Reagan.com Home Contact Reagan.com Reagan.com Support
Follow Reagan.com on Facebook Follow Reagan.com on Twitter     
0 item(s) | $0.00
  Reagan.com Members   Your Private Reagan.com Email
  • Secure and Private Email from Reagan.com
  • About the New Reagan Revolution
  • Reagan.com Support
  • Gift Certificates for Reagan Conservatives

Santorum lands Southern primary wins in Mississippi, Alabama

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rick Santorum ensured that the Republican nominating battle will drag on, possibly into the spring and beyond, after pulling off a pair of victories in the Deep South on Tuesday – the last big night of primaries until April.

The former Pennsylvania senator edged out his opponents in both Mississippi and Alabama, allowing him to build the case that he is the “conservative” alternative to Mitt Romney over Newt Gingrich.

Romney did not go home empty handed, clinching a victory in the Hawaii caucuses by a wide margin. He took home 45 percent of the vote, with over 80 percent of precincts reporting. Santorum trailed with 25 percent.

Romney also won the small Republican caucus in American Samoa. He picked up all nine delegates in the contest in the U.S. territory located 2,300 miles south of Hawaii. 

The results leave the candidates competing one state at a time for delegates, with no multi-state primary nights on tap until April.

The next contest up is the Missouri caucuses. Santorum, who won the state’s nonbinding primary in February, said he hopes to do “even better” in the upcoming caucuses this weekend. He’s also heading to Puerto Rico, which holds caucuses on Sunday. Illinois and Louisiana follow with primaries later in the month.

Santorum on Tuesday won in two deep red states that are among the most conservative in the nation. In his victory speech, Santorum suggested the GOP contest remains far more competitive than Romney's supporters make it out to be.

"We will compete everywhere. The time is now for conservatives to pull together," Santorum said.

Gingrich, meanwhile, was taking the long view. Though his campaign was banking on wins in Tuesday’s contests, the former House speaker said he’s staying in the race.

Asked which states he can still win, Gingrich told Fox News: “I don’t know yet.”

But he contended there are “lots of places” where he can compete, like Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

With Tuesday's contests, the Republican candidates are now at roughly the halfway point in the nominating battle. Twenty-four states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, still have to hold their primaries and caucuses. 

In Mississippi, Gingrich finished second, just ahead of Romney. With nearly all precincts reporting, Santorum was leading with 33 percent of the vote. Gingrich was behind with 31 percent, followed by Romney with 30 percent.

Gingrich and Romney are still battling for second place in Alabama. With 99 percent reporting, Santorum was ahead with 35 percent -- followed by Gingrich with 29 percent and Romney with 29 percent. 

Ron Paul is a distant fourth in both states.

Santorum's wins allow the candidate to increase the pressure on Gingrich to bow out of the race. The two primary contests Tuesday were considered crucial to the former House speaker's Southern strategy, and Santorum in the run-up to the vote had suggested it was time for Gingrich to exit. So far, the former speaker has won just two contests, in Georgia last week and South Carolina in January. 

"It's very, very clear that outside of Speaker Gingrich's backyard, if you will, we're the candidate who's taking it to Mitt Romney," Santorum told Fox News. He told Fox News earlier in the day that conservative voters "have pretty much made a decision," claiming Gingrich is probably not "in the mix for getting the nomination at this point." 



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/13/alabama-mississippi-gop-primary/print#ixzz1p5r8HjjH