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Huckabee ties Romney at 5 with Tennessee win; McCain leads with 8 states

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been declared the winner in Tennessee, tying himself with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt Romney Eugene Goodman to throw out first pitch at Nationals game White House briefed on bipartisan infrastructure deal but says questions remain On The Money: Consumer prices jumped 5 percent annually in May | GOP senators say bipartisan group has infrastructure deal MORE with five victories on Super Tuesday and trailing Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who has notched eight wins so far.

McCain earned expected victories in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and New York and adding closer wins in Missouri and Oklahoma.

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Huckabee’s wins in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia were not widely expected and look to be part of a strong performance in the southeastern quadrant of the country for the heretofore third- place candidate. Huckabee also won his home state Tuesday night.

Romney won his home state and heavily Mormon Utah early on, later adding Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota.

McCain emerged from an extremely tight race with Huckabee in Missouri.

Three states remain. The polls closed at 11 p.m. EST in California, a behemoth which is the big prize of the night. The other outstanding states were Alaska and Colorado.

McCain said with most of the results in that he was closer to his party’s nomination.

“I think it’s fair to say that we might have come a little bit closer to the day when mothers in Arizona might be able to tell their children that some day they could grow up to be president of the United States,” McCain said.

Despite tying Romney thus far, Huckabee picked up some big wins and asserted that he remains a contender in the race, which has looked to be between McCain and Romney.

Picking up on Romney’s rhetoric, Huckabee said Tuesday night that the contest for the GOP nomination is a two-man race, ostensibly between himself and McCain.

“Lots of people are saying it’s a two-man race,” Huckabee said. “Well, it is, and we’re in it.”

Romney said that he will stay in the race through the convention. He urged patience for the results in western states like California, Colorado and Montana, before it was called in his favor.

“One thing that’s clear is that this campaign is going on,” Romney said.

In West Virginia, Huckabee overtook Romney on the second ballot despite the former Massachusetts governor having an eight-point lead after the first round of voting. McCain only took one percent of the vote in the second round and most of his supporters went to Huckabee in what Romney alleges was a concerted effort.

McCain’s campaign has denied any such backroom deal, and Huckabee said he didn’t have any knowledge of it.

The convention will award 18 of the West Virginia's 30 delegates to the Republican National Convention.