Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won primary elections held in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. The three victories helped Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, further lock down the Republican nomination for president. "We won a great victory tonight in our campaign to restore the promise of America," Romney said during a victory speech on Tuesday night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Romney is currently competing against three primary opponents for the nomination: Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. Barack Obama will likely be the Democratic nominee. His party is expected to officially announce his candidacy at the Democratic National Convention, in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. The official Republican nominee and the official Democratic nominee will compete in November’s presidential election.
Choosing a Candidate
Since January, states have held contests, called primaries or caucuses, to allow residents to vote for their favorite candidate. These votes help the Republican Party choose their nominee for the general presidential election. More states will continue to hold contests through June. In August, Republican delegates—elected state representatives—will officially vote for the party nominee at the Republican National Convention, in Tampa, Florida.
The goal for each presidential hopeful is to gain a majority of delegates and come away with the party's nomination. As of Wednesday, Romney has won a total of 646 delegates during primary season. Santorum has 272 delegates, Gingrich has 135 and Paul has 51. The lead candidate will need 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination.
As Romney pulls further ahead in the race for the Republican nomination, he is turning his attention toward campaigning against Democratic President Barack Obama. Obama launched his own campaign for re-election in April 2011. "There is a basic choice before us," Romney told cheering supporters in Milwaukee. "Our different visions for America are the product of our values and our life experiences."
But Santorum, Romney’s main primary opponent, is not ready to give up his fight. He is shifting his focus to the next primary election, which will be held on April 24 in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Rhode Island. "Ladies and gentleman, Pennsylvania and half the other people in this country have yet to be heard,” Santorum told supporters Tuesday night in Pennsylvania, a state he grew up in and represented in Congress for several years. “We're going to go out and campaign here and across this nation to make sure that their voices are heard in the next few months."
To learn more about all of the Election 2012 candidates, visit timeforkids.com/election12.