Romney wins in Puerto Rico while focused on Illinois

Mitt Romney handily won Puerto Rico’s primary on Sunday, trouncing challenger Rick Santorum in his quest to try and create the mathematical inevitability to score the Republican presidential nomination to challenge President Obama.

Romney, the GOP front-runner, picked up all of Puerto Rico’s 20 delegates because he got more than 50 percent of the vote. About 150,000 people were expected to cast ballots.

The win further boosted Romney’s delegate lead over his rivals. Romney now has 521 delegates, while Santorum has 253, Newt Gingrich 136 and Ron Paul 50.

Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom tweeted a tweak at Santorum, saying that he suffered a “huge loss” in Puerto Rico. Gingrich and Paul did not compete in the contest.

While Santorum and Romney campaigned on the island territory last week, they are also looking forward to Tuesday’s primary in Illinois, with 69 delegates and then to Louisiana on the weekend, which provides 18 pledged delegates.

The goal is an algebraic equation that forces one of two scenarios: Romney begins to wrap up his quest for the 1,144 delegate majority needed for victory, or Santorum, with the help of Gingrich’s proportional take, pulls away enough delegates from the front-runner to halt him in his tracks and possibly force a brokered convention.

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