against Romney and, of course, for Santorum — remains unclear. Nearly 10 percent of voters in the open primary identified as Democrat, according to exit polls.
On Super Tuesday — next Tuesday, March 6, 2012 — voters in 10 states will hand out 419 delegates to the Republican candidates, representing more than a third needed by any one candidate to secure the party’s nomination.?Georgia alone will award 76, which Newt Gingrich — of the perpetual comeback and fall-back-down continuum — hopes to claim, having served as the state’s Congressman for 20 years.
Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik