Romney wins 6 states
Columbus, Ohio (CNN) — Mitt Romney’s showing in six states was not a super one for the Republican presidential hopeful, who failed to produce the convincing wins needed to demonstrate his ability to generate support among diehard conservatives.
It was best illustrated by Romney’s big Super Tuesday win in the bellwether state of Ohio, where he eked out a win over Rick Santorum, after failing to attract strong support from tea party conservatives and evangelical conservatives.
The issue dogs Romney as he heads into the Kansas caucuses on Saturday, and primaries in Mississippi and Alabama on March 13. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Santorum are focusing on races in those conservative states in their battle to become the lone right-wing challenger to the more moderate Romney.
“He still has a problem with the base,” said Ari Fleischer, a CNN contributor who was press secretary for President George W. Bush. “That base problem may make him attractive to independents if he gets to a general” election, but can work against Romney in the primary season.
Romney won his home state of Massachusetts as well as Ohio, Idaho, Vermont, Virginia and Alaska, while Santorum took North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee, according to unofficial tallies.
Gingrich grabbed a vital triumph in his home state of Georgia, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul failed to win in any of the states up for grabs.
The Super Tuesday contests in ten states put 419 delegates up for grabs.
Based on the partial results, CNN estimated that Romney had accumulated 404 delegates to 165 for Santorum, 106 for Gingrich and 66 for Paul in all Republican primaries and caucuses held to date. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the GOP nomination.