Santorum takes Kansas in a rout, Romney strong in Wyoming
Rick Santorum's strong win in the Kansas caucuses Saturday will give him most of the delegates there. Now it's on to primary elections in Alabama and Mississippi next Tuesday.
Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses in a rout on Saturday and Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney showed strength in Wyoming, a weekend prelude to suddenly pivotal Southern showdowns in the week ahead.Skip to next paragraph
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"Things have an amazing way of working out," Santorum told supporters in Missouri, where he traced his campaign through a series of highs and lows. He called his showing in Kansas a "comfortable win" that would give him the vast majority of the 40 delegates at stake.
Santorum picked up at least 32 of the state's 40 delegates at stake, cutting slightly into Romney's overwhelming advantage.
Santorum's triumph, coupled with Romney's early advantage in Wyoming, came as the candidates pointed toward Tuesday's primaries in Alabama and Mississippi that loom as unexpectedly important in the race to pick an opponent to President Barack Obama in the fall. Polls show a close race in both states, particularly Alabama, and Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum all added to their television advertising overnight for the race's final days.
Romney had 440 delegates in the AP's count, more than all his rivals combined. Santorum had 213, while Gingrich had 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.
In Wyoming, where some counties caucused earlier in the week, Romney had five of the 12 delegates at stake, Santorum had two, Paul had one, and one was uncommitted. Three more remained to be determined in party meetings on the day's calendar.
Romney did not campaign in Kansas, leaving the field to Santorum and Paul.