Election 2012: A Clean Sweep
Romney wins primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
The race for the Republican presidential nomination came closer to an end on Tuesday. Primaries were held in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., and Mitt Romney won all three.
Romney's victories were decisive. He won Wisconsin with 42.5 percent of the vote, Maryland with 53.2 percent of the vote, and DC with a whopping 70.2 percent of the vote. (Complete results are at the end of this story.)
Romney also won a lot of delegates. He received a total of 85 delegates. Rick Santorum picked up six delegates in Wisconsin. The other Republican candidates received zero delegates.
To secure the nomination, Romney must win 1,144 delegates. After Tuesday's primaries he has 655 delegates. His closest competitor, Rick Santorum, has 278. Newt Gingrich has 135 delegates, and Ron Paul has 51.
But more importantly, according to many political analysts, Romney's across-the-board sweep gives him the momentum to finally wrap up the nomination.
In a speech after the results were announced, Romney addressed supporters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sounding like he was ready for the general election. Rather than challenging his Republican opponents, he set his sights on President Barack Obama.
"This campaign will deal with many complicated issues," Romney said. "But there is a basic choice before us: The President has pledged to 'transform America,' and he has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new Government-Centered Society. I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of our Opportunity Society, led by free people and free enterprises."
Before Tuesday's primaries, several prominent Republican leaders endorsed Romney's candidacy for President, including former President George H.W. Bush. And before the Wisconsin primary, Wisconsin congressman and conservative favorite Paul Ryan campaigned by Romney's side.
The Republican race is "getting to the point where it's going to become counter-productive if the primary drags on," Ryan told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Other Republican leaders agree and are encouraging Republican voters to rally around Romney as the party's best chance of winning the November election against President Obama.
Still, the other Republican contenders have not given up the fight completely.
In brief remarks on Tuesday, Rick Santorum did not announce plans to quit the race yet. Gingrich, meanwhile, released a statement that challenged Romney's record and his status as frontrunner.
"We cannot win on an Etch-a-Sketch platform that shows no principle or backbone," Gingrich said. "The Washington establishment wants to declare this race over, but I am committed to carrying the banner of bold conservative colors all the way to Tampa."
The next primaries will be held in three weeks. Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island head to the polls on April 24.
For more on Tuesday's primaries, check out Kid Reporter Hannah Prensky's story about voters in Maryland and Kid Reporter Edward Zhou's story about voters in Washington, D.C.
April 3 primary results:
Mitt Romney - 42.5%
Rick Santorum - 37.6%
Ron Paul - 11.7%
Newt Gingrich - 6.1%
Others - 2.1%
Mitt Romney - 49.1%
Rick Santorum - 28.9%
Newt Gingrich - 10.9%
Ron Paul - 9.5%
Others - 1.6%
Mitt Romney - 70.2%
Ron Paul - 12%
Newt Gingrich - 10.7%
Others - 7.1%
Rick Santorum - 0%
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