Hard-won victory for Romney

Mitt Romney addresses supporters at his Michigan primary night rally in Novi Mitt Romney had a tougher fight to win in Michigan than he had anticipated

Novi, Michigan - Mitt Romney has still not won the right to be his party's candidate in the presidential election.

This was a hard fight in a state that should have been an easy win. After all, he was born and brought up in Michigan and his father was a much-loved governor here.

More than that, he was way ahead in the polls just a few weeks ago. When he spoke at his victory rally, he looked more relieved than delighted. He said: "We didn't win by a lot, but we won enough."

It is true his party will not go into a panic and demand that someone else comes into the race. But it is also true that this result shows just how volatile Republicans are. It also shows they are still not over-impressed by any one candidate.

Rick Santorum made a series of statements that will have put some voters off in the last few days, so he had a bad campaign. He also made a rambling concession speech.

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum hugs his wife, Karen during a stop at his campaign field office Rick Santorum may not have won in Michigan, but he has succeeded in prolonging the race

But despite all that, he did pretty well for someone who was barely taken seriously until the beginning of the year. He lost but he took nearly half the votes. He made this into a two horse race and that may well be the way future contests will look.

Ten states vote next week in Super Tuesday and those results could be decisive, producing a clear winner. They could be, but I very much doubt it. More likely they will be a mixed bag for Romney.

For months he has been the front-runner more often then not. Arizona and Michigan will reinforce the view that he will in the end be the winner. They also confirm that he is unloved by conservatives, a choice impelled by pragmatism not passion, a man who has been unable to clinch the deal and become the Republicans' candidate to take on Obama.

The longer this goes on, the more questions will be raised about how much the mud-slinging and Romney's rush to the right has damaged his chances in that more important contest.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1059.

    Does your employer mind you spending half the day on here?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1058.

    993:Golgotha:We screwed up at the very beginning by listening to the tempter and therefore we are no longer perfect and instead have a temptation to evil within us.

    1022:McJakome:Believing that God has spoken to a few people who put those words into writing and that those words should be followed may strike some people as folly, yet if they make sense who is to say it didn't happen. See Fatima.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1057.

    875:Entropic man: I think either one will act rationally in an international crisis, and that they will act as opposed to Obama talking and doing nothing. Iraq had made a good faith attempt to assassinate Bush's Dad, which may explain why he attacked that country.

    912:Entropic man:Jerome based his Latin translation on the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew and Greek Old Testaments. I use the NAB.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1056.

    Billythefirst (1052),

    “... that's when a lack of self awareness and a monumentally thick skin can come in handy ...”
    Perhaps someday I may learn how you came to possess such.

    “...So, why has the drama queen decided to come out of retirement ...”
    It is reasonable to assume it did not occur due to you. If you can restrain your verbiage, you may be able to post your inquiry directly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1055.

    857:Paul:As a former Michigander I can tell you that most Michiganders aren't a member of either party. Michigan has the highest % of split ballots in the nation. Vote for the best person not the party because you don't want to be responsible for someone bad getting into office. And recent polling shows a close race between Obama and Santorum which hopefully if it happens Santorum will win.


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