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.