Mitt Romney collected five more wins on Tuesday, winning the GOP primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island - further solidifying his status as the Republican Party's frontrunner in his bid for the 2012 presidential nomination to take on President Barack Obama in November.
The results were fairly anticlimactic - especially after former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum decided to suspend his campaign on April 10. Santorum had been Romney's nearest rival, albeit very distant, in terms of delegates - and his departure makes Romney's nomination all the more inevitable.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Texas congressman Ron Paul remain in the race, although they trail by enough as to be statistically insignificant.
Gingrich had vowed to stay in the race until the nominating convention in August, although he has recently backpedaled on that position and will "reassess" his campaign.
Speaking to supporters in New Hampshire - the site of the nation's first primary, which Romney won back in January - the former Massachusetts governor gave what amounted to an unofficial acceptance speech on Tuesday as the Republican party's presumptive nominee.
"Hold on a little longer," Romney implored his followers. "A better America begins tonight … Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite everyone who knows we can do better. Tonight is beginning of the end of the disappointing Obama years."
Romney's speech no longer centered on why he is the best Republican for the job - but now focused on why he is the best candidate for the job, taking aim squarely at the president.
"It's still about the economy, and we're not stupid," Romney said.
There are 95 delegates at stake in New York, 72 delegates in Pennsylvania, 28 delegates in Connecticut, 19 delegates in Rhode Island and 17 delegates in Delaware.
Heading into the day's action, Romney had 695 delegates, while Santorum had 273, Gingrich had 141 and Paul had 72.
Now there's a two-week break until the next round of contests on May 8, which sees primaries in Indiana (46 delegates), North Carolina (55 delegates) and West Virginia (31 delegates).
That's followed by primaries on May 15 in Nebraska (35 delegates) and Oregon (28 delegates).
by RTT Staff Writer
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