Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney swept presidential primaries in five northeastern states April 24, widening his delegate lead on rivals Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Romney won GOP primary contests in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Delaware
“After 43 primaries and caucuses,” Romney announced in his victory speech, “many long days and not a few long nights, I can say with confidence — and gratitude — that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility. And, together, we will win on November 6th!” Romney pledged the theme of the fall campaign with him as GOP nominee would be the economy, taking a twist on Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign theme: "It's still about the economy, and we're not that stupid.”
The Washington Post noted that the primary wins have widened Romney's lead, but not yet guaranteed him the nomination. “Tuesday’s victories still left Romney short of the 1,144 delegates needed to lock up the nomination. But after defeating his remaining opponents on one of the biggest primary days of the year, the rest of the contests will amount to a mopping-up effort rather than a series of tense or meaningful battles.” Next up on the calendar are primaries May 8 in Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Delegate-rich primaries in Texas (Paul's home state) and California are still more than a month in the future.
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