Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney won the Rhode Island Republican primary last night with 63 percent of the vote. Rep. Ron Paul, R-T.X. finished second, netting 23 percent of the votes. Romney will bring 13 delegates from Rhode Island to his party’s convention in August, and Paul will take three.
Nineteen delegates will represent Rhode Island at the Republican National Convention in August, three of which are unpledged.
Romney also won Republican primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York last night – each by substantial margins. He cast last night’s victories as a turning point in the nomination process in his victory speech in New Hampshire.
“After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than 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 are going to win on November 6,” Romney said to the crowd.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Sen. Rick Santorum, R-P.A. – who suspended his campaign April 10 – each garnered 6 percent of the votes.
The turnout for Rhode Island’s contest was low – around 14,000 voters came out in favor of Republicans. The state’s 2008 primary was over a month earlier, which corresponded to a higher turnout – more than twice as many voters came to the polls four years ago.
President Obama did not face any challengers in last night’s Democratic primary.
Both Romney and Paul have paid visits to Rhode Island over the past two weeks. Rhode Island was the only state holding a primary yesterday that awarded its delegates proportionally. Such states are crucial for candidates like Paul, who are not expected to win any states outright but who are trying to secure delegates.