Mitt Romney won the Arizona primary Tuesday, locking up an easy victory while fighting to win his native state of Michigan against a strong challenge from Rick Santorum.
Romney needed to win both states, but especially Michigan — where he grew up when his father was governor — to assert his ability to overcome the conservative challenge from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
With 92% of precincts reporting, Mr. Romney was leading in Michigan with 41.1% of the vote, compared to 37.9% for Mr. Santorum. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 11.6% and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 6.5%.
“We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough,” Romney told cheering supporters in Michigan. He also tweeted his delight — and his determination: “I take great pride in my Michigan roots, and am humbled to have received so much support here these past few weeks. On to the March contests.”
Romney won with large support in metro Detroit, outweighing Santorum’s lead in other parts of Michigan. The emotional prize of the night, meanwhile, was Michigan, where Romney was born and where his father was a popular governor in the 1960s.