I have an announcement to repeat to the political pundit crowd: stop declaring Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) the Republican nominee. It's not even close to being over yet.
Mitt Romney's win in Michigan Tuesday night did confirm a trend, however, in the Republican race for President: a different state equals a different winner.
Romney captured the race in commanding fashion, beating McCain by nine percentage points, 39% to 30%. Despite rumors of Democratic sabotage favoring Romney,
exit polls showed Romney scoring solidly with voters from the GOP base.
A week ago, Romney found himself well behind in the polls. But he aggressively contrasted himself with McCain by running on a positive message of bringing jobs back to Michigan. It worked. In his acceptance speech, Romney called the win: "the beginning of a comeback, a comeback for America."
Mike Huckabee had another solid third place finish with 16%, followed by Rep. Ron Paul (R., Tex.) with 6%, Fred Thompson with 4%, and Rudy Giuliani with 3%. (Rep. Duncan Hunter from California came in last with less than .05% of the vote and got creamed by the uncommiteds that pulled 2% of the vote.)
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., NY) shared Hunter's struggle with the uncommitted voter and won by a margin of 55% to 40% over the uncommitteds. The other major Democratic contenders had previously pulled out of the race in Michigan over a party dispute.
The dispute stemmed from Michigan's decision to move its primary forward to Jan. 15, contrary to the rules of both national parties. The parties responding by penalizing the states with fewer delegates--half by the Republicans and all by the Democrats.
Clinton and Romney retained their overall lead in delegates.