Rick Santorum sweeps three non-binding GOP presidential contests
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania won three Republican Party (GOP) presidential contests on Tuesday, but received no delegates. Though the races were non-binding, some analysts see in them a vulnerability for front-runner Mitt Romney, and a possible revitalization of the .
Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado each held nominating contests. These elections had no delegates attached because GOP rules stipulate that no state other than Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, may choose delegates before the first Tuesday in March. Turn-out was low in each of the contests.
In, Santorum won 45 percent of the vote, edging second place Paul, who received 27 percent. Romney finished third with 17 percent, followed by Gingrich with eleven. Santorum spent a large amount of time campaigning in the state this past week. On election night, Paul chose to be in , Minnesota.
|I don’t think this was as much an endorsement of Rick Santorum as it was another wakeup call for Governor Romney ...|
—Richard Wadhams, Colorado GOP chairman
In, Santorum finished with 40 percent, besting Romney by five percent, with 13 percent for Gingrich and twelve for Paul. Former Colorado GOP chairman Richard Wadhams commented, "I don’t think this was as much an endorsement of Rick Santorum as it was another wakeup call for Governor Romney that he needs to be more specific about why he wants to be president, beyond that he’s a successful businessman".
In his victory speech from Colorado, Santorum proclaimed "Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama...I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama." Afterwards, he told CNN that his campaign has "momentum" and that he raised $250,000 online on Tuesday.
|... we’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee ...|
In, Romney addressed supporters, acknowledging "a good night for Rick Santorum", while maintaining "we’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee".
Romney has won contests in New Hampshire, Florida, and Nevada. According to former Republican strategist Dan Schnur, "He is still the front-runner, but his flaws are a lot more apparent after Tuesday night, and that raises the stakes for him over the next few primaries going forward."
The next contests will take place in Arizona and Michigan at the end of February. Romney is the favorite to win these states, though he was also favored to win in Minnesota and Colorado before Tuesday.
- Michael Levenson. "Santorum surge is telling for Romney" — , February 9, 2012
- John Whitesides and Sam Youngman. "Facing more key votes, Romney can't afford another stumble" — , February 9, 2012
- Kristin Jensen and Catherine Dodge. "Santorum Sweep Casts Doubt on Romney’s Drive" — , February 8, 2012
- Aaron Blake. "Winners and losers from Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri" — , February 8, 2012
- "How Significant Were Santorum's 3 Victories?" — , February 8, 2012
- "2012 Missouri Primary results" — , February 7, 2012
- "2012 Minnesota Caucuses results" — , February 7, 2012
- "2012 Colorado Caucuses results" — , February 7, 2012
- "The Rules of the Republican Party (pg. 18 - Rule No. 15)" — August 6, 2010 (amended)