Santorum Wins Alabama and Mississippi

The much awaited Southern state Republican Primary results are here and we have a winner. Rick Santorum has scored crucial victories in the Southern states of Alabama and Mississippi, which elevates him to the position as the leading conservative candidate for the US Presidential nomination.

A poll released on Monday put Romney slightly ahead of its rivals Santorum and Gingrich, however as the poll suggested there was an error margin of around +/- 4 percent, which seems to have made the difference. With 96 percent of the ballots counted in the Mississippi primary, Santorum had garnered 33 percent of the votes while his conservative rival Gingrich finished second with 31 percent closely followed by Romney with 30 percent.

In Alabama, the margin of victory was a lot more comfortable for Santorum as he finished with 35 percent of the vote. Gingrich came second with 30 percent and Romney third with 28 percent.

“We did it again,” “We’re on our way to victory tonight; we’re on our way to victory in this election,’ said an ecstatic Santorum addressing a gathering in Louisiana, which holds its primary on March 24.

The biggest casualty of this result is Newt Gingrich. Gingrich and Santorum have often urged each other to step down from the race so that one of them could consolidate their position as a leading conservative. Now, having lost both these states one would have to assume that this is the end of the road for Mr.Gingrich. This result will put immense pressure on him to withdraw from the race. However, his first reaction post the result was still optimistic “I’ve stayed in this race for two reasons,” he said. “I do not believe the two other candidates can beat President Obama.” He congratulated fellow conservative Santorum and took a dig at Romney, “If you’re the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a front-runner,”

Romney at the moment has a pretty sizable lead over his rivals; however his inability to win the hearts of the conservatives in Alabama and Mississippi will be a disappointment. Romney currently has about 454 delegates; Santorum 217 and Gingrich 107.

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