No Super Tuesday knockout for Mitt Romney

(CBS News) ATLANTA -- Super Tuesday had something for everyone in the Republican presidential race.

Mitt Romney won six of the ten primaries and caucuses, including the important state of Ohio. He beat Rick Santorum there by just a few thousand votes.

Romney picked up more delegates on Super Tuesday than all his competitors combined, but he didn't knock out his main challenger: Santorum won three states, and says he will keep going.

So says Newt Gingrich, who won his native state of Georgia on Tuesday.

The bottom line: Voters can expect more of the same from the GOP campaign in coming weeks.

Complete coverage: Election 2012

At first glance, Tuesday's results don't look that bad for Romney. After all, he won six of the ten states up for grabs. But if you look more closely, you'll see he barely won in the all-important state of Ohio and he didn't break through in the South, which means the long slog goes on.

"I'm not gonna let you down. I'm going to get this nomination," Romney assured supporters Tuesday night.

But capturing the nod is something he's struggling to do. Even with his financial and organizational advantages, Romney failed to emerge as the Republicans' clear nominee.

But that didn't stop him from looking ahead to November, and a battle with President Obama.

"We've seen enough of this president over three years to know that we don't need another five of this president. That's for sure!" asserted Romney.

Romney and his super PAC outspent the other candidates four-to-one in Ohio, but it only got him a narrow win in the critical swing state.

Romney continues to struggle with blue-collar and conservative voters, and the race is now shaping up as a two-man battle between him and Santorum.

"This was a big night tonight," Santorum told backers. " ... We're gonna get at least a couple gold medals and a whole bunch of silver medals."

For the most part, the candidates won where they were supposed to: Romney in the Northeast, also picking up Ohio, Idaho and Alaska, Santorum in the Midwest and South, and Gingrich in Georgia, a state he'd declared he had to win.

"If I can't carry my home state, where people know me," he said, "I would have no credibility."

Now, the race goes to Kansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Illinois, as Republicans remain divided with no end in sight.

"We keep coming back," Santorum stressed. "We are in this thing."

Romney declared, "We're going to take your vote -- a huge vote tonight in Massachusetts -- and take that victory all the way to the White House."

More bad news for Romney: The next three states -- Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi -- are loaded with social conservatives and evangelicals, and he has been struggling to win them over."

To see Chip Reid's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.

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