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February 28, 2012 Michigan Presidential Primary
revised July 9, 2012
Reactions: Romney | Santorum, (2) || Michigan Democratic Party
Michigan was long seen as a sure win for Mitt Romney. It was his home state, and in the months leading up to the primary his campaign amassed a multitude of endorsements. Then Rick Santorum received a boost from wins on February 7 and suddenly Michigan was seen as in play. An email from Freedom's Defense Fund, a group supporting Santorum, noted that, "Mitt Romney is vulnerable - and if he loses his home state of Michigan on Tuesday, he might be toast." In addition to competition from Santorum, Romney faced a steady barrage from labor and progressive groups (1, 2, 3, 4) riled up by his "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" position, which he set out in a Nov. 2008 op-ed in The New York Times (>). There was also an effort by progressives, Operation Hilarity, to encourage Democrats to vote for Rick Santorum in order to stretch out the Republican nominating contest; it is not clear what impact that had. In any event when the votes were tallied Romney managed a win; as he stated in his primary night remarks, “We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough and that’s all that counts.”
By comparison, 869,169 Michiganders participated in the Jan. 15, 2008 Michigan Republican presidential primary. Mitt Romney obtained 338,316 votes (38.92%), John McCain 257,985 (29.68%), Mike Huckabee 139,764 (16.08%), and Ron Paul 54,475 (6.27%).
Romney carried 30 counties to 53 for Santorum. Key to his success was Oakland County, which accounted for about 15% of total votes cast (179,688) and which he carried by 74,659 votes (41.55%) to 42,988 votes (23.92%) for Santorum.
Romney: Alcone, Antrim, Bay, Calhoun, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Eaton, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Huron (by 3 votes), Ingham, Iosco, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Leelanau, Livingston, Mackinac (by 1 vote), Macomb, Manistee, Midland, Montmorency, Oakland, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, Schoolcraft (by 4 votes), Washtenaw, Wayne.
Santorum: Alger, Allegan, Alpena, Arenac, Baraga, Barry, Benzie (by 5 votes), Berrien, Branch, Cass, Chippewa, Clare, Clinton, Delta, Dickinson, Genesse, Gladwin, Gogebic, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Houghton, Ionia, Iron, Isabella, Kalkaska, Kent, Keweenaw (by 1 vote), Lake, Lapeer, Lenawee, Luce (by 8 votes), Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Menominee, Missaukee, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Osceola, Oscoda, Ottawa, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Sanilac, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren, Wexford.
Democratic Primary (not used for delegate selection)
Barack Obama 174,054, Uncomm. 20,833.
Secretary of State: Voters urged to participate in presidential primary election (Feb. 21)
MIGOP: Schostak Slams Michael Moore & Organized Attempts to Undermine the Michigan Republican Primary (Feb. 28)
Daily Kos: Operation Hilarity email (Feb. 27)
Freedom's Defense Fund email (Feb. 24)
UAW, allies, elected officials hold event on Friday, Feb. 24, with message for Mitt Romney
SBA List: Social Conservatives to Kick-Off Michigan Bus Tour Supporting Rick Santorum for President (Feb. 22)
Progress Michigan Launches 'Let Romney Go Bankrupt' (Feb. 16)
Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate, Rochester, MI (Nov. 9, 2011)
On Oct. 4, 2011 Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation setting the primary date on Feb. 28. >
On Aug. 13, 2011, the Michigan Republican State Committee voted for a closed primary. >
On Nov. 15, 2011 the Michigan Republican State Committee submitted a list of 11 candidates to appear on the ballot. [PDF]
Michigan Democrats will be selecting their delegates starting with caucuses on May 5, 2012. 1, 2[PDF]
FAQ from Secretary of State [PDF]