Rick Pluta

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney plays up his Michigan roots when he talks to voters in the state where he grew up.

In 2008, Romney won the Republican presidential primary in Michigan. On the campaign trail, he likes to tell stories about his father, George, who was an iconic governor of Michigan in the 1960s:

"He said, 'It sure is great to be in Mount Clemens today,' even though he was in Mount Pleasant. My mother was sitting behind and said, 'George, it's "Pleasant." ' He said, 'Yes, it's pleasant in Mount Clemens.' "

As better-known candidates trod the landscape and crowd the airwaves, pleading for votes in Michigan's Republican primary, the first openly gay GOP presidential hopeful is plotting a minor upset.

Fred Karger hopes the state's primary rules will land him a mid-Michigan miracle and a handful of delegates to the national convention.