Santorum wins Alabama, Mississippi

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:28 PM
Last updated Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:04 AM
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Rick Santorum swept primaries in Ala­bama and Mississippi on Tuesday night, dealing a potentially devastating blow to the presidential candidacy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Mitt Romney was running third in both states.

“We did it again,” Santorum told cheering supporters in Lafayette, La. He said it was time for conservatives to unite in an effort to defeat Romney, the faraway leader in the competition for Republican National Convention delegates.

Romney bristled in the hours before the votes were counted, saying Santorum was “at the desperate end of his campaign.”

Without a win Tuesday in what is essentially his home region, Gingrich could find it difficult to marshal the resources and a rationale to continue his campaign.

He gave no indication Tuesday night that he would end his bid, and he grasped for a silver lining in the fact that Romney had also fallen short.

“The elite media’s effort to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed,” Gingrich said at a rally in Birmingham, Ala. “If you’re a front-runner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a front-runner.”

In Alabama, with 80 percent of the precincts counted, Santorum was pulling 35 percent of the vote, Gingrich had 29 percent and Romney 28 percent. Returns from 93 percent of Mississippi’s precincts showed Santorum with 33 percent, Gingrich 31 percent and Romney 30. Rep. Ron Paul was a distant fourth in both.

As elsewhere, Romney and his allies outspent rivals on radio and television ads by huge margins. But most Republicans in the region are evangelical Christians, a group that shunned Romney in nearly every state that has voted so far.

Initial results of exit polls Tuesday found 8 out of 10 in Mississippi, and a slightly smaller share in Alabama, were white evangelicals.

Conservative strategist Keith Appell said it’s time for Gingrich to step aside in favor of Santorum.

“Newt has given it a great run, but Rick Santorum has earned a mano-a-mano shot at Mitt Romney,” Appell said.

Gingrich’s campaign a week ago said he had to win Alabama and Mississippi – as well as Louisiana and Texas – to stay credible.

Laying out Santorum’s steep challenge in accumulating delegates, Romney sought to play down the potential danger ahead.

“If you look at the math of how many delegates he’d have to win to become the nominee, it’s a very difficult road for him,” he said.
Santorum’s camp had earlier issued a memo that dismissed as fuzzy math Romney’s claim that he is on track to amass a delegate majority. Romney is also well short of the 1,144 delegates it will take to clinch the nomination. At this point, it is almost mathematically impossible for any of his rivals to reach that goal, but they are holding onto a hope that by denying him the number he needs, they can take the fight to the convention.

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wtinney
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wtinney 03/14/12 - 01:52 am
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As I have stated before -

As I have stated before - Mitt Romney cannot win the cultural south and would not win any midwestern states if it was not for the organized mormon vote. Although he is squarely the man to beat, his all-but-certain numbers aregument took a dash as he was only able to maintain third place in both Alabama and Mississippi.

Get this, "[i]nitial results of exit polls Tuesday found 8 out of 10 in Mississippi, and a slightly smaller share in Alabama, were white evangelicals." Republicans are completely dependent on this group being energized for the upcoming general election. If Mitt does not find a way to connect with these folks - short of giving up his religious beliefs, of course - it could be another deflated, hold-your-nose and vote against Obama election. Although, I believe the "negative vote" will be strong in the upcoming general election, it might not be enough to out distance the percentage of African Americans (96% of 13%), Hispanic Population (67% of 14%) and liberal whites (30% of 64%) total vote percentage. To my math, the independents, which tend to be fiscal conservatives, will decide this nail biter that will likely be between Romney and Obama.

The republicans changing the winner take all to percentage win will now have to contend with the same problem the democrats had in 2008 - a competition all the way to the convention which saw a back room deal giving a major role to then Senator Clinton. I wonder if Romney would be willing to do the same for Santorum?

seenitB4
98695
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seenitB4 03/14/12 - 04:03 am
2
3
Well yeehaw...how's that

Well yeehaw...how's that fake grits working fer ya Mitt??

We are DOOMED if this crap continues.....cross over votes are throwing the election into a tizzy....

I have to give the dems some credit....cause they are going to ride this pony til the election........& some won't ever see it coming..

George Clooney---Rick Perry...please come back home to me...:)

nothin2show4it
120
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nothin2show4it 03/14/12 - 04:11 am
2
3
Get this. The Republican
Unpublished

Get this. The Republican party has cried wolf one to many times and tried to forced a candidate down our throats. I personally will not vote for Mit. Fortunately there are many Americans that are in the same boat.

The Republican party ruined the best candidate to beat Obama now they will have to live with that. Stop blaming the Evangelicals, blame the Republican party.

wribbs
521
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wribbs 03/14/12 - 04:34 am
5
1
First of all Rick Santorum IS

First of all Rick Santorum IS NOT a conservative. I'd also like to know how he got rich being a politician. If he's the nominee, the democrats are going to turn this into a social issues race, not about the economy, which it should be. Obama will clean his clock.

Little Lamb
49260
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Little Lamb 03/14/12 - 06:50 am
3
1
The results in Mississippi

The results in Mississippi and Alabama are good news for Gingrich. Why, you ask? Because his billionaire patron will cough up another $10 million for the next contest.

lovingthesouth72
1408
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lovingthesouth72 03/14/12 - 07:58 am
0
5
Regardless of who the rep

Regardless of who the rep candidate is in november, all republicans will vote for him, just for the sake of getting Obama out of office. That's a fact!

Bonkk
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Bonkk 03/14/12 - 08:07 am
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I've said this before and I
Unpublished

I've said this before and I guess I'll say it one more time. If the eventual canditate has to wait until August to be nominated, the better it is for Obama. The republican will only have a couple of months to organize for the fight. The evangelicals in the south either do not know or do not care that Santorum can never be president because he will receive ZERO crossover votes the from independents that any candidate needs to be elected president. I give credit to following profound words penned by Debra Sanders of the SF Chronicle a few days ago: "The 2012 general election ought to be about the role and finances of the federal government, but Santorum is mired in a traditional-values war. In a 2008 speech at Florida's Ave Maria University, Santorum described the war as, not a political or a cultural war, but a spiritual war. And the father of lies has his sights on what you would think the father of lies, Satan, would have his sights on - a good, decent, powerful, influential country, the United States of America. I'll defend to the bitter end Santorum's right to his deeply held religious beliefs. But a man who wants to be president and represent the American people shouldn't talk like an exorcist."

allhans
24988
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allhans 03/14/12 - 08:45 am
3
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Mitt had Jeff Foxworthy

Mitt had Jeff Foxworthy travelling with him and should have let him do the jokes. My niece was in the crowd when Mitt said "cheesygrits" (as a joke) and she said the crowd loved it. Of course, we hear the media use everything said as a means to ridicule any GOP candidate and the media is always right. So pay no attention to the live bodies in the audience, listen to those media guys.

allhans
24988
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allhans 03/14/12 - 08:48 am
2
1
Santorum is a great guy I am

Santorum is a great guy I am sure but he must stop whining about his opponent spending money.
If he gets the nomination and goes against the war chest of Obama (He hasn't seen anything yet) the crying that we are now enduring will not win him any votes..

TK3
562
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TK3 03/14/12 - 08:59 am
1
1
Anyone in the Republican

Anyone in the Republican Party NOT a bloody war monger, with even a lick of common sense had the chance to vote for the only honest Republican candidate who had a real chance against socialist President Obama. That candidate was one everyone knew was NOT in Big Business/war machines pocket and the only one who has the record of actually standing by the Constitution and Bill Of Rights in Congress. That candidate was also the only CHRISTIAN candidate who would NOT mix religion and government like Muslim Nations & Taliban. That candidate was the ONLY one who would ACTUALLY cut spending and government fat and restore to the value of hard currency and do away with the FED/banks and Big Brothers attack on our basic freedoms and since YOU didn't vote for Dr.Paul, please bend over and stop complaining about whats coming.
Read this fast before it is "reported" and of course, censored!

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 03/14/12 - 09:53 am
3
0
Santorum is at the bottom of

Santorum is at the bottom of my list, but if he's the candidate, I will vote for him.

nothin2show4it
120
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nothin2show4it 03/14/12 - 05:10 pm
0
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lovingthesouth... You're
Unpublished

lovingthesouth... You're wrong about that. There are to many people who will not vote for Mit. He is an automatic win for Obama.

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