Mitt Romney easily won primary contests Tuesday in Nebraska and Oregon last night, collecting more of the delegates he needs to secure the GOP nomination. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin-endorsed Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fischer — once considered an underdog — won the Republican nomination in Nebraska and will challenge Bob Kerrey for his former Senate seat there, the Associated Press reports.
Romney won at least 16 of the 25 delegates at stake in Oregon, with six delegates undecided as the vote count dragged into Wednesday morning. Romney has a total of 989 convention delegates. It takes 1,144 delegates to win the GOP nomination.
Nebraska Republicans also picked Romney although no delegates would be allotted in a vote that amounts to a beauty contest. The state's 32 delegates to the Republican National Convention later this year will be determined at the state convention on July 14.
Romney began the day 171 delegates short of the 1,144 needed for the nomination and was on pace to get them before the month ended.
In Nebraska, Republicans know they need to find someone to go toe-to-toe with Kerrey in the fall and could have opted for one of two statewide office holders — Attorney General Jon Bruning or Treasurer Don Stenberg, both of whom were better funded and better known than Fischer.
Instead, they chose Fischer, a ranch owner who was elected to the Legislature in 2004 and whose major push didn't come until days before Tuesday's primary. That's when she landed the endorsement of 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain and received a $200,000 ad blitz from a super PAC bankrolled by TD Ameritrade founder and Chicago Cubs co-owner Joe Ricketts.
Read more at the Associated Press.