Worth pointing out that Romney has now garnered more votes and convention delegates than any of the other candidates. Granted, it's still early in this process, but it's not a bad position to be in.
Michigan primary reactions:
* Bryan at Hotair says Romney's the new frontrunner...and is relieved that Huck or McCain didn't win.
* Stop the ACLU is glad to see some of the wind taken out of McCain's sails
* Hugh Hewitt says that if McCain can't win in a state with lots of Indies voting in the primary, he can't expect to win in most of the states down the stretch that don't allow Indies to participate.
Also, Fox just pointed out it's Dem exit polls show 75% of blacks voted for Obama. Not good for Hillary.
Huck just gave his speech (down here in SC)....
And, you gott love it, just as soon as McCain started his speech, Romney took the podium to give his. Both Fox and CNN cut away from McCain.
The Fox exit polls show that Romney won with men, women, Republicans and conservatives...and the late deciders.
Fox News projects Romney as the winner in Michigan. Numbers to come...
And Hillary is projected to get about 55% against "uncommitted". But she did really, really bad among black voters.
Major McCain campaign spin alert: They're apparently saying that Romney won (if he wins) because he's a "favorite son"...and that if this were Arizona, Johnny would win by 20 points. (I think I'll take that bet...base on the immigration issue alone). They're also saying that a Romney win in Michigan doesn't mean as much as a McCain win in New Hampshire. Well. I think it's a little bit of a stretch to say winning a moderate, all-white state in the north-east, with about a 1/4th as many people participating in the primary, is more important than a state like Michigan. But hey, McCain's the guy who says he's not for amnesty...
Update: 8:40 pm
Fox says Huck didn't expand beyond Evangelicals...only doing 7 to 8% among those who do NOT categorize themselves as Evangelical.
Update 8:12 pm
OK, here's a pretty strong indicator via NRO:
Some speculative mining here and repeating some of what had been said, but local Detroit news channels are reporting that McCain is wheels up - he has left Michigan for South Carolina. Romney, meanwhile, is at the Embassy Suites Southfield outside Detroit where his supporters have gathered for a primary party. Some pretty strong tea leaves there.
Any candidate who doesn't even hang around for the possibility of mugging for the cameras in the process of giving a victory speech knows he's not going to win. Add that to the fact that Romney's gone back up on TV in SC, and may by tomorrow in Florida, and this race is back to being wide open.
Update: 8:00 pm
Some exit polls floating around now. CNN is saying that the percentage of Indies are down to 25% this year, vs. about 35% last time...and Dems at 7% of the GOP total, vs. 17% last time, (not good for Johnny).
Fox is saying that McCain is not winning the Republicans by a longshot...and Republicans make up around 65% or so. They also say Romney gets 38% of conservatives.
...the first round of exit polls have Romney 35, McCain 29, Huckabee 15, Ron Paul 10, Giuliani 4. This doesn't count absentee ballots.
If this holds, the networks will be able to announce shortly after 9 p.m. eastern time...
Big news on the Dem side. Fox is saying the exit polls show "uncommitted" is polling around 69%. Ouch!
The polls are about to close up in Michigan. I'll be keeping a running a running entry here as the evening goes on.
A few things to be on the lookout for. What percentage of the primary voters are indies? What about Dems crossing over? How do the results stack up with the polls? I'm sure the pollsters hope to regain a little face here. Does Romney get some mojo? If he wins, does he get the "well, he should have won it anyway" bit from the press...rather than dumping on McCain for losing a state he won in 2000? And on the Dem's side, does "uncommitted" beat Hillary? Stay tuned.