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Santorum pulls out, Romney set to be Republican nominee

Rick Santorum pulled out of the race on Tuesday, leaving just a few technicalities standing between Mitt Romney and the Republican nomination to take on President Barack Obama.

world Updated: Apr 12, 2012 00:56 IST
Yashwant Raj

Rick Santorum pulled out of the race on Tuesday, leaving just a few technicalities standing between Mitt Romney and the Republican nomination to take on President Barack Obama.

With only Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remaining in the contest but without a realistic chance of denying Romney what has been his from the start, the Republican primaries are all but over.

"The presidential race is over for me," Santorum said at a campaign rally accompanied by his family, ahead of the eagerly awaited primary in his home state Pennsylvania.

Santorum, recent polls showed, was in danger of losing there to Romney, whose campaign was planning to sink millions in TV ads to crush the local boy at home.

Santorum had earlier declared the Pennsylvania fight to tbe the start of the second half of the race, one in which he would emerge the undisputed choice of the party.

After 11 primary wins, Santorum was running a distant second to Romney, trailing a long way in delegate count, with diminishing chances of ever closing the gap.

The former Pennsylvania senator had indeed come a long way after a slow and a frustrating start struggling for attention. He used to complain of not getting enough time during debates.

As heavyweights Rick Perry, Michele Bachman and Herman Cain blazed in and out of the race, and Jon Huntsman sneaked in and out, Santorum struggled on, angry and frustrated - till he hit Iowa, the first of the Republican primaries he won.

Santorum projected himself as the authentic conservative, in contrast to Romney, who has struggled to convince the party's conservative base of his conservative credentials.