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Romney, Obama win Ark. primary

May 23, 2012 at 12:54 AM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., May 23 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney won their Arkansas primary elections Tuesday but Obama's winning margin was relatively small.

With 40 of the state's 75 counties reporting late Tuesday, the president had 60.52 percent of the vote to 39.48 percent for John Wolfe, a Tennessee lawyer, the Arkansas Secretary of State's Web site indicated.

An Arkansas Democrat whose named was not reported told The Washington Post voters in the state were "fully aware that John Wolfe will not make it out of the primary," but a strong showing for Wolfe would be "a sign that Democratic voters in Arkansas are frustrated with the administration's policies and further reiteration that Southern Democrats simply cannot identify with President Obama."

Obama also won the Democratic primary in Kentucky Tuesday, but returns indicated soft support for the president there as well. With most precincts reporting, 42.1 percent of Democratic voters in Kentucky opted for "uncommitted," while Obama got 57.9 percent of the vote.

Obama clinched the Democratic Party nomination April 3.

Romney won the GOP primary in Arkansas but three candidates who had dropped out of the GOP race polled more than 30 percent among them. With 40 of 75 counties reporting, Romney had 68.67 percent of the vote to 13.39 percent for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, 13.04 percent for former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and 4.9 percent for former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

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