2012 ELECTION

Mitt Romney speaks in Arbutus, Md.

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For the first time in this race, there seems to be an overwhelming consensus, or in some eyes resignation, that their nominee is now standing before them.

(Photo: Scott Thuman)

Speaking in Arbutus, Md., in Baltimore County, Mitt Romney drew cheers from the crowd a day after a decisive win during the Illinois primary Tuesday night.

"He's going to be the GOP nominee, so Newt and Rick Santorum, they really need to just move out the way,” says Arbutus resident Rose Matlak.

Romney won critical establishment support Wednesday from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and got new help from former Sen. Bob Dole as he looks to unite the Republican Party behind his candidacy.

Romney said he's "almost there" after pursuing the GOP nomination for six years, and there are fresh signs that big GOP donors and other party figures will follow Bush's lead after sitting on the sidelines for much of the primary season.

"So I think it's time for the other three candidates to drop out. On the other hand, I'm glad that I do have power in this primary,” says Tyler Dunn of Woodstock, Md.

Rick Santorum may still win among the strictest conservatives, but the overall tally is growing more daunting by the day.

After Romney's win Tuesday night, he's up 563 to 263. The rest of the field is now hardly in sight.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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