For several members of Mitt Romney's home-state delegation, who had been rooting for the former Massachusetts governor since his first White House run, Thursday night had particular meaning.

"The part that exhilarates me -- him being from Massahusetts -- a lot of us know incidents in the state where he's been a perfect leader, a perfect family man," said Jim Tsika, a 64-year-old business owner and former math and physics teacher from Bridgewater, Mass. "It's nice to see it recognized."

What's different this time around compared to four years ago that led Romney to win the GOP nod?

"Most of the conversation in 2008 centered not so much around the economy but foreign policy," Tsika said. " This time, I think it's clearly the economy."

Janet Garon, a 58-year-old retiree from Sturbridge, Mass., said of 2008: "Maybe the time just wasn't right then."

This time, she said, "the economy's No. 1."

"He's an administrator. He understands business. After all, the government is a big business -- it works for the people," she said.