Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by a landslide Tuesday in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.
Romney grabbed the headlines Tuesday night, after winning the high-profile Pennsylvania Republican primary and four other northeastern-state GOP contests. With his main rival, Rick Santorum, out of the running, Romney finally started securing majorities — after four months of strugglng to get to the 50 percent mark. But the Republicn frontrunner who can’t quite buy the love of his party was still losing more than 40 percent of the Pennsylvania GOP vote to Santorum’s non-candidacy and the bitter-ender runs of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
And while the attention was on Romney’s "win," the numbers from Pennsylvania revealed that he was losing — by a whole lot — to Obama.
The president’s Democratic primary total was 150,000 votes ahead of Romney’s Republican primary total.
In fact, Obama equaled that of Romney and Santorum combined.
Obama was always going to prevail in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, just as he has in every primary and caucus during the course of an election year where the president has been spared the inside-the-party wrangling that tripped up Lyndon Johnson in 1968, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H. W. Bush in 1992. According to the Associated Press count, Tuesday night’s primaries in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island gave the president the last delegates he’ll need to officially clinch the Democratic nomination.
That wasn’t the case for Mitt Romney. Despite having been the presumptive front-runner for most of the 2012 Republican race, Romney has struggled to get Republicans to vote for him. At the point when his chief challenger, Santorum, dropped out of the GOP race in early April, Romney had won only 41 percent of the Republican primary and caucus vote versus 59 percent for his rivals.
Even as he went into Tuesday’s primaries in a region where he should be strongest, and where he faces little organized opposition, Romney had to run hard, hoping to finish off former House Speaker Gingrich (who mounted a last-ditch drive in Delaware) and to avert any protest vote from diehard Santorum backers on the former senator’s home turf.
Romney’s worked hardest in Pennsylvania, bringing in Florida Senator Marco Rubio for a vice presidential test drive, making nine major stops and gathering with grassroots Republicans at a backyard picnic table where he famously dissed cookies from Allegheny County’s popular Bethel Bakery. But even as Romney "swept" Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island tonight, he was not winning enough delegates to claim the GOP nod.