Dual victories give Mitt Romney a boost over Rick Santorum in increasingly bitter race for Republican presidential nomination
The Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has put his faltering campaign back on track, holding off a strong challenge from rival Rick Santorum in a tight primary race in Michigan and coasting to victory in Arizona.
Speaking at an election party in Novi, on the outskirts of Detroit, Romney described it as a “decisive moment”. He admitted he had not won by a lot but said it was enough. “Great victory in Arizona. Thank you Michigan. What a win. This is a big night. A week ago the pundits and the pollsters were ready to count us out,” he said.
He pointedly did not mention Santorum, who fought a tough campaign that on Monday led to Romney to accuse him of dirty tricks.
Defeat in Michigan would have been near-catastrophic for Romney. It is his native state and his father was a popular three-term governor here. The victories put a brake on Santorum, who had been building momentum after three unexpected wins earlier this month.