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Mitt Romney winning Washington Republican precinct caucuses by comfortable margin

Chalk up another victory for Mitt Romney. With more than sixty percent of the votes counted, the former Massachusetts governor is handily winning Washington’s Republican precinct caucuses, besting Rick Santorum and his two other remaining other rivals by a comfortable margin. Here are the current results:

Washington Republican precinct caucuses
Mitt Romney: 36.7% (11,294 votes)
Ron Paul: 24.5% (7,535 votes)
Rick Santorum: 24.4% (7,523 votes)
Newt Gingrich: 11.3% (3,473 votes)

Paul and Santorum remain nearly tied for second place. Paul has maintained a tiny-to-slight edge for much of the evening, but that could go away as votes from more Santorum-friendly counties are tallied and reported.

So far, Romney is winning King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Thurston, Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Cowlitz, Clark, Wahkiakum, Yakima, Kittitas, Grant, Adams, Garfield, Walla Walla, Benton, and Franklin counties.

Ron Paul is winning Pend Oreille, Ferry, Stevens, Okanogan, Whitman, Asotin, Klickitat, Skamania, and Pacific counties.

Rick Santorum has just three counties in his corner: Whatcom, Lincoln, and Columbia, though he is coming in second in many of the populous counties that Romney is winning (like Pierce and Kitsap).

Spokane, Skagit, Douglas, and Chelan have yet to report any results at all.

In a statement, Mitt Romney thanked Washington Republicans for their support. (He is no longer in the Evergreen State, having returned to the eastern timezone following yesterday morning’s rally in Bellevue).

“I’m heartened to have won the Washington caucuses, and I thank the voters for their support,” Romney said.

“I congratulate my fellow Republicans on a campaign well waged. We may differ from one another in background and experience. But we are united in our love of this country, and in our belief that with proper leadership America can do much better. The voters of Washington have sent a signal that they do not want a Washington insider in the White House. They want a conservative businessman who understands the private sector and knows how to get the federal government out of the way so that the economy can once again grow vigorously.”

“With the support of Washington’s voters, I look forward with optimism to the primaries and caucuses to come.”

Second-place finisher Ron Paul, meanwhile, is holding a caucus results party in downtown Seattle at the Bell Harbor Conference Center. Paul’s campaign had hoped for a victory in Washington so they could finally say that they had a state in their win column, but alas, they aren’t getting one.

UPDATE, 7:20 PM: Skagit, Spokane, and Douglas have finally reported some results. The former two are breaking for Romney and the latter is going for Santorum. Still nothing from Chelan County yet.

Washington Republican precinct caucuses
76.8% reporting (5213/6785)
Mitt Romney: 36.2% (14,971 votes)
Ron Paul: 25.1% (10,358 votes)
Rick Santorum: 24.4% (10,105 votes)
Newt Gingrich: 10.8% (4,476 votes)

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