A day after Michigan voters gave Mitt Romney his first big primary win, the Republican presidential field looked as wide open as ever, with multiple states crowning multiple candidates as winners.
In Michigan, Romney beat out Arizona Sen. John McCain, Tuesday, winning 39 percent of the vote to McCain's 30 percent; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came in a distant third, with 16 percent.
"Tonight marks the beginning of a comeback, a comeback for America," Romney told supporters at a rally Tuesday night in Southfield.
"Only a week ago, a win looked impossible," he said. "Tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism."
Today on ABC's "Good Morning America," Romney said that Michigan was a much-needed victory for his campaign.
"The big one was here in Michigan, I now have more delegates than anyone else and a lot more votes for president than anyone else," he told ABC's Robin Roberts. "It proves that my message is connecting with voters across the country. Now I gotta keep that going."
Romney said he will now take his campaign to Nevada and South Carolina, the site of the next presidential skirmishes on Saturday — states where Romney is trailing in the polls.
While Romney began his presidential campaign employing a front-runner, early state victory strategy, after defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former Massachusetts governor now argues his opponents' early wins don't matter.
"I actually think the old saws about what you have to win are not applicable anymore," Romney told "GMA."
"I can't tell you who's ahead, really. But I can tell you that we're going to battle this forward. We're going to go to states across the country and I expect to become the nominee," he added.
Romney received a call of congratulations Tuesday night from McCain.
"My friends, we fell a little short tonight," McCain said in a speech to supporters Tuesday, "but we went to Michigan and did what we always do: We told the truth."
Conceding Michigan, Huckabee thanked his supporters, noting he was outspent in the state. Congratulating Romney, Huckabee said, "I won Iowa, John McCain won New Hampshire, Mitt Romney won Michigan, but we're gonna win South Carolina."
Campaign staff close to Romney point to a "strong close" in Michigan, arguing he was able to convince Michigan voters that he was one of them, partly through brute force.
In speech after speech in the state, Romney repeated that he was born and raised in Michigan, and that his father was a popular auto executive and three-term Michigan governor in the 1960s.
"I've got Michigan in my DNA. I've got it in my heart, and I've got cars in my bloodstream," he has said.
That strategy paid off. Forty-two percent described his family ties to Michigan as at least somewhat important in their vote; he won them by a huge margin, with 58 percent to McCain's 17 percent, according to exit poll results.
Campaign aides said he was able to sell that message even to younger voters, who never knew his father.
They also point to his comfort level when discussing the economy.
Aides even suggest he might have benefited from the recent spate of unsettling economic news. The mega-successful corporate tycoon seems at ease talking about economic and business matters.
Romney won Michigan in part by promising he would bring jobs back to the state.