According to a CNN projection, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has easily won the Maryland Republican presidential primary.
The front-runner beat rival Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, and two other rivals still in the race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Romney, Gingrich and Paul all had made campaign visits to Maryland, while Santorum focused his efforts on the Wisconsin primary, also held on Tuesday.
There was little drama in the outcome. Maryland is a deep blue state, where only 27 percent of voters are registered as Republicans and where President Obama won by double digits in 2008. Maryland Republicans tend to be moderate, well-educated voters, exactly the types who have been attracted to Romney’s tempered, business-centric message throughout the GOP primary.
In winning Maryland, the former Massachusetts governor ratcheted up his delegate count. There were 37 total delegates at stake in Maryland. Romney secured at least the 13 that are awarded to the statewide winner. The remaining 24 will be allotted according to congressional districts. Before Tuesday’s contests, Romney had 572 delegates—exactly half of the 1,144 he needs to secure the nomination, while Santorum, his closest rival, had 272.