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Romney adds to delegates lead, inching closer to number needed to clinch nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) ' Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney added to his big lead in the race for convention delegates Tuesday by winning Republican presidential primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, inching closer to the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.
Romney won at least 55 delegates Tuesday, with 52 still undecided. Romney has a commanding lead in the race for delegates with 911. He is 233 delegates shy of the 1,144 he needs to clinch the nomination ' a gap he could close by the end of the month.
The only other Republican still in the race, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, has 94 delegates.
Romney won all 27 delegates at stake in Indiana and at least 28 of the 52 delegates up for grabs in North Carolina. Voters also went to the polls in West Virginia, with 28 delegates at stake, but delegate results were not expected on election night.
West Virginia elects individual delegates directly on the ballot. Each delegate is listed on the ballot ' three in each of the three congressional districts and 19 statewide ' along with the presidential candidate they support. With 112 candidates running for the 19 statewide spots, results were expected to be late.
North Carolina awarded delegates in direct proportion to the statewide vote, so Paul should win a few delegates even though he was trailing Romney by 55 percentage points with about 42 percent of the precincts reporting.
Even Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who both dropped out of the race, stand to win a few North Carolina delegates because their names were still on the ballot.