Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) has won the Washington state straw poll, the Associated Press projected Saturday night.

With 55 percent of precincts reporting, Romney was taking 38 percent in the Evergreen State's poll. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) were taking 24 percent each.

The contest is the last big race before Tuesday's Super Tuesday contests.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

But they do underscore that the Washington state nominating contest is principally a two-man race between Romney and Paul. Romney has been considered the frontrunner, but Paul is expected to do well since his backers are more motivated than supporters of other candidates to attend the low-turnout caucuses on a weekend morning.

With 43 delegates at stake, Washington state is the last big contest before Super Tuesday, when 10 states will hold contests for a total of 437 delegates.