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Romney Nears Needed Delegate Total With Primary Wins

Mitt Romney moved closer to capturing the number of delegates required to win the Republican presidential nomination with victories in yesterday’s Arkansas and Kentucky primaries.

After capturing the 75 delegates at stake in those two states, Romney has 1,067 of the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination, according to an Associated Press tally. The nomination will be formally conferred at the Republican National Convention Aug. 27-30 in Tampa, Florida.

The 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor may surpass the required number on May 29, when 152 delegates will be awarded in the Texas primary. The primaries end June 26 when Utah votes.

Romney had 68 percent of the vote in Arkansas with all precincts reporting, according to the AP. Representative Ron Paul of Texas and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania each had 13 percent and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia had almost 5 percent.

In Kentucky, Romney had 67 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting, according to the AP. Paul, whose son Rand Paul was elected to the Senate from the state in 2010, had almost 13 percent, followed by Santorum with 9 percent and Gingrich with 6 percent; another 6 percent were uncommitted.

Challenge for Obama

Results in the Democratic primaries in Arkansas and Kentucky underscored the political difficulties President Barack Obama faces in each state.

In Arkansas, with all precincts reporting, Obama had 58 percent of the vote to almost 42 percent for John Wolfe, a Tennessee lawyer who qualified for the ballot.

In Kentucky, with all precincts reporting, Obama had 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent for an uncommitted slate of delegates.

Obama lost both states to Republican John McCain in 2008, Arkansas by 20 percentage points and Kentucky by 16 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Frederick in Washington at dfrederick1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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