Romney set to win California Republican primary

LOS ANGELES - Presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney was set to win the Republicans' California primary on Tuesday, a week after passing the delegate tally needed to take on Barack Obama.

The former Massachusetts governor won 80.9 per cent of the votes in the Golden State poll to choose the party's candidate to contest the November election for the White House, partial results showed.

Texas maverick Ron Paul won 9.3 per cent, conservative Catholic Rick Santorum 4.9 and former House speaker Newt Gingrich 3.8, according to official results, with 11.1 per cent of precincts reporting.

Although he doesn't need any more, California delivers 172 delegates to the Republican national convention in Tampa, Florida in August, where the party will formally choose its nominee for the November 6 presidential election.

Romney all but sealed the Republican nomination last Tuesday when he passed the threshold of 1,144 delegates by winning the party's primary in Texas, the second most populous state, which has 155 delegates.

At the time he expressed confidence that the country would unite behind his candidacy on November 6, in order to "begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness."

Romney, 65, pivoted toward Obama in his campaign speeches and events more than a month ago, when it became clear his long march toward the nomination at the party convention would not be stopped.

But that was only after a bruising primary race, in which rivals like Gingrich and Santorum slowed Romney's rise by rallying more conservative voters and highlighting his flipflops on issues such as abortion.

Romney has slammed the Obama administration's stewardship of the economy, arguing that his background as a successful venture capitalist has given him the business acumen needed to speed up the sluggish recovery.

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