Watch CBSN Live

Romney nears nomination with two more wins

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hands out an autographed campaign button after speaking at a campaign stop, Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) Mary Altaffer

Updated at 1:20 a.m. ET May 23

Mitt Romney won the Republican primaries in Kentucky and Arkansas on Tuesday, victories that puts him within striking distance of clinching the Republican presidential nomination.

With nearly all precincts reporting in Kentucky, Romney had 67 percent of the vote. With nearly all precincts reporting in Arkansas, Romney had 68 percent of the vote.

The race was actually closer on the Democratic side. In Kentucky,  President Obama's only rival on the ballot was "uncommitted." The president defeated "uncommitted" 58 percent to 42 percent, a result that reflects the president's deep unpopularity in southern states. (Though with almost all precincts in, Mr. Obama had won slightly more  votes than Romney overall.) 

In Arkansas, Mr. Obama faced a primary challenge from John Wolfe, who had 41 percent of the vote with nearly all precincts reporting. Earlier this month, convicted felon Keith Judd took 41 percent of the primary vote against the president in West Virginia.

Kentucky primary results
Arkansas primary results

CBS News estimates that with his two wins on Tuesday, Romney now has 1,073 delegates. The former Massachusetts governor needs 71 more to reach the threshold of 1,144 electoral votes he needs to clinch his party's nomination.

Romney should cross that threshold next Tuesday when Texas holds its primary with 152 delegates at stake.

Romney's rivals have suspended their campaigns or stopped active campaigning, and he has spent recent weeks focused on the general election. The presumptive GOP nominee was scheduled to spend Tuesday evening at a fundraiser in New York, part of a three-day fundraising swing that his finance chairman told donors would raise $10 million.

View CBS News In