The Ticket

As Republicans nominate Romney, Ron Paul is a distant second

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

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Alternate delegates celebrate after Mitt Romney secures the votes needed to get the Republican Party’s nomination. …

Mitt Romney was born in Michigan, served as governor of Massachusetts, vacations in New Hampshire (and France), saved the Olympics in Utah—but on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, it was Chris Christie's New Jersey that gave him the number of delegates to formally nominate him to take on President Barack Obama.

The Garden State cast all 50 of its votes for Romney, putting him over the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination that had already essentially been his for months. The crowd gathered in Tampa cheered and called out "Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!" as giant television screens over the convention stage showed photos of Romney.

Romney won't formally be the nominee until he accepts the call in a prime-time speech on Thursday, but the state-by-state roll call vote gave him 2,061 delegates. Other Republicans picked up the remaining 202 delegates, with veteran Texas Rep. Ron Paul taking most of those not lining up behind the party establishment's pick. More than a dozen delegates abstained. Texas offered the greatest diversity: one abstaining, one each for independent presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Rep. Michele Bachmann (their sole votes), one for former Sen. Rick Santorum, 20 for Ron Paul and 130 for Romney.

Each state indulged in a little bit of home-style boasting. The person announcing the tally from Illinois joked that it would soon be home to former President Obama. Alabama's speaker bragged about football championships and a new airplane manufacturing plant. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell underlined that his home state of Kentucky hosts what he called the most important horse race in the world, the Kentucky Derby (he also seemed to cast the state's votes for "Mitch Romney.") Some states offered their thoughts and prayers for Louisiana, in the path of Hurricane Isaac seven years after the devastation wrought by Katrina. Louisiana offered its thanks.

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