Mitt Romney Takes Washington State 

UPDATE Sunday 6:00 a.m.

With 99 percent of the expected vote reporting, Mitt Romney captured 38 percent of the vote in the Washington State caucuses.

Ron Paul came in second with 25 percent of the vote, followed by Rick Santorum (24 percent) and Newt Gingrich (10 percent).

43 delegates go to Romney who now has a commanding two-to-one lead over Santorum in total delegates won. Romney's camp counts 184 delegates; Santorum has 91; Gingrich has 30 and Paul has 23.

But the biggest prizes come Tuesday for the big Super Tuesday showdown where Idaho and nine other states will hold caucuses or primaries. A total of 437 delegates are at stake on Tuesday.

UPDATE Saturday 9:00 p.m.

Mitt Romney shook off his Republican rivals to win Washington's Republican caucuses Saturday, giving the GOP frontrunner an air of increasing momentum heading into Super Tuesday.

With about 54 percent of the precinct votes counted Saturday evening, Romney had about 38 percent of the vote, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum vying for second place with about 24 percent each. Newt Gingrich trailed with more than 11 percent.

The Associated Press and CNN called the race early Saturday evening.

ORIGINAL STORY Saturday 6:00 p.m.

CNN is projecting Mitt Romney will win Saturday's Republican caucuses in Washington state.

Returns from caucuses in 54 percent of Washington precincts show Romney has 38 percent of the vote, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum following behind with 24 percent each, the Associated Press reported.

Early returns show Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives, has 8 percent of the vote, AP said.

Candidates are vying for 40 delegates in Washington, whose caucuses come just days before Super Tuesday when 10 states are scheduled to hold primaries and caucuses.

"All four major GOP presidential candidates campaigned in the state, hoping a strong finish there would carry over to Tuesday," CNN said.

The contest is the last before Super Tuesday.

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