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Caucuses in Kansas, Wyoming next for GOP hopefuls

Mitt Romney aims to add to his substantial lead in the delegate count, but Rick Santorum is strong in Kansas. All the Republican presidential candidates are concentrating on Tuesday's primaries in Mississippi and Alabama.

By David EspoAssociated Press / March 10, 2012

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life, talks to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum following a rally Wednesday in Lenexa, Kan. While Kansans for Life hasn't formally endorsed a candidate, Culp and many of its leaders personally support Santorum, improving his chances of winning the state's GOP caucuses.

John Hanna/AP

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Washington

Mitt Romney and his Republican presidential rivals competed Saturday in caucuses in Kansas and Wyoming, the latest contests in a grinding campaign for the nomination to oppose President Barack Obama in the fall.

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A total of 52 delegates to the Republican National Convention was at stake, 40 in Kansas and a dozen in Wyoming.

Romney, the front-runner by far in the delegate competition, padded his lead overnight when he won all nine delegates on the island of Guam and an equal number in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Romney showed strength in Wyoming counties that picked delegates earlier in the week, but did not campaign in Kansas.

Rick Santorum and Ron Paul both eyed Kansas and campaigned there in the days leading to the caucuses.

Newt Gingrich cancelled a scheduled trip to Kansas late in the week to concentrate on a pair of primaries next Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi.

Romney began the day with 440 delegates in the AP's count, more than all his rivals combined. Santorum had 181, Gingrich 107, and Paul had 46. A candidate must win 1,144 to clinch the Republican presidential nomination at the national convention in Tampa next August.

The Virgin Islands also had weekend caucuses.

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In sparsely populated Wyoming, there were 15 county conventions during the day to pick six convention delegates. Another six were chosen earlier, with Romney winning 4, Paul one, and one uncommitted.

Kansas drew more attention from the White House hopefuls, but not much more, given its position midway between Super Tuesday and potentially pivotal primaries next Tuesday in Mississippi and Alabama.

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