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Super Tuesday: Vermont primary win gives Romney a delegate boost

March 06, 2012|By David Meeks

Mitt Romney won the Vermont primary, the Associated Press projected, easily beating Rick Santorum and Ron Paul in a New England state that borders Massachusetts, where Romney served as governor.

It's Romney's second prize of Super Tuesday, after Virginia was also called in his favor.

Vermont was called based on exit polls, which projected a double-digit margin for Romney. Paul and Santorum were closely matched for second place.

Based on early returns, Romney, Paul and Santorum stood to collect delegates in Vermont. The state holds 17 Republican delegates, with 14 of them awarded on a proportional basis to any candidate who receives more than 20% of the vote, unless one candidate earns more than a majority. The other three delegates are the elected state party leaders.

Polls showed Romney comfortably ahead, prompting his competitors to skip campaigning there. Besides Romney, only Ron Paul spent advertising dollars in Vermont in the run-up to the primary. John McCain won the Republican primary here in 2008 over Mike Huckabee.

In general elections Vermont has been reliably Democratic for decades, last opting for the Republican nominee when George Bush, after serving as vice president for two terms under Ronald Reagan, carried the state in 1988. Barack Obama carried Vermont in the 2008 general election and it is considered safely Democratic no matter who emerges as the Republican nominee.

david.meeks@latimes.com

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