Mitt Romney wins early, Ohio close in Super Tuesday voting

9bae2460f1fe3b4bc6db06a82770a128

Mitt Romney notched early wins as he fought to establish his dominance in the race for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination on Tuesday but Ohio, the biggest prize of the evening, was too close to call.

Romney won as expected in Virginia, Vermont and his home state of Massachusetts, while rival Rick Santorum captured Oklahoma and Newt Gingrich won Georgia, according to network projections. Results from the five other states holding contests on “Super Tuesday,” the biggest day so far in the roller coaster Republican campaign, were expected in the coming hours. More than 400 of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the party’s nomination are at stake.

Polls in recent days showed Romney had effectively erased Santorum’s lead in Ohio, a traditional bellwether state that could play an important role in deciding the Republican nominee to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama on November 6. Television networks said the race was too close to call after voting concluded at 7:30 p.m. EST (0030 GMT Wednesday).

Exit polls showed that Ohio voters viewed Romney as more likely to defeat Obama, but thought Santorum was more sympathetic to average Americans’ concerns.

Tennessee was also too close to call. Contests were also being held in Idaho, Alaska and North Dakota.

A victory in Ohio and a good showing elsewhere would make Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, the favorite to win the nomination. Even without an Ohio win, his strength in other states all but ensures he will extend his lead in the delegate count.

“This is a process of gathering enough delegates to become the nominee, and I think we’re on track to have that happen,” Romney said after voting in his home town of Belmont, Massachusetts.
A less impressive showing could prompt renewed doubts about his ability to secure the nomination as Republicans continue the state-by-state battle to pick a nominee at their August convention.
Romney, who built a fortune of at least $200 million as a private-equity executive, has struggled to connect with conservatives and blue-collar voters in a campaign that has focused on his business career.
“He doesn’t really know what he stands for,” said Santorum supporter Katherine Frenz, 36, of Hilliard, Ohio.
In the last days of the Ohio campaign Romney made a point of trying to attract blue-collar voters, but CNN’s exit poll indicated that Santorum received more support among those who said their annual income was $30,000 to $100,000, a group that made up 55 percent of the electorate there. Romney topped Santorum among voters with income of more than $100,000, while those who earned less than $30,000 were divided between the two candidates.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, has won the support of religious conservatives thanks to his opposition to gay marriage and his views on other hot-button social issues. He has fought charges that his Senate career makes him a “Washington insider” and culture warrior who would alienate independent voters as Romney has pelted him with negative ads.

Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, was counting on his Georgia win to claw his way back into contention. Ron Paul, a U.S. congressman from Texas known for his libertarian views, hopes to score his first win in Alaska.

In recent presidential campaigns, the Super Tuesday wave of primaries and caucuses has often settled the Republican race. But while this year’s contests could establish a clear pecking order, the race is likely to stretch until April or May under new rules designed to attract more voters and boost enthusiasm.

But recent polls indicate the lengthy primary season may actually be alienating voters. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday showed that more voters view the candidates negatively than positively. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Monday found that 40 percent of voters view the Republican Party less favorably than they did before voting started in January.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Local

NYPD: Suspect dead after two U.S. Marshals, cop…

A suspected sex offender died after a shooting at a West Village smoke shop that wounded two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective on Monday, officials said.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Local

Katz's Deli wins name battle with Florida cafe

The New York City delicatessen Katz's has won a legal battle to force a Florida restaurant to change its name, according to court documents made public on Monday.

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

Entertainment

'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' game easter eggs and cheats

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. Here are its best easter eggs as well as some tips and tricks to speed your way to the top.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.

Food

Zagat releases '30 Under 30' list

Zagat releases a list of the people changing the food and drink industry across the country.

Wellbeing

Fist bump gets respect as clean alternative to…

Though long used to give props, the fist bump is getting some actual respect. The gesture, once dubbed a “terrorist fist jab,” could become the new…