Mitt Romney pads delegate lead with 3 early wins, Newt wins Georgia, Santorum leads in Oklahoma and Tennessee

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney rolled to primary victories in Virginia, Vermont and home-state Massachusetts on Super Tuesday, reaching for a decisive advantage over his persistent rivals in the most turbulent race for the Republican presidential nomination in a generation.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich countered with a home-field win in Georgia in the marathon campaign to pick a rival to President Barack Obama in November. Rick Santorum looked toward Tennessee and Oklahoma for his own victories, while Ron Paul placed his hope in caucus states.

A total of 419 delegates were up for grabs in 10 states Tuesday. Both Romney and Gingrich were likely to add delegates as more votes were tallied.

In the overall race for delegates, Romney leads with 267, including endorsements from members of the Republican National Committee who automatically attend the convention and can support any candidate they choose. Gingrich has 56 delegates, while Santorum has 92 and Paul has 25.

It takes 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

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