WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney won nearly all the convention delegates a three-primary sweep, adding to a lead that will be insurmountable without a dramatic shift in the race for the Republican nomination for president.
With 95 delegates at stake Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor picked up 86 delegates in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. His chief rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, won the other nine delegates, all in Wisconsin.
Tuesday's contests marked the midway point in the race for convention delegates.
Romney has 658 delegates, including endorsements from members of the Republican National Committee who automatically attend the August convention in Tampa, Fla., and can support any candidate they choose.
Romney has won 58 percent of the primary and caucus delegates so far. That puts him on pace to reach the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination on June 5, when voters go to the polls in five states, including delegate-rich California and New Jersey.
Santorum has 281 delegates. He would need 80 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination before the party's national convention in August. That won't happen as long as Romney stays in the race because most upcoming primaries use some type of proportional system to award delegates, making it hard to win large numbers of delegates in individual states.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 135 delegates and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 51.
Santorum's best hope to win the nomination is to prevent Romney from reaching 1,144 delegates, forcing a contested convention.
Santorum's campaign argues he would fare well in a contested convention because delegates would gravitate toward the more conservative candidate. Santorum says the contest is only half over, and he has no intention of getting out.
Romney is increasingly focusing on the general election campaign against President Barack Obama. In a speech to newspaper editors and publishers Wednesday, Romney criticized Obama's handling of the economy, government benefit programs and national defense. He didn't mention Santorum.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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1776 | April 8 2012 9:08am
LoL, I'll be there to vote Lugar out, but no way I'll pull the lever for 0berry or Mittens McMilquetoast. Only statesmen need apply, we are full up with thieves.
hunter480 | April 7 2012 11:33am
This will barely be any better, or different than odumba. The United States has to be facing Gods` judgement for these to be our two choices to lead the country.
GeorgeAdams | April 5 2012 2:32am
Romney - the Liberal and Democrats' favorite GOP candidate:
1) It has been said that Romney is the fiscal conservative. If he really wants the voter's confidence in success, why not be transparent about his assets?
2) In his Etch-A-Sketch speech, he will reset the way he will campaign, which means he could drop all conservative values once he is nominated. This makes sense since he has no qualms in putting false ads against other candidates. A liberal has no problem to have no ethics or moral discussing his opponents. Look at Obama.
3) In Romney's claim about Santorum's support of Romney at one time. Sure, Santorum gave Romney his support, but Romney performed his Etch-A-Sketch move to prove that Romney is liberal, and not conservative.
4) One day Gingrich went to talk to Romney about Gingrich supporting Romney because Gingrich wanted to unify the party. After talking to Romney, Gingrich went back on the campaign. Again, Gingrich found out that Romney was liberal, just as Santorum found out.
5) If Romney is leading and everyone is saying Romney will win, why keep spending 10X's more than the others and waste money on massive ads and tons of robocalls with lies and mudslinging?
6) People keep saying Santorum will enforce his Catholic values on people, but Romney is the bishop in the Mormon community. Do you really think Romney will not try to instill his religious values on America?
7) Romney has said he supports RomneyCare, but he will repeal ObamaCare. If ObamaCare is based on RomneyCare, why would he do that? Because he will not, another Etch-A-Sketch.
8) Romney keeps getting support from all the GOP Establishment of RINOs in the party. The same group who will not fight for a balanced budget, no tax and paying down the debt.
9) The same RINO group that supports Romney passed NDAA along with Obama, to allow Obama to arrest and execute anyone without trial of someone Obama deems a threat.
10) The same RINO group who supports Romney passed ObamaCare without fighting for review of all the material. So, far in initiating ObamaCare it has cost billions. And, it is estimated in the end, it will cost a minimum of 82 Trillion without financial support.
11) The same RINO group who supports Romney who will not fight for working on the illegal immigrant issue. Most legal immigrants do not want illegals, don't trust the media.
12) The same RINO group who let Obama put troops in Egypt without approval of the Senate. Now, other Middle Eastern countries that are going under the same pressure by the radical Muslims.
13) The same RINO group who supports Romney and let Obama leave Netanyahu sitting in a lobby and will not talk to Netanyahu if he can. Obama also wants to remove aid to Israel. Obama just purposely spoiled an Israel invasion in Iran to remove the nuclear weapons. Obama is blatantly Anti-Semitist.
14) The same RINO group who supports Romney because they support Obama, they want to keep doing status quo with Romney, who would become Obama II.
15) Romney has no real plan to fix the economy, ask him for a specific plan, and no "pie in the sky" theoretical, generalized plan.
16) Romney, if he wanted to be a leader, would quit with the ads that are not telling the truth. He should want to unify the group, not polarize it.
This list could keep going on, but that sums up the major issues for most voters. Please reconsider voting for Romney. Please get everyone to vote, the turnout has not very low. To win over Obama, we need all the people in the polls voting. Vote for any GOP but Romney.
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