Michigan GOP changes at-large delegate award after vote

Updated
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, waves to supporters with his wife Ann at his election watch party after winning the Michigan primary in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, waves to supporters with his wife Ann at his election watch party after winning the Michigan primary in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NBC News projected Mitt Romney as the winner of Michigan GOP presidential primary Tuesday night.  But there’s still some doubt about the final outcome, specifically the distribution of delegates.

The Detroit Free Press reports both of the state’s two at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention will be awarded to Romney, following last night’s 4-2 vote by the state party’s credentials’ committee.

The vote came despite the party’s rules that the two at-large delegates were supposed to be awarded on a proportional basis based on the statewide popular vote. Romney won the statewide vote by a close 41%-38% margin over Rick Santorum.

The rest of the state’s delegates will be split evenly between Romney and Santorum because each won seven congressional districts across the state.  That gives Romney 16 delegates and Santorum 14.

Saul Anuzis, a member of the credentials committee, said the party’s rules were passed in early February to award the two at-large delegates to the statewide winner, but that a memo sent in error to the candidates’ campaigns said the delegates would be distributed proportionately.

“While we regret the error in the memo, it does not change what was voted on by the committee,” Anuzis said. “This is much to do about nothing.”

But in an interview with NBC News three weeks ago, Michigan GOP Chair Robert Schostak clearly stated that Michigan’s at-large delegates would be awarded proportionally.  

And former Attorney General Mike Cox, another a member of the credentials committee and a supporter of/and surrogate for Romney, voted against awarding the two at-large delegates to Romney.

“I have this crazy idea that you follow the rules,” Cox said. “I’d love to give the at-large delegates to Mitt Romney, but our rules provide for strict apportionment.”

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley emailed The Ed Show, “This kind of back room dealing political thuggery just cannot and should not happen in America.”

“We’ve all heard rumors that Mitt Romney was furious that he spent a fortune in his home state, had all the political establishment connections and could only tie Rick Santorum,” Gidley added.  ”But we never thought the Romney campaign would try to rig the outcome of an election by changing therules after the vote.”  

Rick Santorum, Michigan and Mitt Romney

Michigan GOP changes at-large delegate award after vote

Updated