Santorum a winner in Louisiana

March 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM   |   0 comments

NEW ORLEANS, March 24 (UPI) -- Rick Santorum won Louisiana's Republican presidential primary decisively Saturday, the major networks projected.

CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC all said soon after the polls closed their reading of the vote tallies led them to conclude the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania had beaten Mitt Romney, as pre-election polls had forecast.

CNN said with 68 percent of the state's precincts counted, Santorum had 49 percent of the vote to 26 percent for Romney, 16 percent for Newt Gingrich and 6 percent for Ron Paul.

Despite his victory in Louisiana, which had 20 delegates at stake, political analysts say Santorum won't gain much ground on Romney, who CNN calculates has 563 delegates in his corner -- more than double Santorum's 251 -- en route to the 1,144 it will take to win the GOP nomination.

In Louisiana's closed primary, meaning only registered Republicans could vote, the delegates are allocated among candidates who receive more than 25 percent of the vote. Another 26 delegates will be allocated at a state convention in June.

Santorum gained momentum with primary wins in Alabama and Mississippi but lost to Romney in Puerto Rico and was defeated again in Illinois, where Romney had a 12-point win.

Now, said Bruce Haynes, a GOP strategist and managing partner of Purple Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs consulting firm: "Santorum can't just win; he has to win big. He's the one who needs to 'shake up' this race. Another ho-hum win in the South doesn't cut it. He's on a political bridge to nowhere and is running out of time to change destinations."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Trending News
Join the conversation
Most Popular
Photos
Video
x
Feedback