Elections 2012: Mitt Romney Wins Kentucky Primary, Leads in Arkansas

Mitt Romney won the Kentucky primary on Tuesday, accumulating more delegates toward the already presumed goal of becoming the GOP presidential nominee.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney picked up an easy win his party's primary in Kentucky on Tuesday and took a commanding lead in Arkansas, as he got closer to clinching the GOP nomination. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won Republican primary in Kentucky on Tuesday and took a lead in Arkansas, as he got closer to clinching the GOP nomination, Reuters writes. With 119 of 120 counties reporting, Romney had 66.77 percent of the vote in Kentucky.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 13% of the vote, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who suspended his White House bid in April, had 9%, while Newt Gingrich garnered 6% of the vote, according to the CNN.

With 58 of 75 counties reporting in Arkansas, the former Massachusetts governor led the pack with 68% of the vote.

A candidate needs to win 1,144 delegates to win the nomination. There are 45 delegates at stake in Kentucky and 36 in Arkansas, but neither is a winner-take-all state.

Romney campaigned very little in Kentucky since it was expected to be an easy victory. In 2008, Kentucky went to the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), by a 16-point margin.

The next primary vote is scheduled to take place in Texas on May 29. There are 152 delegates at stake in Texas. If Romney wins them all, the number of delegates he has will total 1149.

Romney is scheduled to make a campaign appearance Wednesday in Washington.

According to the CNN, Mitt Romney already has 997 of the 1,144 delegates needed, with Santorum holding 264 delegates, Gingrich 145 and Paul 123. CNN predicts that Romney could reach the nomination threshold by the end of May.

President Barack Obama managed to win the Democratic primary in Kentucky, the support for the president turned out to be quite soft. 42.1 percent of Democratic voters in Kentucky opted for “uncommitted,” while Barack Obama got 57.9 percent of the vote.

“Arkansas is a state that is ready-made for a strong protest vote against the president,” said Jay Barth, a political science professor at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.

“Many conservatives still participate in Democratic primaries in the South and most of these voters did not vote for the president in 2008 and will not vote for him this fall,” Barth said. “This primary just gave them another opportunity to vote against the president.”

Barth also said that Kentucky voters mirror those in Arkansas. “These are states that won’t be relevant to the (presidential) electoral battle in the fall,” Barth said.

Meanwhile, according to The Huff Post, on Tuesday Super PAC Priorities USA Action released a new ad attacking Mitt Romney’s business record at private equity firm Bain Capital.

The 32-second ad is part of the pro-Obama super PAC’s $4 million ad campaign aimed at exposing Mitt Romney’s “real record” at Bain Capital.

The ad targets Republican presidential hopeful and Bain Capital for driving office supplies plant Ampad into bankruptcy. The video former employee Loris Huffman, who worked at the company for 34 years before Romney’s actions left her with no health care insurance.

“I thought that I was going to retire from there. I had about two and a half years to go,” Loris Huffman says in the ad. “I was suddenly 60 years old. I had no health care and that’s scary. When Mitt Romney did that, he – he made – he made me sick,” Huffman says.

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