Despite victory, Romney may split Michigan’s delegates with Santorum

at 10:25 AM ET, 02/29/2012

Mitt Romney won the popular vote in Michigan on Tuesday, but it’s still possible that Rick Santorum will win just as many delegates.

Given the close nature of the contest and the fact that almost all of the state’s delegates will be awarded by congressional district, there is still some uncertainty about whether Romney will also take home more delegates.

Incomplete results posted by the Michigan Republican Party show both Romney and Santorum leading in seven of the state’s 14 congressional districts. But Santorum’s lead in the Upper Peninsula-based 1st district is fewer than 100 votes right now, and his lead in the Detroit-based 13th district is tenuous because the totals are missing lots of votes.

(Romney won every other urban/suburban district in the area, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him win in the 13th once all votes are tallied. For now, though, Santorum leads by a not-insignificant margin of 1,300 votes.)

Michigan will award two delegates to the winner of each congressional district. So if those results hold, Romney and Santorum would each win 14 delegates.

If Romney can steal one of those districts back, though, he will have won the majority of the state’s delegates.


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, arrives with his wife Ann at his election watch party after winning the Michigan primary in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. (Gerald Herbert — Associated Press)

There are also two delegates to be awarded based on the statewide vote, but it wasn’t immediately clear how they would be divvied up. They are supposed to be awarded proportionally, which would suggest one apiece for Romney and Santorum.

The delegate prize for the night, of course, goes to Romney. By winning Arizona’s primary, he took home all 29 of the delegates at stake there, expanding his overall delegate lead in the GOP presidential race to approximately 80 delegates (depending on the final results in Michigan).

Assuming Romney and Santorum win exactly half the delegates in Michigan, Romney would then be up to 167 delegates overall, compared to 87 for Santorum, according to AP projections.

A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination, though, so there is still a long, long way to go.

(For more, see the Post’s great delegate tracker.)

 
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