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Republican Primaries: Mitt Romney is projected winner in Puerto Rico

Endorsed by all major Republicans on the island, Romney saw his advantage grow when Rick Santorum insisted that English be a condition for statehood.

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Roberto Maldonado, 75, sells flags at a New Progressive Party rally where Mitt Romney was campaigning Friday on the North Side of the Capitol building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Christopher Gregory/AFP/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney has won Puerto Rico’s Republican presidential primary, according to CNN.

With 20 percent of ballots counted, Romney had an apparently unassailable lead of 83 percent, or more than 22,000 votes, according to the news broadcaster.

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The Republican contest on the island territory has 20 delegates toward this year’s GOP nomination for president.

Romney will get all 20 after capturing more than 50 percent of the vote, bringing him to over 500 delegates but still fewer than half the 1,144 needed to clinch the nomination.

Santorum stood at a very distant second, with just 8 percent, according to CNN, which said that Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul were barely blips on the radar, with two percent and one percent respectively.

The results confirmed what appeared to be the latest conventional wisdom before the vote, which had Romney as the favorite among Puerto Rican Republicans.

Santorum had appeared to be the victim of his own aggressive attitude this week, insisting that Puerto Rico adopt English as an official language in order attain statehood, according to USA Today.

Govenor Luis Fortuno and most prominent island Republicans had endorsed Romney, according to CBS News.

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Ana Lydia Porrata-Doria, 69, a Romney voter, said she had been angered by Santorum’s remarks.

"You can't impose English on people. My sense is that he was very poorly advised or he would not have said what he said," she was quoted as saying by Reuters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120318/republican-primaries-mitt-romney-projected-winne