By winning his home state, which had been billed as a must-win, and Arizona, he dodges a fierce round of second-guessing.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney scraped to a hard-fought victory in Michigan on Tuesday, NBC News reported, averting at least for now the chaos and second-guessing that would have beset his campaign and his party if he had lost in the state where he was born and grew up. It was Romney's second victory of the night, after an easy win in Arizona.
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Rival Rick Santorum nearly surged past the former Massachusetts governor in Michigan following his surprise victories three weeks ago in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator and a champion of socially conservative causes, still represents a threat to Romney. Polls show him doing well in Ohio and other states in the Super Tuesday round of contests next week.
Romney tried to play down the impact of a possible Michigan loss in the hours before the polls closed. "If I'm turned down in Massachusetts, where I've lived for the last 40 years and where I was governor, that might be a little harder to explain" than losing Michigan, he told Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network.