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Santorum Continues to Challenge Romney for Republican Nomination, Wins Two More States


Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum

Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum won Tuesday night’s primary contests in Alabama and Mississippi, while frontrunner Mitt Romney won in Hawaii and American Samoa.

With almost all of the votes tallied in Alabama, Santorum earned 35% of the votes, while Newt Gingrich edged Mitt Romney for second place by a few hundredths of a percentage point, at approximately 29%.

In Mississippi, Santorum won a tighter race, receiving 33% support, compared to Gingrich at 31%, and Romney at 30%.

“We did it again!” Santorum exclaimed to supporters Tuesday night. “This is a grassroots campaign for president. Who would have ever thought in the age of media that we have in this country today that ordinary folks from across this country can defy the odds day in, day out?”

“Now is the time for conservatives to pull together,” he continued. “The time is now to make sure — to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election, and the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama who can take him on, on every issue.”

Santorum’s victories in the conservative South continue his swing of momentum, and cement the notion that the Republican presidential nomination is down to a two person race. Santorum himself weighed in on the subject, saying, “this adventure’s going to be a two person race, and when it does, the conservative will win.”

Romney issued a terse statement emphasizing his sizeable lead in the accrual of delegates ahead of the GOP convention, saying, “I am pleased that we will be increasing our delegate count in a very substantial way after tonight.”

Romney won the Hawaii caucuses by a comfortable margin (45%, 20 percentage points higher than Santorum in second place) and won the support of all nine delegates in American Samoa.

According to an AP count, Romney has received the votes of 494 Republican delegates to Santorum’s 251, while Gingrich trails far behind with 131. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination.

 

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