With former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's win in South Carolina on Saturday, Michigan's February 28th primary is now seen as more critical to the contenders, and will help add momentum for the winner heading into Super Tuesday just a week later.

Initially, a Michigan win was thought to be a given for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who grew up in Bloomfield Hills. Now, with Gingrich's come from behind win in South Carolina (where he trailed in the polls by double digits), and Iowa's Republican Party declaring former Senator Rick Santorum the winner, a win by Romney isn't a given any longer.

According to the Detroit News, a consultant for the Michigan Republican Party, Stu Sandler said "clearly, Michigan's role was elevated Saturday night."

Debates continue tonight and Thursday as the GOP contest shifts to Florida.