WASHINGTON— Despite winning the popular vote in Michigan's primary, Mitt Romney will split his home state's convention delegates with second-place finisher Rick Santorum.
They each won 15 of the state's 30 delegates.
Santorum portrayed the delegate tie as a victory, given that Romney was born and raised in Michigan and outspent him.
"This is a huge win for us. Let's play it the way it is," Santorum said Wednesday after delivering a speech in Tennessee, which holds its primary next week.
"Don't give Romney all 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," Santorum said. "We are in great shape going to this election. We are excited about what's going to happen on Super Tuesday."
Romney got the most votes in Michigan, 41 percent to Santorum's 38 percent. But most of Michigan's delegates are awarded based on results in each of the state's 14 congressional districts. Candidates got two delegates for winning each district.
Romney and Santorum each won seven congressional districts, so they split 28 delegates. The final two delegates are awarded proportionally, based on the statewide vote, and they split those as well.
In the other primary on Tuesday, Romney won all 29 delegates in Arizona's winner-take-all contest. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul were shut out of delegates in Tuesday's contests.
Romney leads the overall race for delegates, with 167. Santorum has 87 delegates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 32 and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 19.
It takes 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.
Next up: precinct caucuses in Washington state on Saturday, followed by Super Tuesday next week, when voters will head to the polls or caucuses in 10 states, with 419 delegates at stake.