Super Tuesday: Contenders share spoils

March 7th, 2012 - 11:05 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, March 7 (IANS) Republicans appeared headed for a long bruising fight to pick up their nominee to challenge President Barack Obama in November with rivals sharing the spoils in Super Tuesday primaries in ten states.

Front runners former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former senator Rick Santorum will each win three states, while former House speaker Newt Gingrich grabbed a vital triumph in Georgia, CNN projected as countingcontinued late Tuesday night.

Santorum’s victories in Tennessee and Oklahoma primaries, and in North Dakota’s caucuses showed his continuing strength among conservative voters, while Gingrich’s win in the state that sent him to Congress allows him to keep his campaign going.

“It looks we’re going to get at least a couple of gold medals, and a whole passel full of silver medals,” Santorum told cheering supporters in Ohio, where he was running slightly ahead of Romney in a race too close to call.

Romney, meanwhile, easily won as expected in Virginia, Vermont and Massachusetts, the state where he served as governor and considers home.

For Gingrich, who represented Georgia’s sixth congressional district for two decades, the victory provided a new boost after a string of defeats since his only other primary triumph in South Carolina.

“Thank you Georgia! It is gratifying to win my home state so decisively to launch our March Momentum,” Gingrich said Tuesday night in a Twitter post.

Romney entered Super Tuesday off of three wins last week and a growing lead in the delegate count toward the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination to face Obama in November.

Tuesday was the biggest single day of the primary season, and included showdowns in several states that will determine the ability of Santorum, Gingrich and Paul to blunt Romney’s momentum toward what many believe will be his inevitable nomination.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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