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Rick Santorum wins in Alabama and Mississipi

Rick Santorum wins Alabama does it again



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WASHINGTON – Southern conservatives rejected again Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination dealing him a devastating blow in Alabama and Mississipi. Rick Santorum, instead, secured his position as the alternative to Mitt Romney thanks to wins in two of the three states that held primaries on Tuesday.

The results were more than just a setback for Romney, who polls show in the lead in the Hawaii caucuses.

In Alabama on Tuesday night, with 97 percent of the precincts counted, Santorum had 35 percent of the vote, while Gingrich and Romney each had 29 percent. Returns from 99 percent of Mississippi’s precincts showed Santorum with 33 percent, Gingrich 31 percent and Romney 30 percent.

The fourth candidate, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, did not compete actively in the two contests and lagged far behind in single digits.

“We did it again,” Santorum told supporters Tuesday night in Lafayette. He also poked fun at Romney ‘as he reiterated his his stance that he is the viable conservative alternative to the former Massachusetts governor,’ reports CNN.

“People (said), ‘You’re being outspent (by Romney),’ and everybody’s talking about all the (delegate) math, and that his race is inevitable. Well, for someone who thinks this race is inevitable, (Romney) has spent a whole lot of money against me for being inevitable,” Santorum told supporters.

There were 107 Republican National Convention delegates at stake on Tuesday: 47 in Alabama, 37 in Mississippi, 17 in Hawai and six more in American Samoa.

Santorum’s two victories were worth at least 29 delegates. Gingrich won at least 24 and Romney at least 22. The split in Mississippi underscored the difficulty that Romney’s rivals face in overcoming his big lead. Santorum garnered 13 delegates, while Gingrich and Romney each had 12 delegates.

Romney also won Tuesday’s Republican caucus in American Samoa, picking up the six delegates selected at the meeting and pledges of support from the Pacific island nation’s three superdelegates.

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