Mitt Romney may have won ugly in Michigan, but his narrow victory will temper the mounting criticism of his candidacy, even though his resilience is about to be tested again in some of the biggest prizes of Super Tuesday.

But even though this most wobbly of frontrunners will face a new set of challenges next week, Romney eased GOP fears Tuesday. He leaves his childhood home having averted disaster and with the second example in a month of bouncing back from adversity.

By winning in Michigan and cruising in Arizona, the establishment darling has reasserted his status as the Republican favorite. It may be a slower and messier process than Romney and his aides would prefer, but the former Massachusetts governor still looks on track to eventually capture the GOP nomination.

Romney could have been summing up his own candidacy when he said in his victory speech here: “We didn’t win by a lot but we won by enough and that’s what counts.”

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