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March 13th, 2012
 

Santorum Sweeps Alabama, Mississippi

Tuesday was a very good night for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign as he won the GOP primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. These were surprise victories in both states, as polls showed either Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney leading.

“I don’t think there was a single poll that had me close to winning Mississippi. Not one,” Santorum said from a rally in Louisiana. Santorum picked up 32.9 percent of the vote in Mississippi, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting. Newt Gingrich claimed second, with 31.3 percent and Mitt Romney was in third, with 30.3. Ron Paul finished a distant fourth place, with 4.4 percent.

The Alabama totals were slightly more decisive for Santorum. He stood at 34.5 percent, with 97 percent of the precincts reporting. Gingrich was clinging to second place at 29.3 percent and Romney garnered 29.0. Ron Paul was languishing in last place with only five percent of the vote.

The two states award delegates on a proportional basis. Alabama holds 50 delegates, while Mississippi grants 40. As of early Wednesday morning, Santorum was projected to pick up 19 delegates in Alabama, with Romney and Gingrich holding nine each. The other 11 were unaccounted for at that time. Mississippi was split almost evenly with Santorum and Romney each garnering 13 delegates and Gingrich 12. Two more delegates were not accounted for. Ron Paul failed to acquire any delegates from either state.

“People have said you’re being outspent and all the math and everybody is talking about this race is inevitable,” Santorum said from a rally in Louisiana, referencing the overall frontrunner Mitt Romney. “Well, this is an awful lot of money spent for a candidate who is inevitable.”

Santorum has now shown the ability to win in the Midwest and South. Tuesday’s results are a devastating setback for native Georgian Newt Gingrich. If he cannot win in the states that border Georgia, he will be unable to win anywhere. However, Gingrich again vowed to continue to fight all the way to the GOP convention. Santorum hopes Gingrich will drop out to allow for a mostly one-on-one competition against Romney.

“The time is now for conservatives to pull together,” Santorum said. “The time is now that we have the best chance to win this election. The time is now to make sure that we win this election and the best way to win this election is to nominate a conservative that can take on Barack Obama on every issue.”

Meanwhile, only 70 people participated in the American Samoa caucus, but the U.S. territory still rewards a disproportionate nine delegates. It appears all of those went to Mitt Romney. There was also a caucus in Hawaii, with 20 delegates at stake. The polls there did not close until 1 a.m. central time. Romney maintains the overall lead in delegates acquired. Santorum promised to campaign everywhere delegates are available and predicted he would win the GOP nomination before the RNC convention in August.

Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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