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Mitt Romney Wins Michigan Primary

Posted on 1/16/2008 2:12:00 PM

Mitt Romney celebrated his victory in the Michigan's Republican presidential primary. This, his first major victory in his native Michigan, infused new strength to his weakening presidential candidacy.

With Romney's victory, four candidates from the GOP have won from the first four states to have voted for the 2008 elections. The former Massachusetts governor has defeated Arizona senator John McCain, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson. Romney had 39 percent of the vote, while McCain had 30 percent and Huckabee had 16 percent. Hillary Clinton was the main contender on the Democratic ballot. She had 58 percent votes to 37 percent for uncommitted delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

After his victory, Romney said in an Associated Press telephone interview from Southfield, Michigan, "It's a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism," adding, "Now on to South Carolina, Nevada, Florida.

McCain however, played down the significance of Romney's won, and said that he congratulated him and said, "that Michigan welcomed their native son with their support." However, he also said, "Starting tomorrow, we're going to win South Carolina, and we're going to go on and win the nomination."

Meanwhile, Huckabee, who has begun campaigning in South Carolina, the next primary state, also said he would win in South Carolina. "We put a flag in the ground here Saturday," he said. "We need to prove that electing a president is not just about how much money a candidate has," he said in an obvious swipe at Romney, who has reportedly invested $20 million from his personal fortune into his campaign. "Whatever it takes, we're in it for the long haul," he said.

Romney's win may be in part because of his ties with Michigan. According to four out of 10 voters, Romney's roots accounted for the votes he won. More than half of them supported Romney, according to preliminary results from the after poll surveys. Roots apart, Romney also led with voters who held economy and illegal immigration as the most important issues, and also because of his experience. Romney also edged over McCain as the candidate likely to bring in change. McCain led voters who wanted an 'authentic' president. Fewer non-Republican voters participated in the GOP primary than they did in 2000.

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