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

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

Local

More than 310,000 attend People's Climate March

More than 310,000 people flooded midtown Manhattan Sunday with one main message ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Summit: do something about climate change. Activists…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

Going Out

Tim and Eric come to town. Great job!

After years of flying under the radar, comedic duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have noticed their increased popularity of late.

Gossip

t.A.T.u. — That's how you spell homophobia in…

"I won't accept a gay son," said t.A.T.u singer Julia Volkova, who once pretended to be gay in order to sell albums.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.