Primary sweep has Romney 1 win from GOP nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney swept all the delegates in GOP primaries in Kentucky and Arkansas and picked up more endorsements from party leaders, putting him one win away from claiming the Republican nomination for president.
With no serious opposition left, the former Massachusetts governor should get that win next Tuesday when voters go to the polls in Texas.
Romney won all 75 delegates at stake in Tuesday's primaries. He also added endorsements from several Republican National Committee members who are automatic delegates to the party's national convention in August.
Romney has a total of 1,076 delegates, leaving him just 68 shy of the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination. Texas will have 152 delegates at stake in its primary.
Romney has been in general election mode for weeks, spending his time fundraising and focusing on President Barack Obama. Obama, who didn't face a major challenger for his party's nomination, won the Democratic presidential primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky — but without unanimous support.
In Kentucky's closed primary, about 42 percent of registered Democrats who voted selected "uncommitted." In Arkansas' open primary, voters could select a ballot for either party, and unofficial returns showed a Tennessee attorney, John Wolfe, drawing almost 42 percent on the Democratic side.
On the Republican side, Romney won Arkansas with 68 percent of the vote and Kentucky with 67 percent, according to unofficial returns.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were on the ballot in both states. Santorum and Gingrich have both suspended their campaigns. Paul announced last week that he would no longer compete in the primaries, though he is still trying to amass national delegates at state conventions.