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Ron Paul to Stop Competing in Primaries, Focus on Convention Delegates

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ron Paul announced today he will suspend active campaigning in the GOP presidential race, but will continue to campaign for delegates at state conventions. The news comes after his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), late last week dismissed the suggestion that his father is quietly planning a nominating convention coup.

“For all practical purposes, it is over. The numbers are there and Mitt Romney’s going to win the nomination,” Rand Paul said during an interview Thursday. 

Mitt Romney Accepts GOP Nomination

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney effectively accepted the Republican nomination for president this evening, as he cruised to victory in five primaries and padded his delegate lead over the two other GOP candidates left in the race.

The address appeared to serve as an unveiling for a number of themes likely to re-emerge throughout the campaign against Obama, and Romney attempted to turn the president’s “fairness” message against him, arguing that the commander in chief’s dismal record has led to a condition of “unfairness” for millions of Americans.

Romney's Chief Whip Roy Blunt Has a Good Week

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By all accounts, the end of March and the beginning of April have been kind to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the leader of Mitt Romney’s effort to secure Member endorsements.

In recent days, the former Massachusetts governor and GOP presidential frontrunner has been endorsed by a group of much sought after tea party stalwarts, including GOP Sens. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Marco Rubio (Fla.). Also endorsing on the cusp of Tuesday’s key Badger State presidential primary was House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Rubio on Romney: 'I'm Excited About My Support for Him'

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio explained in greater detail today why he waded into the Republican presidential primary to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), who Rubio was referring to, might take issue with that assertion given that Romney has yet to win the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) might also quibble. Rubio, who knows what it's like to challenge the Republican establishment's preferred candidate in a primary, acknowledged that some conservatives might be upset with his decision to declare the race over and back Romney. But he didn't back down, and in fact, he used the words of Gingrich and Santorum against them in explaining his decision and its timing.

Mitt Romney Easily Wins Illinois Primary

(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated: 10 p.m. | Mitt Romney easily won the Illinois Republican primary today, leading networks to call the race just a half-hour after polls closed.

With 7 percent of precincts reporting, the former Massachusetts governor had 55 percent of the vote, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had 28 percent.

For the GOP, It's Back to the Future

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Given the protracted battle for the Republican presidential nomination and the regional, ideological and political underpinnings of the four remaining candidates, one might think the GOP is engaged in a pitched battle for the direction, future and soul of the party.

Except it's not — at least not as a matter of policy and generational leadership.

Super Tuesday Analysis: The Long Slog Continues

(Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Several hours removed from the final Super Tuesday contest being called in Alaska for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the long, drawn-out, momentum-less Republican presidential primary campaign appears as protracted as ever.

Romney won six of the 10 contests, but only narrowly survived in Ohio with a 38 percent to 37 percent victory over former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) — and the results of the Buckeye State campaign are shaping the political analysis of events. Romney could have delivered a symbolic knock-out blow to Santorum with a victory in the realm of 4 points or more. But the tight outcome there, combined with Santorum's wins in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee have revived the narrative — one somewhat quashed last week after Romney victories in Arizona and Michigan — that Romney can't close the deal and that at least one of his opponents is well-positioned for an upset.

Mitt Romney Goes Two for Two With Maine Win

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the non-binding Maine presidential caucuses today, capping off a day on which he also won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll.

Romney took 39 percent of the vote in Maine, where fewer than 5,600 votes were cast, followed by Rep. Ron Paul (texas), who got 36 percent of the vote. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) did not compete in the Pine Tree State but got 18 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Mitt Romney Wins CPAC Straw Poll

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll with 38 percent of the vote. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won this year's Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll, carrying 38 percent of the vote.

It is a comeback of sorts — Romney was a three-year winner from 2007 to 2009, but had come in behind Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) the past two years.