Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mitt Romney Wins Ohio GOP Primary: Long Campaign for Convention Delegates Remains

Well, that was a genuine nail-biter.

CNN held off until the end of the night before projecting at winner, and by that time reporter Candy Crowley was snarking on Twitter that Mitt Romney was already asleep.

See Washington Post, "Romney wins the grand prize of Ohio."

And at Wall Street Journal, "Romney Extends His Lead With Ohio Win":

Mitt Romney eked out a narrow win in Ohio and extended his delegate lead on Super Tuesday, but voters failed to deliver a decisive victory that could have brought a swift end to the Republican nominating contest.

Mr. Romney notched wins in Ohio, Massachusetts, Idaho, Virginia and Vermont, while Newt Gingrich took Georgia and Rick Santorum won Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Alaska returns were the last tallied.

The down-to-the-wire contest in the important battleground of Ohio illustrated both Mr. Romney's vulnerabilities as a front-runner and his organization's capacity to beat back a stiff challenge. Mr. Romney had a four-to-one advantage in TV and radio advertising.

Each of the top candidates showed strength, as expected, in friendly territory—Mr. Romney in the Northeast, including Massachusetts, where he had served as governor, and Mr. Gingrich in the state he represented in Congress. In winning Tennessee and Oklahoma, Mr. Santorum carried states where his social conservatism had been expected to resonate.

The returns came as voters turned out for primaries and caucuses in 10 Super Tuesday contests packed with consequence for all four of the major GOP presidential candidates.

Tuesday was billed as a test of Mr. Romney's national reach as the party's front-runner, as well as a measure of whether Mr. Gingrich or Mr. Santorum would emerge as his toughest challenger.

Mr. Santorum now has a strong claim to that role after winning at least three states and battling to a close second in Ohio. Outside of Georgia, Mr. Gingrich finished no better than third place on Tuesday.
Continue reading.

The Romney campaign is preparing for a continued slog to the nomination.

See also Los Angeles Times, "Mitt Romney wins key Ohio battle: Narrowly edges Rick Santorum in victory."