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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Mitt Romney's campaign didn't expect the nomination to come to this, but they'd have to admit it makes for dramatic television.
Romney and opponents Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are each poised to grab delegates on the grandest day of the Republican race, Super Tuesday, but none of them is dealing with a level of urgency quite like the former Massachusetts governor, who needs to wrap up the nomination soon to dispel questions about whether he represents the GOP's best hope against President Barack Obama in November.
Ten states and 437 delegates went up for grabs
on Super Tuesday with Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee each offering more than 50 delegates.
Romney has taken Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia and the Idaho caucuses, while Gingrich grabbed Georgia and Santorum triumphed in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota, which held caucuses.
Romney also won Alaska's Super Tuesday caucuses, according to
The Associated Press.
Most eyes, however, were locked on Ohio because of the state's crucial battleground status for the general election. A Republican has never won the presidency without first winning Ohio in the GOP primary, and the questions that remain about Romney's viability will become even more persistent if he doesn't manage to beat underdog Santorum there.
Romney won the Buckeye State, 38% to 37%. Gingrich and Paul were well behind with 15% and 9% of the vote, respectively.
"We are smiling and optimistic," a Santorum aide wrote in a message. "Very far from over," the aide said in reference to the larger race for the nomination.
According to the
AP, Romney has won 415 delegates, while Santorum is in second with 176 delegates. Gingrich has 105, and Ron Paul has 47. A candidate can clinch the nomination with 1,114 delegates.
The polls favored Romney in Ohio ahead of the vote, while Gingrich was a heavy favorite in Georgia; Santorum held a slight lead in Tennessee. Paul was looking to pick up his first-ever state win in his Republican nomination runs, which seemed possible with caucuses in the smaller states of Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota.
Meantime, Barack Obama also managed to make his mark on Super Tuesday as he wished Romney "good luck" and then
jabbed at his wannabe opponents' gripes
"What's said on the campaign trail, those folks don't have a lot of responsibilities; they aren't commander-in-chief," Obama said.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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