Romney wins in Rhode Island primary

Mitt Romney will win the Rhode Island primary on Tuesday night, according to an NBC News projection.

The Ocean State’s 19 delegates will be awarded proportionately, giving a small boost to Ron Paul and his “convention strategy” of accumulating as many delegates as possible, despite the near certainty that Romney will be the Republican nominee.

Rhode Island is another example of Romney excelling in contests in the upper northeast states, which are close to where he governed in Massachusetts. The primary calendar in late April was heavy with contests in this region, and may have been a factor in Rick Santorum’s withdrawal earlier this month.

Still, Paul made a play for Rhode Island, releasing a TV ad and drawing an estimated 2,000 people to an event at the University of Rhode Island on Wednesday. If his fundraising doesn’t dry up, it could be evidence that Paul intends to continue battling for delegates and influence at the Republican National Convention in August.

With the primary complete, it’s unlikely that any of the GOP candidates will be returning to the deeply-blue state this campaign season. Rhode Island’s four electoral college votes have only gone for the Republican presidential candidate four times since 1924.

Tuesday’s election was the first time Rhode Island voters had to show ID to vote in accordance with the state’s new law.