Campaigning in Tennessee Ahead of Super Tuesday, Rick Santorum Declares Michigan a Delegate Tie

Feb 29, 2012 5:36pm

Update: ABC News has projected that despite Romney’s victory in the popular vote,  Michigan will award 15 delegates each to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

POWELL, Tenn. – The same Rick Santorum who lost Michigan to Mitt Romney last night came into an event at a church here today declaring a tie in the state in the all-important delegate count, saying the campaign “had a much better night in Michigan than maybe was first reported.”

“This was a really great race to go into, in a sense, the belly of the beast, the home town … of my chief rival here in the Republican primary,” Santorum said to an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,000 at the Temple Baptist Church. “If you look at this state outside of his home county, we actually ran dead even in the state of Michigan. And here’s the really important part: delegates – because this is what this is all about – and we actually won half the congressional districts. So we are going to walk out of Michigan with 15 delegates and he’s going to walk out of Michigan with 15 delegates.”

The Santorum campaign held a conference call earlier Wednesday to announce the same results.

The former Pennsylvania senator lost to Romney in early voting and in Romney’s hometown district, Oakland County, the Detroit suburbs. Santorum did well in the eastern and western parts of the state.

Santorum did lose the Catholic vote, though he is a strict Catholic and talks about it often on the stump. He bristled when a reporter asked about the vote among Michigan Catholics.

“We won Michigan last night by coming out of Michigan with 15 delegates out of 30 delegates in Mitt Romney’s home state, being outspent six to 1 [and] you want to talk about one segment of the population?” Santorum told a CNN reporter. “This is a huge win for us. Let’s play it the way it is. Don’t give Romney all of the spin. We went into his backyard, he spent a fortune, money he had no intention of spending, and we came out of there with the same number of delegates he does. We’re in great shape going into this election. We are excited about what’s going to happen on Super Tuesday.”

Santorum is campaigning in Tennessee ahead of Tuesday, when the state joins nine others in the largest multi-state delegate contest to date.

In his speech in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday night, Santorum clearly tried to appeal to women voters, speaking more candidly about the women in his life: his mother, his wife and his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, more than he has ever before. He even touted his mother’s career, saying she made more money than his father. Today, he again mentioned that part of his address, saying it focused on the “great women of my life.”

Yet, he bristled Wednesday when asked how he would close the gap with women voters, telling reporters, “I don’t know if you guys are listening!’

“We went into Michigan and we were able to pull off the impossible,” Santorum told reporters, without answering the question. “If you look at a lot of those votes, those votes were cast before Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Over 100,000 votes were filed before that Tuesday’s votes. We lost those votes by a landslide and the rest, we won. We feel great. We know that this campaign is a long way from being over, and I’m liking better, more and more, the position we are in.”

Romney won the female vote in the state by six points.

Santorum called himself the “insurgent candidate” who’s “scrapping and clawing,” stressing this primary will go on for a long time.

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