By Shannon Corrigan
Mitt Romney earned two big victories Tuesday in his home state of Michigan and also in Arizona, successfully making him the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, reports USA Today.
Romney's victory in Arizona was overshadowed by the close battle in Michigan. Although the win in Arizona awarded Romney the state's 29 delegates, attention was focused on the candidate's campaign in Michigan. The tight contest between Santorum and Romney emphasizes greater concerns surrounding Romney's candidacy, but the win spared his campaign from greater chaos, reports the New York Times.
Michigan was originally expected to be a simple victory for Romney because of his close ties to the state and primary win four years ago. Instead, with Santorum's popularity among social conservatives and the working-class the Michigan primary turned into a close battle between the two candidates, the New York Times reports.
According to the exit polls, the economy was a top issue among the majority of voters, followed by the federal budget deficit, and Romney had the edge among both groups. Santorum was popular with the one in seven voters who put abortion as the top issue, USA Today reports.
A candidate is required to have 1,144 delegates to secure the GOP nomination. According to an Associated Press tally reported by USA Today, Romney is leading with 123 delegates followed by Santorum with 72.