Romney Wins the Week - The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week Twelve

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Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney maintained his front-runner status scoring solid wins over chief challenger Rick Santorum in the quest to secure the GOP nomination.

 USA Today Political Poll Tracker as of March 24, 2012 places Romney, leading the pack in popularity, nationally, at the top with 36.9%gaining 1.8 percentage points over the week. Santorum, holding steady in the number two spot dropped .7 percentage points to 28.6%. Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, gained 1.4 percentage points over the past week coming in third with 15.7% and Texas Representative Ron Paul dropped .3 percentage points to end at 10.7%.

The GOP primary process has highlighted the division within the Republican Party and country. Deep South voters are continually speaking definitively with a unified voice as they support Rick Santorum and his staunch conservative platform.  Romney’s more moderate message has carried him to front runner and presumably the GOP nomination. As in the first twelve weeks, this week ended with each of the candidate’s experiencing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Nowhere was the party split clearer than in the Puerto Rico Primary where Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, began the week by winning with an astonishing 82.88% of the vote. His leading challenger Rick Santorum placed a distant, and stunningly low, second with 8.02% of the vote, Newt Gingrich third with 2.05% and Ron Paul, 1.22% percent of the vote.

Illinois’ unseasonably warm weather aided in producing high voter turnout in the Prairie State and although it wasn’t the landslide Romney would have preferred his win with 46.7% of the votes, an 11.7% lead over second place, Rick Santorum, the former junior senator from Pennsylvania, who captured 35% of the votes, it was enough.  Both Texas representative Ron Paul and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich had solid showings, with 9.3 and 8% respectfully.  Not a winner-take-all contest, each of the four candidates, received proportional delegates.

Louisiana voters spoke clearly and aligned themselves with Rick Santorum, the number two man in the GOP Presidential Nomination race. His staunch conservative message strongly resonates with southern voters and propelled him to an easy and predictable victory with 49% of the votes. Romney’s moderate message landed him a distant second with 27% of the votes and Gingrich’s connected with 16% of voter’s and Ron Paul with 6%.

Rick Santorum had a few missteps over the past week with glib remarks over the unemployment numbers that came back to haunt the number two challenger. Slapping the face of his constituency, Santorum’s unemployment remarks taken as a sound bite present him as unconcerned, arrogant, and insensitive.

Campaigning heavily in Wisconsin, a winner take all state, Romney’s camp unveiled a new television ad highlighting his conservative platform and record.

Heading into the April 3rd contest, a crucial win for either candidate, Romney still maintains a solid delegate lead and should secure the nomination. The GOP hopefuls have a week to campaign.  Upcoming primaries include District of Columbia, Maryland and Wisconsin.

The 2012 Delegate Tracker, of the 2286 total available delegates, Mitt Romney has secured 563, Rick Santorum 263, Newt Gingrich, 135 and Ron Paul 50. To secure the Republican Nomination for President a candidate must receive 1,144 delegates.

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