Romney, Gingrich score Super Tuesday victories

Associated Press
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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks to reporters on his campaign plane before taking off for Boston, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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 as the GOP contenders vied for the chance to take on Democratic President Barack Obama in November.

Romney also dueled Rick Santorum in Ohio, their second industrial-state showdown in as many weeks and the marquee matchup of the busiest night of the race.

Santorum and the fourth contender, Rep. Ron Paul, sought success elsewhere, with contests stretching across the country and more than 400 Republican National Convention delegates at stake.

Win or lose there, Romney said "I think we'll pick up a lot of delegates, and this is a process of gathering enough delegates to become the nominee and I think we're on track to have that happen."

There were primaries in Tennessee and Oklahoma as well as Virginia, Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts and Georgia. Caucuses in North Dakota, Idaho and Alaska rounded out the calendar.