Tonight was a big night for Mitt Romney. in which he won Maryland, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. A combined total of 98 delegates were at stake in these states and a substantial majority of the delegates in each state. Each of these primary elections were winner take all states in which all the delegates were up for grabs. By winning tonight, Mitt Romney increased his massive lead over his Republican competitor.
In Maryland, Romney won 53% of the vote which allowed him to win all the 37 delegates available tonight. An interesting fact came from the Maryland exit polls in which Romney TIED Santorum in Maryland among the very conservative voters. Also, 41% of Maryland voters said that the most important quality that they wanted in a candidate was someone who can beat Obama. Mitt Romney's victory in Maryland pushes him past the half way point of getting the 1,114 delegates needed to become the GOP nominee:
Maryland was expected to go to Mr. Romney, but the delegates he secured there pushed him past an important milestone on his quest to be the Republican presidential nominee: Mr. Romney is now more than halfway towards the 1,144 delegates he needs to mathematically win the nomination.Maryland brings Mr. Romney's delegate total to 600 according to an ongoing count by The Associated Press. Rick Santorum, with 272 delegates, has less than half that amount.
Romney also won all of the 19 delegates in Washington D.C with 72 % of the vote Rick Santorum was not able to get on the ballot in Washington D.C. and as a result, Romney got those delegates pretty much for free.
Finally, in Wisconsin, Mitt Romney won 21 delegates with 43% of the vote. Clearly, this was a good night for Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum wanted to take Mitt Romney out by any means possible tonight but admitted that he doubted he could win Wisconsin after it became clear that Romney had erased his lead in that state in the weeks prior to the election.
Prior to this election night, the current delegate count stood as the following: Romney (568), Santorum (273), Gingrich (135) and Paul (50). Now the delegate count stands as pictured below:
Rick Santorum suffered an embarrassing loss tonight which demonstrates his declining influence in this primary race. He's stated that he would be open to becoming Mitt Romney's VP but Team Romney shot that down by stating he's not on their list. Part of the reason why the Romney campaign doesn't want Santorum as their VP is that he doesn't really have much influence or clout inside or outside the Republican party.
Despite losing badly to Romney, Rick Santorum remains undaunted and vows to fight on despite the fact that it is virtually impossible for him to win the Republican nomination because Mitt Romney Romney has collected 70% of delegates thus far (646), more than all the other other candidates combined (458). Given the impossibility of getting the Republican nomination, some people are questioning Santorum's sanity in pressing forward despite getting swept out by Mitt Romney. However, Rick Santorum has indicated that he will stay in the race until the Pennsylvania primary.
Tonight's victory demonstrated the 2012 Republican primaries are over. Rick Santorum is in denial about this fact. However, it has been announced that Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Romney campaign will now be raising campaign funds together. That's an obvious sign that the Republican party already knows who the Republican nominee will be.
Another sign is that for the first time in the Romney's campaign, supporters who came to see Mitt's victory speech tonight had to walk through metal detectors and saw an increase in the number of Secret Service agents at campaign event.
The best thing about Mitt Romney's win tonight is that it marks the beginning of the general election against President Obama. Romney is already beginning to shift to the general election by spending more of his time attacking President Obama than focusing on contrasting himself with the other 2012 candidates. Mitt gave an great speech tonight distinguishing himself from Obama and setting out his vision for America.
The battle between Obama and Mitt Romney is now on. Go Mitt Romney!