Running well ahead of his remaining challengers, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will almost certainly receive the Republican Party's nomination to run against President Barack Obama on the November general election ballot.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's withdrawal from the Republican race last week cleared the way for Romney to obtain the GOP nomination ahead of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
The latest Pew Research poll Tuesday showed Romney leading with 42 percentage points, Santorum with 21 percent, and Paul and Gingrich tied with 13 percent each.
Polls were conflicting in the presidential race. The Pew poll indicated Obama currently has a four-point lead over Romney. But the Gallup Tracking poll showed Romney leading Obama by five points.
Local folks had varied thoughts on Romney's apparent nomination-some were supportive, but others, like Zack Pryor, 21, of Marietta, would rather have another candidate.
"I would have preferred Santorum, but Romney has the lead and I suppose he's going to get the nomination," Pryor said on Monday.
Born in Detroit on March 12, 1947.
Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002.
Graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971 and earned dual degrees from Harvard Law and Harvard Business School.
Worked as a business consultant for several years, then founded the investment firm Bain Capital in 1984.
Married wife, Ann, in 1969.
The couple has five sons and 16 grandchildren.
He said he voted Republican in the last presidential election.
"I like (Santorum's) view toward religion more than Romney's," Pryor added. "I feel like Romney has always had all the funding and backing, but he's trying to paint himself as a come from behind candidate. And he's really not."
Meanwhile, Janet Huggins, 75, of Marietta is happy to see her candidate so far ahead of the other GOP contenders.
"I'm Republican and I'm for Mitt Romney-he's really the best guy for the job," she said.
But the views on that are divided within her own family.
Her granddaughter, 21-year-old Amanda Huggins, a political science student from Houston, Texas, favors fellow Texan Ron Paul.
"I'm not particularly a fan of Mitt Romney, and I prefer Ron Paul because I think he's pretty smart," she said. "I hear people say 'Oh, I'd vote for Ron Paul, but he's going to lose.' If all those people would vote for him, he wouldn't lose."
Tim Huggins, 51, also from Houston, agrees with his daughter that Ron Paul would be a good candidate.
"I'd like to see Ron Paul as the nominee if I had the choice," he said. "But if Romney gets the Republican nomination I will vote for him."
Tim Huggins noted that the Texas primary election will be one of the latest in the nation-May 29 this year.
Glen Newman, founder of the Marietta OH 9-12 Project, supported Santorum in Ohio's March 6 primary election, but said Monday he's seeing a lot of backing for Romney now.
"We certainly do hope Romney can defeat Obama, and I think most conservatives will get behind him, although he may not have been their first choice," he said. "But Obama is so far down that even Democrats are saying they'll vote for Romney."
On Monday Romney announced he was already beginning the search for a vice-presidential candidate, but did not provide any hint of who his running mate might be. According to the Associated Press, there are at least 12 people who could potentially qualify to fill that position.