Michigan Primary Results: Romney, Clinton Win
Drudge reports “EXIT POLLS SHOW: Romney 34, McCain 29, Huckabee 16.” Not stunning news by any means if it works out that way but exit polls aren’t very reliable for forecasting outcomes; they’re much more valuable for assessing why people voted as they did than how they voted.
The actual vote count, according to ABC News, is Romney 0, McCain 0, Huckabee 0 with 0% of the precincts reporting. Polls should close in less than ten minutes.
UPDATE (2051): Clinton is beating Uncommitted 2-to-1 with 6% reporting and it’s Romney 37, McCain 31, Huckabee 16 with 5% in. Thus far, the exit polls are looking good.
John Berman and Jennifer Parker for ABC:
After two stunning defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire, Mitt Romney has won the Michigan primary, reasserting himself as a viable frontrunner in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee. Romney beat out Arizona Senator John McCain, who came in a close second, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who came in a third in the state, ABC News projects.
“Tonight marks the beginning of a comeback, a comeback for America,” Romney told supporters at a rally in Southfield, Michigan.
McCain called Romney to congratulate him Tuesday night soon after the networks projected him the winner. “My friends we fell a little short tonight,” McCain said in a speech to supporters Tuesday night, “but we went to Michigan and did what we always do: we told the truth”
Conceding Michigan, Huckabee thanked his supporters, noting he was outspent in the state. Congratulating Romney, Huckabee said, “I won Iowa, John McCain won New Hampshire, Mitt Romney won Michigan, but we’re gonna win South Carolina.”
It looks to be a 9 or 10 point spread when all is said and done, which is much more comfortable a margin than any of the pre-election polls — and even more than the exit polls.
The same polls show a reverse order of finish in South Carolina: Huckabee 26.5, McCain 22.8, and Romney 16.8. How much of a bounce Romney will get from this is hard to say; I’d guess not much in the Deep South. The loss probably won’t hurt McCain much but winning might have helped McCain keep the New Hampshire momentum going.
The voting’s a mere four days away, though, so we’ll see soon enough.
UPDATE (Richard Gardner 0145): With 100% of the precincts reporting, CNN reports that “Some Democrats withdrew from ballot” and that “Economy on the minds of Michigan voters.” Final results are:
Democrat (The Dem Party removed all of MI’s Dem delegates, so zero delegates at stake):
- Clinton 55%
- Uncommitted 40%
- Kucinich 4%
- Gavel <1%
Republican (the Rep Party removed half of MI’s delegates):
- Romney 39% and 12 delegates
- McCain 30% and 9 delegates
- Huckabee 16% and zero delegates
- Paul 6%
- Thompson 4%
- Guiliani 4%
- Uncommitted 2%
- Hunter – <1%
Next up, Saturday in NV (Dem) and SC (Rep). This is still wide open.