Mitt Romney Surpasses Fellow Contenders

 Following a string of victories late Tuesday, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney surpassed fellow contenders, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, vying for the Republican presidential nomination, as the party’s front-runner.
Romney won delegates’ votes in five out of ten Republican states, Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, Idaho and eked out a narrow win over Santorum in the most-coveted state of Ohio.
Ohio was important because no Republican nominee has taken the White House without winning the bellwether state in the general election.
Santorum won contests in three states, while Newt Gingrich took his home state of Georgia. Ron Paul was pinning his hopes for his only victory of the nomination campaign on Alaska’s caucuses.
The eventual nominee will be crowned at the Republican convention in August before challenging Presidential Barack Obama in November’s election.
Out of the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination at the party convention in August, more than 400 were up for grabs in Tuesday’s contests.
Each of the top candidates showed strength, as expected, in friendly territory-Romney in the Northeast, including Massachusetts, where he had served as governor, and Gingrich in the state he represented in Congress. In winning Tennessee and Oklahoma, Santorum carried states where his social conservatism had been expected to resonate.
The returns came as voters turned out for primaries and caucuses in 10 Super Tuesday contests packed with consequence for all four of the major Republican presidential candidates.
The drawn-out nomination fight, which has been waged in large part through negative television advertisements, has taken a toll on the Republican Party, polling suggests.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll, according to KUNA, showed only 35percent of Americans looked upon Mr. Romney favorably, compared to 32 percent for Mr. Paul, 23 percent for Mr. Gingrich, and 32 percent for Mr. Santorum.