Romney Scores Major Primary Victories in Michigan and Arizona

Results from the Arizona and Michigan primaries.
Results from the Arizona and Michigan primaries.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won a pair of Republican primary victories Tuesday in Michigan and Arizona, fending off a challenge from former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and re-establishing himself as the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. 

Mitt Romney cruised to victory in Arizona and then held on for a narrow win in his home state of Michigan, defeating conservative challenger Rick Santorum.

“Thank you Arizona," said Romney. "Great victory in Arizona tonight and thank you Michigan!  What a win!  This is a big night!  Thanks you guys!”

Romney grew up in Michigan and his father, George Romney, served as governor of the state in the 1960’s.  A loss in Michigan would have been a major blow to Romney’s campaign.

Romney was trailing in the polls in Michigan two weeks ago but he steadily eroded Santorum’s lead with help from negative TV ads and a strong debate performance last week.

In his victory speech, Romney turned his sights on President Barack Obama.

“He is unresponsive to the will of our people and in a second term he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election," he said. "If there is one thing we can’t afford it is

Although he lost in Michigan, Santorum hopes his strong showing there will help him next week when ten states hold voting contests on March 6th, also known as Super Tuesday.

Santorum told supporters that he remains committed to conservative principles and smaller government.

“It goes down to the very nature of who we are as Americans," said Santorum. "Are we a country that believes in big government?  Do we believe in the smart and elite in this country to manage us?  Or do we believe in free people and a free economy and building a great America from the bottom up?  What do you say?”

Santorum kept the margin close in Michigan, with help from social conservative voters focused on issues like abortion, gay marriage and religion.  As in other states, Romney continues to struggle to win support from conservative voters who are skeptical of his moderate political background as governor of Massachusetts.

Romney will take all 29 Republican delegates from Arizona since it has a winner take all primary.  Romney and Santorum will both get a share of Michigan’s 30 delegates, based on their performances both statewide and in individual congressional districts.  Romney's delegate total is now more than 100, but it takes 1144 delegates to secure the Republican nomination.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished well back in the voting in both Michigan and Arizona, but both men spent little time in those two states.  They are focused instead on the contests next week.

Gingrich spoke to supporters in his home state of Georgia, which holds its primary next Tuesday.

“I do think this is the most important election in your lifetime," said Gingrich. "I hope each and every one of you will make sure you vote.”

Congressman Paul spoke to supporters in Virginia, which also votes next week.  Paul repeated his vow to keep the U.S. out of foreign wars.

“This idea that we are so exceptional that we can use force and intimidation and bombs and spread our so-called goodness, it eliminates all our goodness if we believe that we have the authority to go overseas and tell people how to live.  It doesn’t work," said Paul.

The most sought after state next week is likely to be Ohio, which has a large number of delegates at stake and where none of the four remaining contenders has a major advantage.

Most pundits say it is likely that the Republican race will continue well after next week’s Super Tuesday contests, perhaps all the way to the end of the primary and caucus schedule in June.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs