LifeNews.com

Santorum Wins Alabama, Mississippi Republican Primaries

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 3/13/12 11:26 PM

National, Politics

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum captured two key primary victories in Tuesday night by finishing with narrow first place victories in both Southern states over Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

In Alabama, with 79 percent of the precincts reporting, Santorum led Newt Gingrich with 35 percent support to Gingrich’s 30 percent support. Mitt Romney followed with 28 percent support. In neighboring Mississippi with 96 percent of votes in, Santorum led with 33 percent support, while Gingrich followed him with 31 percent. Romney came in third with thirty percent.

Santorum did particularly well among very conservative voters and women, according to CNN exit polling data and he also did well among those who thought it was most important that a candidate have a strong moral character or that he be a true conservative, and those who thought it was very or somewhat important that they share a candidate’s religious beliefs.

“We did it again,” Santorum exclaimed Tuesday night, in remarks to supporters after the elections had been completed. “This is a grassroots campaign for president… This campaign is about ordinary folks doing extraordinary things – sort of like America.”

According to CNN, “Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said Team Romney did not expect to win in Alabama or Mississippi, but wanted to capture a third of the delegates from the states, something he said they will achieve. He also continued the Romney campaign line that it is a “virtual impossibility” for Santorum to achieve the delegates necessary to capture the nomination.”

Both Santorum and Gingrich, in his own speech after the elections closed — where he steadfastly refused to leave the race, the two candidates took a swipe at Romney for allegedly considering himself the “inevitable” GOP nominee.

“For someone who thinks this race is inevitable he spent a whole lot of money against me,” Santorum said, before jabbing “all the establishment” for being “on the other side of this race.”

Santorum predicted a huge win in Louisiana and said “we will compete everywhere,” including Puerto Rico, where he will head Tuesday night. “I don’t think there was a single poll that had me close to winning Mississippi.”

Santorum opened his remarks to supporters in Lafayette, Louisiana saying “We did it again.” He moved his campaign to Louisiana to get a head start on the other candidates.

Gingrich said he hopes Tuesday’s results will end “any news media talk” about Romney as the inevitable candidate. Gingrich said it will be “clear” he is the best Republican to be Obama in the general election. He congratulated Santorum on a “great campaign.” But he also said his campaign will receive a “substantial number of delegates going toward Tampa,” following Tuesday’s

Overall in Alabama, 80 percent of primary voters identified as born-again or evangelical Christians. Seventy-five percent of primary voters said they thought it mattered either a great deal or somewhat that a candidate share their religious beliefs.

Gingrich, who finished a close second in the contest, won among men, according to exit polls.

More than half of Alabama primary voters and Mississippi voters alike say Romney’s issue positions are not conservative enough. In Mississippi, 49 percent of voters say Santorum’s positions on the issues are about right, while 56 percent say the same of Gingrich. In Alabama, more than 50 percent of voters say both Gingrich and Santorum’s positions on the issues are “about right.”

Though Mississippi and Alabama were the big contests, the four GOP candidates are battling for 110 total delegates in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Samoa.