Romney's Focus, Momentum Shifts to Super Tuesday
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will go into Super Tuesday on Mar. 6 with two more states in his column, Michigan and Arizona.
It was a tough fight in Romney's home state of Michigan, where he edged out a win over former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., by about 30,000 votes.
That statistic could point to a tough battle still ahead for the Republican nomination.
For Romney, the victory in Arizona was sweet.
"Thank you!" he said to a roomful of cheering supporters.
It would have been sweeter had the contest in Michigan not been so close.
"We didn't win by a lot, but we won by enough and that's all that counts," Romney said.
"I know how government can kill jobs, and yes, I know how it can create jobs. And I stand ready to lead our party to victory and our nation back to prosperity. Let's get the job done," he told a cheering crowd.
Santorum's team says the tight race in a working-class state like Michigan, points them in the right direction.
"Are we a country that believes in a big government? Do we believe in the smart and elite in this country to manage us or do you believe in free people and a free economy and building a great America from the bottom up. What do you say?" Santorum asked a cheering audience.
This primary laid out challenges each candidate might face in the general election. Romney can still sound out of touch with everyday Americans.
"I drive a mustang, and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually," the former Massachusetts governor said during a campaign speech in Michigan.
And Santorum can come off angry and zealous on social issues.
"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical," he said during a television appearance earlier this week.
Now this showdown moves to Super Tuesday, where the other candidates hope to get back into the mix.
"The primary next week is going to be very, very, important. And we deliberately focused, we decided not to compete in Michigan because we thought it was important to focus here in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Ohio and the states that we are going to be in," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R- Ga.
"The government under our Constitution is not supposed to be running a welfare state or a warfare state. It's there to protect our liberties. That's what the job is!," said Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
For the candidates, the fight to the Republican nomination is far from over.
"I am trying to do better and work harder and make sure we get our message across. I think in the final analysis, I anticipate becoming the nominee," Romney said.
And many voters feel they will be able to make their voices heard.
"I just think there are a lot of things in our country that we need to pay attention to, and our vote is going to influence how our country comes out of this," one Michigan voter said.
Ten states are up for grabs on Super Tuesday, and the campaigns have already begun criss-crossing the nation in the race for those all-important delegates, who will ultimately decide which candidate will compete against President Obama in November.