Mitt Romney clinches nomination in Texas primary

 
 Mitt Romney speaks in Craig, Colorado 29 May 2012 The Obama-Romney race is predicted to be close

Mitt Romney has secured his place as the Republican challenger to Barack Obama in November's US presidential election, following a primary in Texas.

Results show he easily cleared the benchmark of 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination.

Mr Romney said he was "humbled". He is the first Mormon from a major party to contest the presidential election.

He is set to be officially anointed as the Republican nominee at the party convention in Florida in late August.

Mr Romney was attending a private fundraiser in Las Vegas with real estate tycoon Donald Trump as results of the Texas primary emerged on Tuesday night.

Delegate totals

0 750 1500
  • Mitt Romney
  • Rick Santorum
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Ron Paul
  • 1522
  • 255
  • 138
  • 158

See detail of all states won

A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to win

He will spend the coming days at a series of West Coast events to raise money as the race against Barack Obama is set to intensify.

Mr Romney has been the presumptive nominee for several weeks as his rivals withdrew or suspended campaigning.

With 1,086 delegates secured as he entered the Texas race, Mr Romney only needed 58 to pass the 1,144 mark, and he won 69% of the vote. Texas awards 152 delegates proportionally.

He is set to surpass his father, George Romney, a former Michigan governor who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 1968.

Opinion polls suggest Mitt Romney is locked in an extremely close race with Mr Obama in November.

"I am honoured that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee," Mr Romney said in statement.

The Obama White House is ready for Mitt Romney. That he is not seen as a man of the people is one vulnerability Mr Obama's team will exploit. So is the way Mr Romney made his millions.

The Obama team also wants to promote the image of its Republican rival as very right wing. Not simply conservative but old-fashioned. The out-of-touch old guy who would bring back the past.

Romney has, so far, failed to inspire. He doesn't have "it" - he is not a candidate bathed in charisma. Yet every time I watch Mr Romney he seems a little sharper. Perhaps the harsh primary season has honed him, sharpened the steel. But there is work for his team. They have decided what they are against, but not quite what their man is for.

As Mr Romney achieved his delegate majority, the Democratic National Committee released a video titled Mitt Romney: Little to Like.

The video suggests Mr Romney favours the wealthy, and it highlights the former governor's association with Mr Trump, who has been touting a long discredited theory that the president was born in Kenya.

On Monday the Romney campaign released an attack ad criticising Mr Obama over a federal loan to a solar panel maker which later went bankrupt.

On Tuesday Mr Romney spent the day campaigning in Colorado and Nevada. He also met casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, who gave millions to supporters of Newt Gingrich's campaign during the primary season.

Experts say the outcome of November's election could depend on what happens in a handful of battleground states, including Colorado and Nevada, as the candidates vie for the support of independent voters.

Political pundits are now speculating who Mr Romney will pick as his vice-presidential running mate.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 87.

    The big question now is whether Romney moves further to the right to energise the base and get the Tea Party campaigning for him, or moves back into the centre (his real position) to capture more independents.

    I think the most sensible solution would be to become liberal again. Many Obama voters are disillusioned and could potentially be switched if the Republican candidate was moderate enough.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 86.

    So the Republicans have decided that the best way to win the election is to nominate a "moderate" form Massachusetts who doesn't enthuse core supporters but will make up for it by appealing to the centre ground.

    Were they not paying attention during 2004?

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 75.

    Romney is rather moderate as far as Republicans go. If he wins, and his chances keep improving, he could get rather lucky with the economy and give a big boost to the GOP's claimed abilities. However, inequality poverty, and healthcare in the US will all continue to get worse. Additionally, the prospect of a big war will increase.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 63.

    The USA have the best President in Obama they have had in years. They would be so foolish to vote him out. The World needs calm, thoughtful, intelligent leaders not ones full of hot air, bluster and empty promises. The UK is lead by the privileged few who know nothing at all about life for ordinary hard working people. Act in haste, repent at leisure

  • rate this
    -36

    Comment number 52.

    As a former resident of California, married to a US citizen, I have to say that I am excited by the prospect of Mitt Romney as US president. My father in law knew Romney very well for over 10 years. I asked him what he thought about Romney being President. He said that he would be excellent, he is very incisive, a good leader and well organised.In short, he would be perfect for the job

 

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