Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Santorum Sweeps Southern States

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum swept the southern states of Alabama and Mississippi in yesterday's Republican Presidential Primaries.  

Santorum won by a wide margin in Alabama, beating former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 35% to 29% and 29% of the vote.

Santorum's Mississippi win was a surprise where polls had the race at an even three-way tie.  But many of the polls had been conducted before Santorum's landslide win in Kansas last Saturday which suggests that momentum from that Kansas victory gave Santurm a last-minute push going into Mississippi. Santorum took first in Mississippi with 33% of the vote, Gingrich second with 31%, and Romney third with 30%.

"We did it again!" said Santorum during his victory speech in Lafayette, Louisiana.  "The time is now for conservatives to pull together.  The time is now 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."
Also helping Santorum was bad weather and low turn out in those southern states.  Mitt Romney tends to do better amongst casual Republican voters who are more easily influenced by negative attack ads churned out by the Romney aligned Super PAC 'Restore Our Future.'

Romney did win the Hawaii GOP Caucus overnight with 45% of the vote to Santorum's 25%.  Texas Congressman Ron Paul came in third with 18% of the vote. Romney also won in another island caucus, American Somoa, which added 9 delegates to the Romney column.