Presidential Election Update: It’s All About the Delegates

Mitt Romney won the popular vote last night in both the Michigan and Arizona primaries. But while his victory in Arizona’s winner-take-all primary guarantees him all 29 delegates, Michigan’s delegate distribution is not so simple. Kymberly Bays explains:

Michigan hosts an open primary where any registered voter, regardless of party preferences, can participate. The state has a total of 30 delegates. The statewide winner will get two. The remaining 28 Michigan delegates will be chosen 2-by-2 in winner-take-all by individual congressional district contests.

Of the congressional districts that have already been counted, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have received the same amout of delegates, tied at 11.

Michigan_Primary_2012
With 99.9% of Michigan reporting, here are the primary results, by county. Credit: Google Politics & Election Center

On the campaign trail…

Newt Gingrich (Republican): Skipping last night’s Michigan and Arizona primaries, Newt Gingrich focuses on Georgia, his home state. Out of the 10 states that will hold primaries on March 6th, Georgia has the most delegates with 76. Departing from the typical winner-take-all system, for a candidate to win all 76 delegates in Georgia, he or she must win 50% of the statewide vote.

Barack Obama (Democrat): President Obama will have a private lunch today with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders in “the first such session in seven months, aimed at finding ‘common ground’ on an election-year economic agenda.” This lunch comes at a time when both Republicans and Democrats are pushing for lower gas prices, which at $3.72/gallon, are twice the price they were when Obama took office.

Ron Paul (Republican): Receiving almost 10% of the vote in Arizona, and 12% of the vote in Michigan, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is very much still in the GOP race for the nomination. After charges that he has left Romney alone in the last 20 presidential debates, Ron Paul announced today that he will be releasing an ad campaign attacking the remaining three GOP candidates, calling them “three of a kind”.

Buddy Roemer (No Party Preference): After leaving the GOP race for presidency, former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer is running as an independent with Americans Elect. It remains unclear whether his independent candidacy will hurt President Obama or the Republican candidate, but analysts predict that Roemer would pull more votes from the Republican candidate.

Mitt Romney (Republican): In Romney’s speech after his Michigan win, he told Detroit supporters, “we didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough. And that’s all that counts.” With no time to celebrate last night’s victories, Mitt Romney moved his campaign to Ohio where he stressed his economic policy:

“I want to go to work for the American worker. I want to make sure that we see good jobs again, rising incomes again. And I don’t want to pass our burdens on to the next generation with bigger and bigger debt and bigger and bigger government.”

 Rick Santorum (Republican): While Santorum did not win the popular vote in Michigan, he will not leave the state empty-handed. So far, he has racked up 11 delegates from the primary. A new poll conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati places him 11 points above Romney in Ohio, one of the 10 states holding a primary on Super Tuesday next week.