Republican Mitt Romney convincingly won the Nevada caucus on Saturday, solidifying his position as frontrunner in the race to become the party's presidential candidate, partial returns showed.
With 43 percent of precincts reporting, Romney had a decisive lead with 42.5 percent of the vote, followed by his main rival, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, with 26.2 percent.
Texas Representative Ron Paul was third with 18.4 percent, followed by religious conservative Rick Santorum, a former US senator from Pennsylvania, with 13 percent.
Romney's win is his second in a row in the heated, state-by-state race to see who in the Republican Party will face off against President Barack Obama in November.
He romped to victory earlier in the week in Florida, after a shock Gingrich win in South Carolina.
Ever since that upset last month, Gingrich has struggled to stay competitive in the race in face of Romney's superior funds and well-oiled campaign machine.
The candidates were already eyeing future contests, as three states will vote on Tuesday -- Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.
Romney is hoping his Nevada win will help him sweep into the heartland states where unemployment and the struggling economy are top issues.
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