Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has all but clinched the Republican presidential nomination. With Rick Santorum out of the race, the GOP establishment has been lining up behind him, albeit while holding their noses. Romney leads the delegate count with 685 of the 1,144 required, followed by Santorum (262), Gingrich (136) and Paul (63). On April 24, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware will hold their primary contests. Here’s what’s at stake in the race for the night’s 212 delegate haul.
New York: “When Santorum dropped out, the excitement just dropped down to nothing,” Westchester County legislator Jim Maisano told lohud.com. “No one I know on the Republican side is even talking about the primary.” Despite a lack of enthusiasm about the primary, New York’s 95 delegates are nothing to sneeze at. Whoever wins more than 50 percent of the votes will get all of the delegates.
Pennsylvania: Rumor had it that the desire to avoid another humiliating loss in his home state was the driving force behind former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s decision to bow out of the Republican presidential nominating race. Romney has no such worries and will likely handily win the primary. The commonwealth’s 72 delegates, however, are not allocated based on the primary vote and instead are elected and then free to vote for whomever they wish at the party’s national convention.
Connecticut: Connecticut is another state that Romney is predicted to win with more than 50 percent of the vote and capture the 25 delegates on the table. Romney is leading his current and formal rivals in the most recent Quinnipiac University poll by 42 percent, followed by Santorum (19 percent), whose name still appears on the ballot; Newt Gingrich (13 percent); and Rep. Ron Paul (9 percent). Republican leaders, however, are concerned about low voter turnout because at this point Romney’s nomination is a given.
Rhode Island: The bigger news about Election Day in Rhode Island is not whether Romney will win the tiny state, but that it will be the first statewide test of the state’s new voter ID law. The three delegates on offer will be allocated proportionally. So, for example, half go to whoever wins 50 percent of the vote and the person who wins 10 percent earns a tenth.
Delaware: Newt Gingrich is the only Republican candidate who’s bothered to spend a significant amount of time wooing voters in the First State. If he wins, it would be only his third victory, but the 17 delegates in the winner-takes-all state would be a boost and could determine whether the former House speaker moves forward in the race.
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(Photos: Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images, T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)