Santorum camp: Michigan's a tie
February 29th, 2012
03:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum camp: Michigan's a tie

(CNN) - Armed with a new delegate count, a Rick Santorum adviser on Wednesday painted Tuesday's contests as a "disaster" for Mitt Romney.

John Brabender said the campaign's count proves Santorum and Romney are tied in delegates won, which he said means the state should be classified as a split-decision instead of a win for Romney, who captured the popular vote.

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"You can only look at Michigan and move it from a win for Mitt Romney to a tie race," Brabender said on a conference call with reporters. "If we can do this well in Romney's home state we clearly think this bodes well for Super Tuesday states."

The latest estimates from CNN showed both candidates with 15 Wolverine State delegates, while Romney is ahead in the popular vote with 41% to Santorum's 38%. That leaves none of the thirty total Michigan delegates still in play.

Brabender also defended the campaign's courtship of Democratic voters in the state's Republican presidential primary, saying they targeted conservative members of the opposite party.

"I said from day one one of the reasons we're best suited is our appeal to Reagan Democrats and to get them to cross over," Brabender said, adding the campaign probably spent no more than a few thousand dollars on the effort intended to reach conservative Democrats.

The Santorum campaign attempted to rally Democrats behind his candidacy through robo calls in the state with Romney's opposition to the auto bailout. Michigan's primary was open to all voters.

More than half of Michigan Democrats who voted Tuesday backed Santorum, but it is impossible to say how much of the roughly 10% of Tuesday voters who described themselves as Democrats were influenced by the Santorum calls.

The former Pennsylvania senator won the most liberal and most conservative voting blocs in the state, while Romney had the edge with everyone else.

Romney's campaign preemptively responded to the conference call, saying Santorum made a "colossal mistake by inviting Democrats to come into the Republican primary in Michigan."

"Republicans should choose the nominee, not Democrats," Romney Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades said in an email. "Rick Santorum needs to apologize and pledge that he won't resort to these dirty tactics on Super Tuesday."

– CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Rick Santorum
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Santorum position is only Michigan mattered (despite Arizona awarding 29 delegates WTA) and only delegates matter. Can't have it both ways Rick. Either delegates are all that matter and you got MUCH further behind in the count last night, or popular vote matters and you lost both states. Either way, not a tie!

    February 29, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. logicnLA

    He twists the truth and fact about the country, why not the election? Who got the most votes? Romney-he wins.

    February 29, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Jules

    Sure – if that makes you feel better.

    February 29, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. mmad5camp

    It is amazing how almost no one knew of Michigan's open primary process until the Republican's started the process. First they try to restrict the vote, and now they want to claim wins when they clearly did not get the most votes. And half of America thinks that this party will care enough to lead this country to greatness, or is it just the hatred of Obama?

    February 29, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Rachel

    I think that was a pathetic move for Santorum. Asking for the democrats to vote for you in the republican primary. Santorum is looking desperate.

    February 29, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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