Super Tuesday 2012: Mitt Romney wins six of ten GOP contests

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won six of the ten U.S. Republican Party (GOP) presidential primary contests as part of Super Tuesday. Of the remaining four, former Senator Rick Santorum won three while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won one. Representative Ron Paul of Texas did not win any contests, but finished second in three.

Mitt Romney stands with his wife Ann before delivering his victory speech.
Image: Ryan Hutton/Boston University News Service.

Romney scored victories in Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, Idaho, and Alaska. In a victory speech to supporters in his home state of Massachusetts, he remarked, "tonight, we've taken one more step towards restoring the promise of tomorrow." He focused his attacks on President Barack Obama, stating "this president's run out of ideas. He's run out of excuses. And in 2012, we're going to get him out of ... the White House." Romney now has 415 of the 1144 delegates necessary to secure the GOP nomination.

Ohio had the closest margin with Romney defeating the second place Rick Santorum by roughly 10,000 votes or 0.8 percent. While Romney won largely urban and affluent counties, Santorum, of nearby Pennsylvania, won a majority of the counties with rural and blue-collar voters.

Despite the loss, Santorum was able to pull out victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and now has a total of 176 delegates. He told supporters in Steubenville, Ohio, "We need...someone who learned what America was about by growing up in communities just like this...". Referencing his opponents, he argued "in this race, there is only one candidate who can go up on the most important issue of the day and make the case, because I’ve never been for an individual mandate at a state or federal level."

Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia, which had the most delegates available, increasing his total to 105. He vowed to remain in the race and thanked his supporters, proclaiming, "we are not going to allow the elite to decide who we are allowed to nominate...the national elite — especially in the Republican Party — had decided that a Gingrich presidency was so frightening that they had to kill it early. But, you, you wouldn’t let them do it." He compared the campaign to the The Tortoise and the Hare fable, "There are lots of bunny rabbits that run through. I am the tortoise. I just take one step at a time."

Ron Paul finished second in North Dakota, Virginia, and Vermont, and was a close third in Idaho and Alaska. He now has 47 delegates. In his speech to supporters, he said, "if you look at the candidates today, there is very little difference, except for one. ... the rest of the candidates support the status quo."

1541 delegates remain up for grabs. The next contests will take place on Saturday in Kansas, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.