THE BEAT GOES ON – AT 8:31 A.M. ET: Romney has essentially captured the Republican nomination, but the race is, technically, still on. Today is a kind of junior Super Tuesday. Five states vote: Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Romney could really nail it down today. From Fox:
Already the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney could effectively shut out his remaining Republican presidential rivals in the next round of primaries Tuesday and emerge the clear rival to President Obama in November.
The five-state set of primaries Tuesday became decidedly less interesting after Rick Santorum, Romney's top primary opponent, suspended his campaign earlier this month. But the low-key race could set the field for the general election...
...On the Republican side, Romney has the opportunity Tuesday to sideline both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
While Romney will not be able to clinch the nomination outright -- he needs 1,144 delegates to do that, and will not reach that threshold Tuesday -- he could make it mathematically impossible in most scenarios for either of his two remaining opponents to reach that number.
COMMENT: Romney is the nominee. Virtually all political buzz is turning to his vice presidential choice, and the extraordinary visibility of Marco Rubio.
April 24, 2012