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voters in washington dc Leslie McDermott of Washington, left, votes in the District of Columbia primary election at Eastern Market in Washington, on Tuesday, April 3. (Photo: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Election 2012: D.C. Voters Choose Romney

Thin competition as Santorum failed to make it onto the ballot

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Along with Wisconsin and Maryland, Washington, D.C. held its Republican presidential primary on Tuesday. And like in the Virginia primary, not every candidate was on the ballot.

Rick Santorum failed to gather enough signatures or pay the $10,000 fee required to participate. That left Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul as the choices voters had in the primary.

Romney crushed his competition, winning the primary with 70.2 percent. Ron Paul finished second with 12 percent and Gingrich finished third with 10.7 percent.

There are few Republicans in the D.C. area — they make up 7 percent of the area's registered voters. Only 4,446 votes were cast in the primary. But the voters who turned out knew what they wanted in a President.

"I'm looking for a President not afraid to do the right thing, even if it means a drop in the polls for him," said Adam. (He declined to give his last name.) Another voter added that "a new President has to be able to take a lead in crucial and controversial situations."

Regardless of who becomes the nominee, some people expressed concern over this year's long race for the Republican nomination.

"This race is going to kill them," Keith McDaniel said. "Obama's sitting around pulling millions on his campaign and the Republicans are going to bury themselves in the dust with this."

Others, however, have a different opinion.

"The race does give them a lot of free media coverage to communicate with the public, and let's them talk about how they plan to run the country," Adam said. "A lot of people do think that Obama's gotten worse, and the race gives Republicans airtime to pick the better person."

That airtime is coming to an end. There are only seven more primary elections left before the Republican National Convention. The next will be held in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island on April 24.

Romney won all three of the primary contests on Tuesday. These victories seperate him from his competition and give him a lot of momentum heading into the next primary elections.

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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