Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will win Saturday's Republican caucuses in Washington state, gaining momentum as GOP candidates gear up towards next week's Super Tuesday contest.
U.S. broadcaster CNN made the projections as Washington state's Republican party is still counting the straw poll cast earlier in the day. Romney holds double digit lead over Ron Paul, the Texas Congressman, after more than 50 percent of the votes were counted on Saturday night.
Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who has established himself as the main challenger to Romney, almost tied with Paul. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, was at the bottom.
At stake in the contest are 40 delegates, as well as a sure shot of momentum heading into Super Tuesday, the biggest day on the GOP primary calendar when 10 states are holding their primary contests.
Although all four major GOP presidential candidates campaigned in Washington state, they didn't put in much television ads, and that made the contest there somewhat quiet.
However, according to state GOP chairman Kirby Wilbur, Washington Republicans turned out in droves for the caucuses.