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Prune Juice Media | September 28, 2016

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Rick Santorum Pulls Sneak Attack with CO, MO, and MN Victories

| On 08, Feb 2012

Rick Santorum is all conservative swag on February 7 as he addresses a crowd in St. Charles, Missouri to celebrate his thrashing of Mitt Romney. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson)

He was down, but I guess you could not count him out.

Rick Santorum, the wholesome goody-two-shoes GOP candidate, pulled off the once-unthinkable against powerhouse Mitt Romney on Tuesday. He did a clean sweep of all three primary/caucus contests in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.

The pundits were hard at work trying to figure out what all of this meant. Is Santorum the new front runner? Can Mitt Romney maintain a decent lead up until the Republican convention in late August? It’s too early to tell any of that, but right now Mitt Romney leads in the number of delegates awarded. He has 115 to Santorum’s 34. The winner needs 1,144 delegates to become the nominee.

The real laugh of the evening was how much of a non-factor Newt Gingrich was. My television was set to CNN and they rarely mentioned his name. As you look at the online media coverage, I get the feeling that Gingrich is an afterthought — much like I said¬†in last week’s commentary. Newt was on fire for a minute, but then the “real” Newt took over. People don’t relate to him!

Here are some key points to note about yesterday’s races that makes them interesting:

  • Santorum won all 114 counties in Missouri, including the independent city of St. Louis. The state, however, awarded no delegates in Tuesday’s primary. They will hand those out at the county primaries on March 17.
  • Newt Gingrich did not appear on the ballot in Missouri. Santorum was the only candidate to campaign a bit there. Still, Missouri is a battleground state and it sends a strong message about Rick’s win.
  • Mitt Romney expected to win in Minnesota, but lost in a bad way there. Santorum carried the state by a 45-27 percent margin. Romney didn’t win one county in Minnesota. There are only four left to report their numbers as of Wednesday morning.
  • Colorado was the major upset of the evening. This is a clear battleground state and Santorum pulled ahead of Romney by a 40-35 percent margin. This is the race that Romney just knew he had in the bag. That couldn’t have been further from the truth.
  • Newt Gingrich didn’t bother fooling with any last minute campaigning in the three states from yesterday’s match-up. He knew he was going to lose, so he moved on to Ohio to campaign ahead of their primary on March 6.
  • Poor Ron Paul didn’t win any contests last night. He still has yet to carry one state in the primary races. He connects with his base of younger and more fringe votes. Unfortunately for him, the GOP base tends to be older, more conservative and not open to his radical ideas.
  • Overall, it looks like Santorum registers well with Midwestern voters and/or staunch conservatives (Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota). Newt had a little momentum in the South with his January 21 win in South Carolina, but that didn’t transition well into Florida. Mitt does well in states that have more of a liberal or independent base (New Hampshire, Nevada, Florida, etc.).

To see a full breakdown of Tuesday’s election results by state and county, click here.

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