GOP nomination all but assured, Mitt Romney zooms in on Obama (+video)
Primary wins Tuesday for Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia make it mathematically improbable that any of his GOP rivals can capture the nomination. That frees Romney and party leaders to train their fire on President Obama.
Ninety-one days after the Iowa caucuses kicked off the 2012 political season, Mitt Romney on Tuesday night all but locked up the Republican presidential nomination, sweeping the Maryland, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia primaries in a show of electoral strength that indicates his party is closing ranks behind him for the coming general election campaign.Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Romney won at least 83 delegates in Tuesday’s contests, according to the Associated Press. That gives him 655 of the 1,144 needed for nomination. Rick Santorum has 278, Newt Gingrich 135, and Ron Paul 51.
Romney’s closest rival, ex-Pennsylvania Senator Santorum, would need to win 80 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination, according to the AP. Given that most of the state contests to come award their delegates proportionately in some manner, that’s a close-to-impossible task.
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These numbers mean that there is a 97 percent chance of Romney’s wrapping up the nomination prior to the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla,, according to the statistical prediction system of New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver.
That means that Wednesday could be considered the first day of the general election campaign, with presumptive nominee Romney training his rhetorical fire on President Obama instead of fading GOP rivals.
In remarks to cheering supporters on Tuesday night, Romney himself compared his dream of an American “opportunity society” with Obama’s more government-centered ideas.