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Republican Romney sails to easy win in Nevada ballot

[ 2012-02-06 14:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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US Republican front-runner Mitt Romney cruised to an easy victory in Nevada on Saturday, crushing his three remaining rivals and taking firm command of the party's volatile presidential nominating race.

With 10 percent of the vote counted, Romney had 48 percent, more than double that of each of his closest rivals, former US house speaker Newt Gingrich and US Representative Ron Paul.

The victory was Romney's second in a row and his third in the first five contests in the state-by-state battle to find a Republican challenger to President Barack Obama in November's general election.

It propels him into the next contests - in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri on Tuesday - with a big wave of momentum.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, took control of the Nevada contest early after recapturing his front-runner status with a convincing win over Gingrich in Florida last Tuesday.

He benefited from a huge financial and organizational edge in Nevada, which he won with 51 percent of the vote during his failed 2008 presidential bid. With a faltering economy and a bigbloc of Mormon voters, the state was friendly terrain for Romney, a Mormon and former head of a private equity firm.

Romney stressed his business background as a cure for the state's ailing economy, which suffers from the country's highest state unemployment rate, 12.6 percent in December, and the highest home foreclosure rate.

Entrance polls in Nevada showed that was a persuasive argument, with the economy ranking as the top issue and Romney winning over nearly two-thirds of the voters who listed it as their top concern.

Romney hopes Nevada will kick off a February winning streak that could position him for a knockout blow to Gingrich during the 10 "Super Tuesday" contests on March 6 - or sooner.

But his main rival Gingrich, who came in second place, vowed to fight all the way to August for his party's nomination, which he insists he can still win.

The caucuses were held at 125 sites around the state, with voters breaking up into small groups by precinct to tout their candidates and debate their choices. Several Romney supporters said they were backing him because he could win in November.

At least 1,114 delegates are needed to secure the nomination in August. Nevada will award 28 delegates and split them proportionally based on the vote total.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Republican Romney sails to easy win in Nevada ballot

About the broadcaster:

Republican Romney sails to easy win in Nevada ballot

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.