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The Empire

Low Turnout Expected for NY GOP Primary

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Republicans in New York go to the polls Tuesday to nominate a presidential candidate. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Ron Paul have both made campaign stops in New York, but it's not expected to shake Romney's commanding lead. Even before Rick Santorum left the race earlier this month, Romney led the field by more than 30 points among registered Republicans in the Empire State.

The presidential primary is the only race on Tuesday's ballot, and low turnout is predicted. 

New York's Republican stars have closed ranks around Romney. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed Romney on Monday morning, joining former Gov. George Pataki and state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox. Giuliani had offered kind words about Gingrich earlier in the campaign, but he told Fox & Friends on Monday that the race is effectively over.

"I think Mitt has won fair and square," Giuliani said. "He's proven he's the most effective Republican. He's taken on everybody and won an incredible number of primaries. And he's got the resume and the background for the job." 

Even Newt Gingrich's staunchest supporters acknowledge his chances here are slim to none. 

"It's not surprising," said Rick Tyler, senior advisor to Gingrich's Super PAC Winning Our Future said of Giuliani's endorsement of Romney. "The states coming up tomorrow are not particularly favorable, but there are some states in the future that may be more favorable, like North Carolina, like Texas, like Arkansas."  

"Miracles have happened, but for sure Romney is ahead," laughed former New York gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino when asked about Gingrich's chances in New York last week. Paladino hosted Gingrich at a rally in Buffalo on Friday. 

GOP voters comprise less than a quarter of registered voters in but the state, but Romney has found a deep well of donor support here. Half of his top 10 fundraising zip codes are in New York City, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, with twelve percent of his nationwide haul coming from the state.