Is it a done deal?
On the night that President Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, Republican Mitt Romney may have put the race out of reach for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Romney's wins in Tuesday's Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington D.C. primaries will increase his delegate lead. Even so, Romney, though more than halfway there, still lacks many of the total number of delegates he'll need to win the nomination.
So how do GOP voters feel about Romney as "the guy" heading into a 21-day primary layoff? We asked a handful for their reactions:
"Santorum and Gingrich should drop out. They won't win. At this point, they're just 'statement' candidates. Romney's candidacy would get a big boost if Santorum and Gingrich would unite to back Romney. Time for everyone to get on board." -- Jason Baker-Ross, 34, car salesman, Akron, Ohio
"Romney isn't my candidate. Washington, D.C. can vote however it wants. I don't think Santorum should drop out… he should fight all the way to the primary. [Santorum] has values that matter to him, and they matter to me. I'd rather see him keep fighting, so at least I can show my kids one politician who has his head on straight." -- Emily Wurder, 48, homemaker, Tempe, Ariz.
"I don't like Romney. I don't like any of them. But it's too late now. I might just vote for John McCain again. Does Romney make you feel excited? I'm not excited. If Romney's the guy, the race is over and we'll have four more years of Obama. Why bother voting?" -- Marcus Hallum, 75, retired, Atlanta
"I hope that Gingrich, Paul and Santorum can last until the convention. It would be exciting to watch the decision play out at the convention. Even if Romney gets enough delegates to win, I hope there's still an exciting convention with Gingrich and Santorum both speaking and contributing to the platform." -- DeShaun Sharp, 21, political science major, Newark, N.J.
"I don't want Obamacare. I don't want Romneycare. My mother's got cancer and I don't want the government deciding things for us. Romney or Obama -- who cares? Santorum should keep fighting. Maybe people will listen. It's better than giving up." -- Jessie Earlbusch, 50, administrative assistant, Wheeling, W.V.
"I'm fine with Romney. He knows what to do with the economy and he'll get us making things and starting new jobs. I liked Paul, but Romney's the next best choice. I'll vote for him. We should end the race now and help Romney save money." -- Jackson Marshall, 26, unemployed, Columbus, Ohio
"Good for Romney. He'll run a good campaign and have money to spend. I hate Santorum. People don't realize how clueless he is about how to run a business. I sort of wanted Gingrich to come back again, but I know that Romney is a better choice. He proved that in Wisconsin, right? But I don't think we should force anyone out of the race. Romney should be a good enough candidate to handle it." -- Andrew Shivley, 44, franchise owner, Erie, Pa.
- Rick Santorum
- Newt Gingrich