ATLANTA—The Santorum campaign is spinning the Michigan primary as a high point for the candidate, pointing to Romney’s strong expectations and his personal roots in the state. Romney won the state of his birth by just 3 percentage points on Tuesday, but the candidates each won seven of the state’s 14 Congressional districts. Because the state awards delegates proportionally, Romney and Santorum won two apiece in each of the seven districts they won.
“It is not a win for Mitt Romney,” said Santorum campaign strategist John Brabender. “It is a tie for Mitt Romney in his home state.”
While it was initially reported that the two candidates split the remaining two at-large delegates, the state party voted to award both to Romney, giving him a 16-14 advantage.
Looking ahead, 10 states will hold electoral contests next Tuesday, and Washington holds caucuses on Saturday. Santorum is looking to the next week as an opportunity to kick-start his delegate count. Romney currently has about twice as many delegates committed to him as Santorum, according to the Wall Street Journal, and 480 more are up for grabs over the next few days.
Santorum’s Super Tuesday blitz began Thursday with two events in Tennessee, followed by a day split between Georgia and Washington state on Thursday. He plans to spend much of the weekend in Ohio, a state with the second-most amount of delegates at stake next Tuesday and where some state polls show Santorum leading by double digits.
Using Michigan’s number as an indicator for the future, the campaign seems to have received a second wind in what has become a marathon race for the nomination.
“Right now if you look at Super Tuesday, and you look at the states there in the heartland, we’re doing exceptionally well,” Santorum said in Atlanta on Thursday. “If you look at those states at the center of the country where the election is ultimately going to be decided, we’re the candidate that’s got the momentum.”