UPDATE (12:09 a.m.)
It’s over: Fox News called Michigan for Mitt Romney.
He probably won 46-50 delegates up there tonight; Santorum won’t walk away with more than 4. Officially, Romney is now up by approximately 32,000 votes with over 93% reporting.
He’s doing very well in populated suburban counties AND among Catholics; Rick Santorum is winning in the evangelical west.
Heading into tonight, the final RCP average showed a much closer races than that which ultimately materialized: Mitt Romney up just 1.5% in Michigan. By contrast, he led Senator Santorum by 15.5% in Arizona. So all eyes were on the Wolverine State, Save Jerseyans!
Exit polls reported “electability” as the top issue for primary voters. Interestingly, exit polls also suggested that 53% of Democrat participants voted for Santorum (it’s an “open” primary, a fact that the Santorum camp has controversially tried to exploit).
For the sake of establishing a point of reference, Mitt Romney beat John McCain in the 2008 GOP primary, 38.9% (338,316 votes) to 29.7% (257,985 votes). As of 12:09 a.m, Mitt was at well over 400k.