SAN JUAN – Mitt Romney scored a resounding win in Sunday’s primary race in Puerto Rico to pick a Republican nominee to take on President Barack Obama in November’s election.
With 31 percent of the precincts reporting, the former Massachusetts governor had more than 83 percent of the vote, according to the the State Elections Commission, or CEEPR.
His chief rival Rick Santorum stood a distant second with eight percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich had 2.1 percent, just ahead of Representative Ron Paul’s 1.2 percent.
US media projected Romney would win comfortably based on the partial count.
The US commonwealth in the Caribbean has only 20 delegates at stake for the Republican National Convention in August but has been courted vigorously by contenders in part because the broader US Hispanic vote is seen as crucial to the election outcome.
The primary came just two days before a major battle in Illinois, where 54 delegates are at stake and polls show Romney and Santorum in a closely fought race.