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voters in north carolina Gretchen Colby casts her vote Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at Belville Elementary School in Brunswick County, North Carolina. (Photo: AP Photo/The Star-News, Ken Blevins)

Election 2012: Three More Primaries, Three More Wins

Voters push Romney closer to nomination

By Katharine Richardson | null null , null

With his major competition no longer in the race, Mitt Romney has a clear path to the Republican presidential nomination. And after three more primary elections held last night, the nomination is within his reach.

North Carolina, West Virginia, and Indiana headed to the polls yesterday, and each state overwhelmingly went to Romney. He won North Carolina with 65.7 percent of the vote, West Virginia with 69.6 percent, and Indiana with 64.7 percent. (Full results at the end of the story.)

The victories gave Romney at least 66 delegates, putting him closer to the goal of 1,144 delegates needed to officially win the nominee. As of Wednesday morning, Romney has 919 delegates, according to the news agency the Associated Press.

Despite Romney being the presumptive (likely) nominee, voter turnout was relatively high in the three primaries. Turnout in North Carolina, for example, was a strong 31 percent.

The voters who cast ballots in North Carolina had mixed reactions to Romney's likely nomination.

"I am looking for someone who is intelligent and engaged with what is going on in the life of all Americans," said Laura Bottomley, a voter, from Cary, North Carolina. "I don't think that Mitt Romney understands the issues that affect people who are not in the top of the upper class."

Another voter said she wasn't completely pleased with Romney as the Republican nominee. But she added she would still vote for him because she didn't want to re-elect President Barack Obama.

"I was not happy about any of the Republican nominees, but it looks like Romney will be the nominee, so I'm just going to try to get used to it," the voter said. (She declined to give her name.) "I was looking for someone with integrity; someone that you can trust."

Another voter added, "There is no ideal candidate, but Mitt Romney has a lot of good qualities."

But with Romney's nomination all but certain, voters have turned to thinking about who he should choose as a running mate.

One North Carolina voter stated that she would like to see a woman or "person of color" as Romney's running mate. She felt it would be good to add diversity to the ballot.

Another voter said that the Vice President should be "someone who can challenge [Romney] to be even better. It needs to be someone who will energize the Republican Party."

But all agreed that no matter who was chosen as the Republican vice presidential nominee, it would not affect their decision on whether to vote for Romney or Obama in November.

"I think that the economy is the issue that will make the most difference," said Bottomley said. "I think that both candidates have ammunition to deal with the issue."

The next primary election will be held on May 15 when Nebraska and Oregon head to the polls.

May 8 Primary Results:

Mitt Romney: 64.7 percent
Ron Paul: 15.6 percent
Rick Santorum: 13.3 percent
Newt Gingrich: 6.4 percent

North Carolina
Mitt Romney: 65.7 percent
Ron Paul: 11.1 percent
Rick Santorum: 10.4 percent
Newt Gingrich: 7.6 percent
Other: 5.2 percent

West Virginia
Mitt Romney: 69.6 percent
Rick Santorum: 12.1 percent
Ron Paul: 11 percent


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