Romney greets supporters during a town hall style meeting at Moore Oil on April 2 in Milwaukee, Wisc. during his final push through the state. Photo by Getty Images.
Updated: 10:02 p.m. ET | Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swept Tuesday’s three contests, easily winning the Republican primaries in Maryland and Washington, D.C. and capturing battleground Wisconsin in part by performing better with conservatives.
CNN and Fox News projected the Maryland result soon after polls closed with no actual votes tallied, an indication Romney’s margin of victory there was likely to be wide. An hour later, CNN projected the D.C. result. With less than 10 percent of the vote in, Romney held a 2,000-vote lead in Wisconsin as the networks called the race in his favor.
Early exit polls showed Romney appeared to have closed an important gap — capturing the most conservative voters and those who support and strongly support the tea party movement.
“This really has been quite a night,” Romney told supporters in Milwaukee.
Romney ignored his GOP rivals and instead focused on President Obama. He said the president has the wrong priorities and said his own economic agenda would be the only thing to restore the nation to greatness.
“We have a sacred duty to restore the promise of America,” Romney said. “And we will do it. We will do it because we believe in America. Join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept.”
Former Sen. Rick Santorum spoke early from Mars, Pa. as he looked to the April 24 primary in his home state. He called the election in Wisconsin “half time” in the GOP primary race.
“Pennsylvania and half the other people in this country have yet to be heard,” Santorum said.
Don’t miss this post from Dante Chinni of Patchwork Nation outlining Romney’s path in Wisconsin.
Monitor results as they come in on the NewsHour’s Vote 2012 Map Center.