Romney wins Massachusetts primary

Mitt Romney won a clear victory in his home state of Massachusetts on Super Tuesday.

Multiple networks called Massachusetts for Romney as the polls closed at 8 p.m. ET.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had won 72 percent of the vote. Rick Santorum led the rest of the pack with 12 percent. Ron Paul took third place with nearly 10 percent, and Newt Gingrich came in fourth with under 5 percent.

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Romney did not have to sweat his primary win in Massachusetts, the state where he lives and served as governor. The most recent polling, released Feb. 17 by Suffolk University, showed him leading by almost 50 points over Santorum. 

Romney won 51 percent of the Massachusetts vote in 2008, and the other GOP candidates this cycle did not expend much energy in the state. Consequently, Romney spent very little time in Massachusetts himself.

Massachusetts awards 41 delegates using a proportional system, so the question most observers were asking on the eve of the vote was how many Romney could win. Candidates are required to win at least 15 percent on a district-by-district basis in order to be awarded delegates, and Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Bob McGinn was pushing for a big win for Romney that he hoped would turn the traditionally Democratic state into a swing state for the general election.

Romney cast his own ballot in the state on Tuesday in Belmont, Mass.

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