Mitt Romney will win Saturday's Republican caucuses in Washington state, CNN projects, giving the former Massachusetts governor a shot in the arm heading into Super Tuesday.
With more than 60% of the vote in, Romney had 37% while Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum were tied for second with 24%. They were trailed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 11%.
At stake in the contest are 40 delegates.
Romney released a statement on his victory. Here's an excerpt:
I’m heartened to have won the Washington caucuses, and I thank the voters for their support. Every day that passes with Barack Obama in the White House is a day in which America’s recovery from the economic crisis is delayed. Unemployment here in Washington was recently as high as 10.2 percent. It’s wonderful that it has declined to 8.3 percent. But that is still an unacceptable level, bringing hardship and suffering and sleepless nights to too many American homes. I believe in an America in which everyone seeking work can find it....
Once again, 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.