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Romney marches closer to nomination as Nebraska and Oregon vote

May 15, 2012|By Kim Geiger
(AP Photo/Omaha World-Herald,…)

With Mitt Romney essentially the last Republican presidential candidate standing, the former Massachusetts governor will inch closer to officially clinching his party’s nomination Tuesday when voters head to the polls in Oregon and Nebraska.

Though the GOP presidential race lacks suspense, Republicans will have their eyes on Nebraska, where the retirement of Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, has left a key seat up for grabs.

Democratic former Sen. Bob Kerrey is expected to win his party’s nomination, but the battle on the Republican side between Attorney General John Bruning, state Treasurer Don Stenberg and state legislator Deb Fischer, is less clear. The outcome Tuesday will determine the final matchup in a race that could factor heavily in the GOP’s quest to win control of the Senate.

Meanwhile, voters in Idaho will cast ballots in statewide primaries. Mitt Romney won the Idaho caucuses, which took place in March, with 62% of the vote.

Sixty-three delegates are at stake in Tuesday’s GOP presidential primaries, but Nebraska’s 35 delegates won’t be allocated until the state GOP convention in July.

Romney has 973 delegates, according to the latest Associated Press tally, so it will be impossible for him to reach the 1,144 delegates he’d need to clinch the nomination Tuesday night.

kim.geiger@latimes.com

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