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low turnout in california Precinct inspector Susie Dittmart waits for voters to turn out at a polling place inside Fullerton Fire Department's station no. 3, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Fullerton, California. (Photo: AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Bruce Chambers)

Election 2012: Romney Wins Five More States

Low turnout as Republican primary winds down

By Maev Dunning and Amiri Tulloch | null null , null

Five states voted in the Republican presidential primary yesterday, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won all five.

California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota finally had their chance to vote on Tuesday. Romney won all five contests decisively. (Full results at the end of this story.)

Since Romney and President Barack Obama are locked in as the Republican and Democratic nominees, voter turnout was low in the five primaries. But the voters who did turn out had good reason for doing so.

"People in my family died so I can have the right to vote," said Mark Pruner, Yolo County (California) Republican Central Committee chairman. "For me, it is a serious responsibility that is not just something I can throw away. It's something I want to do because it is a privilege that others do not have."

Other voters went to the polls because their voice still matters.

"Considering that we are in New Jersey and the primaries are held as late as it is, what the people of New Jersey decide is kind of irrelevant," a voter in New Jersey said. "But we still have a chance to send delegates to the Convention and have some say in the matter."

Outside polling places, voters discussed what they thought the most important issues in this election are.

California voter Mike Sinetes admitted he hopes Obama will win, but he thinks Romney has a "decent" chance. "The economy will be the main issue," Sinetes said.

A voter in New Jersey agreed, saying the election comes down to one thing.

"People just want change because of the economy," the voter said. "It's not just because of Obama, it's because it's tough times."

"It's about giving people the opportunity to work," Pruner added. "Offering them the chance to do the kind of work they like and will get excited about. Health, national security and immigration are all important, but it's mainly about jobs."

The next and final primary will be held in Utah on June 26. Once that election takes place, all eyes will be on Romney as he finalizes his choice of a running mate ahead of the Republican National Convention in August.

June 5 Primary Results:

Mitt Romney: 79.6 percent
Ron Paul: 10.2 percent
Rick Santorum: 5.2 percent
Newt Gingrich 3.8 percent
Others: 1.1 percent

Mitt Romney: 68.4 percent
Ron Paul: 14.4 percent
Rick Santorum: 8.9 percent
Newt Gingrich 4.3 percent
Others: 4 percent

New Jersey
Mitt Romney: 81.3 percent
Ron Paul: 10.4 percent
Rick Santorum: 5.2 percent
Newt Gingrich 3.1 percent

New Mexico
Mitt Romney: 73.3 percent
Rick Santorum: 10.5 percent
Ron Paul: 10.3 percent
Newt Gingrich 5.8 percent

South Dakota
Mitt Romney: 66.1 percent
Ron Paul: 13 percent
Rick Santorum: 11.5 percent
Others: 5.44 percent
Newt Gingrich 4 percent


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