DETROIT -

We tend to think of these political horse races as winner-take-all affairs and, in past years, that was the case. 

While political pundits will watch the statewide vote totals as evidence of a candidate's drawing power, the real battle is over delegates.

And it is not ONE race for delegates.  There are 15 separate races for Michigan's 30 GOP delegates.

Two delegates will be awarded to the candidate with the highest total of votes statewide.  But the lion's share of delegates will be awarded by congressional district-- two delegates per district in Michigan's 14 districts.

VIEW MAP:Michigan congressional districts

It is one of the reason's why candidates have been more far-flung in their campaign travels, even taking in the sights of Marquette and the U.P. 

One candidate could conceivably win the statewide vote total, with another taking the majority of available delegates by winning in more congressional districts.  There are no delegates for also-rans within these district races.

And if it seems there are fewer delegates at stake this year than in past campaign cycles--you're right.  Michigan would normally send 59 delegates to the party's national convention, but this year will only offer 30. 

Michigan and Arizona were penalized by the national party with the loss of nearly half their delegates for moving their primaries to earlier dates. 

So if you're a real political junkie, watch for totals by district to determine the winner.. and who takes the spoils.