Romney Nears Nomination With Two More Wins

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

(CBS News) Mitt Romney won the Republican primaries in Kentucky and Arkansas on Tuesday, victories that puts him within striking distance of clinching the Republican presidential nomination.

With nearly all precincts reporting in Kentucky, Romney had 67 percent of the vote. With 61 percent of precincts reporting in Arkansas, Romney had 69 percent of the vote.

The race was actually closer on the Democratic side. In Kentucky, President Obama's only rival on the ballot was "uncommitted." The president defeated "uncommitted" 58 percent to 42 percent, a result that reflects the president's deep unpopularity in southern states. (Though with almost all precincts in, Mr. Obama had won slightly more votes than Romney overall.)

In Arkansas, Mr. Obama faced a primary challenge from John Wolfe, who had 40 percent of the vote in with 61 percent of precincts reporting. Earlier this month, convicted felon Keith Judd took 41 percent of the primary vote against the president in West Virginia.

CBS News estimates that with his two wins on Tuesday, Romney now has 1,073 delegates. The former Massachusetts governor needs 71 more to reach the threshold of 1,144 electoral votes he needs to clinch his party's nomination.

Romney should cross that threshold next Tuesday when Texas holds its primary with 152 delegates at stake.

Romney's rivals have suspended their campaigns or stopped active campaigning, and he has spent recent weeks focused on the general election. The presumptive GOP nominee was scheduled to spent Tuesday evening at a fundraiser in New York, part of a three-day fundraising swing that his finance chairman told donors would raise $10 million.


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