Mitt Romney wins New York, without so much as showing up

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Mitt Romney campaigns. (Reid Pillifant)
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You may not have noticed, but Mitt Romney won the New York primary.

Among the five states holding presidential primaries yesterday, all of which went overwhelmingly for Romney, New York was the last to be called and delivered the most delegates, putting additional emphasis on an already sealed-up win over the remaining Republican contenders as he officially pivoted to the general election.

"Thank you Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York!" he told a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire last night. "And tonight I can say thank you, America. After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence and gratitude that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility. And, together, we will win on November 6th!"

Romney won 62 percent of the vote in New York, according to an unofficial tally, compared to 16 percent for Ron Paul and 13 percent for Newt Gingrich.

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Rick Santorum, who ended his campaign two weeks ago, just as New York Republicans were beginning to dream of relevance in the process, still managed 9 percent of the vote.

Romney was the only one of the remaining candidates who didn't so much as make a campaign stop in the state. 

Gingrich spoke to the G.O.P.'s annual dinner in Manhattan last week, and then joined Carl Paladino for a rally in Buffalo the next morning. Paladino had hoped the legions of followers who helped him win New York's gubernatorial primary in 2010 might breathe some new life into Gingrich's struggling candidacy, and he had initially expected the former speaker to have a "blistering" schedule in the state.

But Gingrich chose to focus on Delaware instead, where he mustered 27 percent of the vote. On Tuesday, he promised to reassess his candidacy based on the results there.

Paul skipped the Manhattan dinner in favor of a speech to college students at Cornell.

Turnout reflected the lack of interest among the candidates and the public, with just over 150,000 Republicans casting ballots, according to the tally from the Associated Press, which included 93 percent of precincts.

In 2008, more than 670,000 Republicans voted in the primary. Unless Romney's vote total jumps in the final accounting, he will have collected more primary votes last time—he got 178,043 in 2008—than this year, when he received 95,838 votes.