A BIG ONE FOR SANTORUM
Rick Santorum’s victory in Tennessee strikes a real blow to Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor wants to prove he can win in the South, despite his Mormon faith and rivals’ complaints that he’s too moderate.
Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, campaigned hard for Christian conservative votes in a state sometimes called the buckle of the Bible Belt. This win helps keep him in contention.
SANTORUM’S DOUBLE PLAY
By winning both Oklahoma and Tennessee, Rick Santorum has pulled off a significant double play tonight. It proves he can outdo his big-spending rival Mitt Romney in parts of the country with lots of social values voters. If Santorum should also win Ohio - where the race is so far too close to call - it would add a big industrial state to his scorecard, too.-Connie Cass
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“What a great night. There are three states under our belt now and counting. We’re going to get more before this night is over.” - Mitt Romney to supporters in Boston cheering his wins in Massachusetts, Virginia and Vermont.
“You have not failed, you have a president that’s failed you.
And that’s going to change.” - Mitt Romney’s message to Americans who can’t find
jobs or can’t pay their bills.
He added: “You are not forgotten, we will not
leave you behind. ... Real change is finally on the way.”
Read more from Romney's speech, which is still going on, in Boston.
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Craig was arrested in June 2007 by an undercover police officer conducting a sting operation against men cruising for sex at the Minneapolis airport. As his political career disintegrated, Craig insisted he was not gay and the officer had misconstrued his foot tapping.
-By John Miller
SANTORUM TAKES A CAUCUS
By extending his string of wins tonight to North Dakota, Rick Santorum strengthens his argument that he can best better-funded rival Mitt Romney in all sorts of places. Santorum won two conservative Southern states, Tennessee and Oklahoma. But he’s in a near tie with Romney in industrial Ohio.
And he points to other states he’d already racked up this year in his effort to upset Romney as the front-runner: Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and the non-binding Missouri primary.
“We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South and we’re ready to win across this country,” Santorum told supporters tonight.
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Romney's losses in Tennessee and Oklahoma, coupled with his struggle against Rick Santorum in Ohio, will not change GOP operatives' conviction that he is the likeliest nominee. He still has the most delegates, money, organization and experience.
But this Super Tuesday turn of events underscores Romney's challenge in winning independent voters turned off by the long, divisive primary. Read more.
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