Romney takes Super Tuesday lead with Ohio; rivals win Ga., Tenn., Okla., N.D.

March 7, 2012

By Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Mitt Romney emerged the winner of Super Tuesday, taking more than half of the 10 presidential caucuses and primaries and claiming victory in the critical showdown state of Ohio — though chief challenger Rick Santorum’s three victories solidified his claim as the heartland’s conservative alternative.

The networks called the Ohio race for Mr. Romney just after midnight, capping the most important day in the two-month-old primary that saw the former Massachusetts governor win on the country’s edges, while Mr. Santorumcontinued to emerge victorious in the interior.

In addition to Ohio, Mr. Romney won primaries in Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont, and the caucuses in Idaho and Alaska; Mr. Santorum won primaries in Tennessee and Oklahoma and won North Dakota’s caucuses; and Newt Gingrich won Georgia’s primary.

“Lots of states. We’re going to win a few, we’re going to lose a few. But as it looks right now, we’re going to get at least a couple gold medals and a whole passel of silver medals,” Mr. Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, said at a party in a high school gym in Steubenville, as he surveyed results that solidified his position as the chief challenger to Mr. Romney.

All told, 419 delegates were at stake, accounting for about a fifth of all the delegates available to the August nominating convention.

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