Rick Santorum addresses supporters in St. Charles, MO
Rick Santorum won the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri Tuesday, giving Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney unexpected competition. Santorum, who’s lack of name recognition beyond Pennsylvania was thought to be his biggest challenge, has now won four states, whereas Gingrich has won only one.
In Colorado, the lead shifted between Santorum and Romney throughout the night. After all the votes had been counted, Ryan Call, Colorado Republican Party chairman, announced live on CNN that Santorum was the winner.
The victories were Santorum’s first since the Jan. 3 primary in Iowa and position Santorum as the leading challenger to Romney, who placed second in Missouri and third in Minnesota. Santorum now has the opportunity to sway Republican voters as the contest for the Republican presidential candidate spreads throughout the country, according to The New York Times.
It’s unlikely that any of the four candidates will drop out at this point, according to ABC News. Gingrich has vowed to contest every state, Santorum has proved he is competitive and Paul, who has not won a single primary or caucus, has shown no signs of quitting.
Rick Santorum addressed his supporters in St. Charles, Mo.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum won the Missouri primary and Minnesota and Colorado caucuses in Tuesday’s state elections, despite prior speculation that opposing Republican candidate Mitt Romney would have taken the lead. Santorum’s candidacy was all but dismissed just a few days beforehand, according to this New York Times article, causing great deliberation as to how these wins will affect his running against his fellow party candidates, Romney and Newt Gingrich.
“Conservatism is alive and well…” said Santorum, the former Senator of Pennsylvania, at a rally in St. Charles, Mo., the state in which he won over every single county. ”Tonight was a victory for the voices of our party, conservatives and Tea Party people.”
Mitt Romney took a serious beating, as the numbers in his support fell far by the way side in comparison to Santorum, who swept the elections in what The Daily Beast called “a beauty pageant” of a show. The former Massachusetts governor, who had won Colorado (by 60 percent) and Missouri in the 2008 caucus, lost by drastic numbers to Santorum in both states on Tuesday, exacerbating the blow to his campaign in which he considers himself the strongest Republican candidate.
Gingrich struggled hard against Santorum, where he failed to even make the primary ballot.
“Romney is still in the best position to win the nomination, purely because he is the best equipped for a drawn out primary that requires organization and money. He can outlast Santorum, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich,” according to this Huffington Post article.
With last night’s victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado Rick Santorum is back in a race that had been contested mainly by the two front runners, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
The former Pennsylvania senator’s recent wins are a setback to the seemingly successful Romney campaign. Up until last night Romney was confident that he would win at least two of the states if not sweep all three. Even in Colorado while speaking to his supporters he told them he was “pretty confident” that he would win the state despite the announcement of Santorum’s two state victory earlier in the night. CNN announced later that Santorum did in fact defeat Romney in Colorado.
Santorum greeted his crowd of cheerful supporters by affirming them that his three wins were not just a speed bump for Romney’s campaign to ignore.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” he said.
What could this mean for the Republican party? It seems there might still be a contest for the prized nomination seat.
AP results from all three states
sources: Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum gives a speech in St. Charles, Mo. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum won the votes of Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado in yesterday’s elections.
Santorum took 55 percent of the vote in Missouri’s primary, 45 percent in Minnesota’s caucus and 40 percent in Colorado’s caucus to overtake his competitors by at least 5 percent in all three elections, electoralvote.com noted.
According to the Boston Globe, Santorum’s wins put him in the lead for the race to the presidential ballot. In the eight caucuses that have occurred since the beginning of January, Santorum has won four, while candidate Mitt Romney has taken three and Newt Gingrich only one.
Despite his gain in momentum, however, Santorum failed to gain any delegates for this summer’s Republican National Convention, The Huffington Post stated. Colorado and Minnesota assign 36 and 40 delegates respectively for the Convention, but because last night’s elections are unbinding, the designation of delegates could change this spring when the states hold their state conventions.
Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential hopeful, swept three Republican caucuses yesterday leading many to rethink who the top Republican candidate will be. Santorum won the caucuses in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.
According to a CNN article Santorum won Colorado with 40 percent of the vote. Republican front-runner Mitt Romney was a close second with 35 percent of the vote. Newt Gingrich fell behind with 13 percent and Ron Paul followed closely with 12 percent.
The Chicago Tribune reported that there was a low turnout in Missouri because the candidates spent little time campaigning in the state. Despite the low turnout rate Santorum won the state caucus with 55 percent of the vote.
What does this mean for Romney? He is entering the upcoming primaries and caucuses with better finances than his opponents, but “his front-runner’s label appears to have lost its shine,” reported The New York Times. Voters and political analysts will have to wait and see what the next round of caucuses reveal. The upcoming presidential election is shaping up to be a tough fight.