Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won most of the delegates in a three-state primary sweep and added a few more Wednesday from previous contests to move him within 200 delegates of clinching the Republican nomination for president.
He could get there by the end of the month.
Romney has 966 delegates. It takes 1,144 delegates to clinch the nomination to take on President Barack Obama in November. Romney has 178 delegates to go, though his campaign is already in general election mode.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the only other Republican still in the race, has 104 delegates.
Romney won 84 of the 107 delegates at stake in Tuesday's primaries in North Carolina, Indiana and West Virginia. He also picked up an endorsement from Ada Fisher, a Republican National Committee member from North Carolina who will automatically attend the convention.
Paul, who does much better in caucus states, won just six delegates _ two fewer than Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the race a month ago. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who dropped out of the race last week, won four delegates. Five delegates were designated as uncommitted.
Romney also picked up 19 delegates in Pennsylvania and six in Nevada.
Pennsylvania voters elected 59 delegates to the Republican national convention in the state's April primary. The delegates were not identified by the candidate they support, but 19 have endorsed Romney in interviews with The Associated Press. One endorsed Paul while Gingrich and Santorum each picked up two.
In Nevada's presidential caucuses in February, Romney won 14 delegates, Gingrich won six, Paul got five and Santorum got three. With Gingrich and Santorum out of the race, the Nevada GOP redistributed the delegates, giving Romney 20 and Paul eight.
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