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2012: Squeaker in Michigan

The Arizona results (with 82% in): Romney 47%, Santorum 27%, Gingrich 16%, Paul 8%.

The Michigan results (with 95% in): Romney 41%, Santorum 38%, Paul 12%, Gingrich 7%.

The Detroit Free Press’ six-column, front-page headline: “Tough win for Romney.”
The Detroit News’ front page: “Romney brings home win.”
The Grand Rapids Press: “Romney’s double win no knockout.”
The Arizona Republic’s front page: “After Romney’s wins, tests await.”

The New York Times: “Mitt Romney fought back a vigorous challenge from Rick Santorum in Michigan on Tuesday, narrowly carrying his native state, and won the Arizona primary in a pair of contests that reasserted his control over the Republican presidential race as it advances to critical Super Tuesday contests next week. His victory over Mr. Santorum here in Michigan was far from commanding, but it was most likely sufficient to dampen the rising clamor from across the Republican Party about his ability to win over conservatives and connect with voters.”

“Mitt Romney may have won ugly in Michigan, but his narrow victory will temper the mounting criticism of his candidacy, even though his resilience is about to be tested again in some of the biggest prizes of Super Tuesday,” Politico’s Martin writes. “But even though this most wobbly of front-runners will face a new set of challenges next week, Romney eased GOP fears Tuesday. He leaves his childhood home having averted disaster and with the second example in a month of bouncing back from adversity.”

GINGRICH: And so it begins… “Newt Gingrich defended his moon colony idea Tuesday against Mitt Romney's heavy criticism, telling a crowd of Georgia supporters that Romney ‘is the kind of guy who would have fired Christopher Columbus,’” The Hill writes.

PAUL: On FOX, Ron Paul said there’s no deal between him and Romney and certainly no deal or promises for his son Rand. “[T]he last thing I've done is talked to Mitt Romney. Besides, he wouldn't talk to me about that. That's just fiction, and it's mostly been promoted by somebody, I guess, who's super involved in conspiracy theories. That's Santorum doing that,” GOP 12 writes. “But it doesn't make any sense at all.... my son can take care of himself. He doesn't need me to make deals for himself. That's the last thing in the world that I would think about doing.”

ROMNEY: Per the Detroit News, "Romney crushed Santorum in Metro Detroit, picking up nearly 50,000 more votes in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. But Santorum beat Romney by 18,000 in the other 80 counties, scoring double-digit wins in more than 20 counties, revealing the division within the party between its moderates in southeast Michigan and the more conservative Republicans in west and north Michigan."

The importance of Oakland County: Not only did more people vote in Oakland County, the more affluent Detroit suburb, than any other county in Michigan’s GOP primary race last night (about one-in-seven votes came from there), but it also provided Mitt Romney with his margin of victory. With 95% in, Romney won Michigan by 32,393 votes. He won Oakland County by 31,565 votes.

The Boston Globe: “Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the Michigan and Arizona GOP primaries, staving off a strong challenge from Rick Santorum in Michigan and gaining crucial momentum in his drive to win his party’s presidential nomination.”

SANTORUM: The Boston Globe looks at how Santorum’s Kennedy remarks have upset religious leaders.

Bloomberg takes issue with Santorum’s higher-education remarks: “Republican candidate Rick Santorum’s attack on President Barack Obama’s promotion of a college education conflicts with the broad appeal and economic value that higher education holds for young Americans.” It makes this point: “The median annual pay of those 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree was $56,472 in 2009, 70 percent more than those with a high school diploma, Census Bureau figures for 2009 show.”