Today the voters of Michigan went to the polls to select their choice for the Republican presidential nominee. Mitt Romney is from the state and his father was a relatively popular governor there for four year. Romney has also spent over twice the amount of money as Santorum on television ads in Michigan. Despite these facts, the most recent polls have Rick Santorum polling very close with Romney. Arizona is also holding a primary, but that race is expected to be declared over fairly early as Romney leads by double-digits in all the polls. Michigan, on the other hand, is very close and a winner may not be declared until late tonight. The polls close in Michigan at 9:00 pm EST. Below I will be posting the most recent results in addition to some analysis of the incoming data.
Update 10:45 pm EST: Mitt Romney’s victory speech consists mostly of attacks on President Obama, while ignoring his Republican rivals. Romney is clearly trying to sell himself as the presumptive Republican nominee.
Update 10:38 pm EST: While Romney has won the overall vote in Michigan, Santorum still leads in 9 of the 14 congressional districts. This means Santorum may still win the delegate count in Michigan.
Update 10:25 pm EST: Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, just tweeted the following humorous message, “Congratulations are due for a close, hard-fought victory. Bulls 99, Hornets 95.”
Update 10:17 pm ET: The Associated Press has now declared Mitt Romney the winner of the Michigan primary. With 71% of precincts reporting Romney currently leads by four points 41%-37%.
Update 10:05 pm EST: With 68% of precincts reporting Mitt Romney maintains a 4-point-lead over Rick Santorum 40%-36%. At this point the only thing keeping the race from being called are some outstanding votes from Oakland County outside of Detroit.
Update 9:54 pm EST: With 57% of precincts reporting Mitt Romney now has a slightly larger 4-point-lead over Rick Santorum 40%-36%. While it now seems more likely that Romney will win the overall vote in Michigan, he may still lose the delegate count in the state since much of his support is concentrated around Detroit.
Update 9:42 pm EST: With 43% of precincts reporting Mitt Romney maintains his 3-point-lead over Rick Santorum 41-38%. Exit polls also show Romney holding a 3-point-lead. At this point Santorum would have significantly overperform in the rest of the state to close the gap with Romney.
Update 9:26 pm EST: With 35% of precincts reporting Mitt Romney maintains a 3-point lead over Santorum 41%-38%. At this point a victory for Romney seems probable, but by no means certain.
Update 9:15 pm EST: With 28% of precincts reporting Mitt Romney still holds a 3-point-lead over Santorum 41%-38%. The race is still too-close-to-call, with many of the counties expected too favor Santorum still not reporting.
Update 9:04 pm EST: With 20% of precincts reporting in Michigan Mitt Romney has taken a 3-point lead over Rick Santorum 41%-38%. The race is still considered too-close-to-call by all the major news networks.
Update 9:01 pm EST: The Associated Press has called the Arizona primary for Mitt Romney. This is not a surprise as Romney was polling well ahead of Santorum in Arizona ahead of today’s vote.
Update 8:51 pm EST: A comparison of the county-by-county results from 2008 and 2012 shows Romney performing at about the same level he did in 2008. However, the results also show that Santorum is performing better than Romney’s competitors did in 2008. In 2008 Romney won the Michigan primary against John McCain 39%-30%.
Update 8:46 pm EST: With 9% of precincts reporting Santorum currently holds a 1 percentage-point lead over Romney (40%-39%). Exit polls showed that Michigan voters first considered electability when selecting their candidate.
Update 8:38 pm EST: With 6% of precincts reporting Santorum currrently holds a 2 percentage-point lead (40%-38%). Nate Silver of the New York Times reports that Santorum is performing well outside of Detroit.
Update 8:31 pm EST: With 4% of precints reporting Rick Santorum currently has 40% of the vote compared to 39% to Romney. The number of precincts is still far too small to make any predictions or conclusions about the eventual winner.