Mitt Romney looked certain to continue his march toward a showdown with President Barack Obama, leading Rhode Island in Tuesday’s primary with 63 percent of the statewide vote with 96 percent of districts reporting as of 10:15 p.m., according to Secretary of State Ralph Mollis's election results web page.
Locally, Romney won Coventry with 56 percent pf the vote. The former Massachusetts governor garnered 298 total votes, beating Ron Paul with 159 (30 percent), and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 34 votes (6.4 percent). Sen. Rick Santorum, whose name remained on the ballot despite his decision to back out of the race two weeks ago, managed 34 votes (6.4 percent).
Statewide, the former Massachusetts governor garnered 8,616 total votes defeated Ron Paul, the closest challenger, who had captured 3,264 votes (23.9) percent) with 96 percent of the vote counted. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich checked in with 831 votes (6.1 percent), while Sen. Rick Santorum, whose name remained on the ballot despite his decision to back out of the race two weeks ago, managed 769 votes 5.6 percent.
On the Democratic side, President Barack Obama, who was running unopposed, stood at 83.8 percent of the Rhode Island tally as of 10:15 p.m.
Romney won the local vote in most cities and towns, but by collecting more than 15 percent of the overall vote, Paul earned at least a share of the 19 delegates up for grabs in the primary. Rhode Island is the only state in which the GOP splits the delegate pool, according to the WRNI's On Politics blog.
There were 200 total delegates at stake in Tuesday’s votes in Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. With most numbers in, Romney appeared headed for a sweep nationally, taking Delaware with 57 percent of the vote, Connecticut with 67 percent, Pennsylvania with 60 percent. Romney was leading New Ne York with only 7 percent reporting as of late Tuesday night.
Going into Tuesday, Romney held 698 total delegates, leading Santorum by more than 400, according to the New York Times delegate tally. He needs 1,144 to clinch the Republican nomination.
Check back with Coventry Patch throughout the night for updated state and national results as they come available.