Santorum’s Sudden Charm - The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week Eleven

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GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, coming off a surprising Super Tuesday showing, stunned the Republican stalwart with twin victories in Tuesday’s Deep South primaries.

 USA Today Political Poll Tracker as of March 18, 2012 places Romney, leading the pack in popularity, nationally, although losing 2.6 percentage points over the week, at the top with 35.1%. Santorum, holding steady in the number two spot for the second week and gaining two percentage points with 29.3%, Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, comes in at 14.4% and Texas Representative Ron Paul at 11.0%.

GOP front runner, Mitt Romney has seen both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat over the past two weeks and none more evident than his poor third place showing in Alabama and Mississippi’s primaries held Tuesday.  

Deep South voters clearly align themselves with the conservative message of GOP challenger Rick Santorum and declared it in the polls. Alabama voters came out in high numbers and spoke strongly giving Santorum a first place win with 34.5% of the votes, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came in second with 29.3% and GOP front runner Mitt Romney, a poor and distant third place showing with 29% of the votes. Texas Representative Ron Paul received 5% of the vote.

Mississippi voters also spoke decisively supporting the staunch conservative message of Rick Santorum, the former junior senator from Pennsylvania, with a first place win at 32.9%, Newt Gingrich, second with 31.2% of the votes, and Mitt Romney again with  a third place finish at 30.3% of the votes. Ron Paul received a distant 4.4%.

Hawaii held its caucus this week and provided Romney, the GOP Presidential Candidate leader, with a small ray of sunshine and an equally resounding victory with 45.4% of the votes. Second place challenger Santorum a distant second with Hawaiian voters at 25.3%. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich split the remaining two slots with 18.3% and 11.0 respectfully.

Missouri caucus held Saturday, March 17, will decide which candidate receives the 52 delegates up for grabs in the Show Me State.  Santorum handily won Missouri’s “Beauty Contest” primary in February and is expected, although has not been declared, to win Saturday’s caucus and secure the delegates.

The former junior senator is still hurting from a costly mistake in Super Tuesday's battle for Virginia, a state that almost certainly would have been an easy victory for the staunch conservative and had, until a recent recount of signatures, been set to face the same mistake in Indiana. Officially Santorum has qualified for the May 8 Indiana ballot. If nothing else Virginia is a pricey penalty from a serious Presidential contender, one that ends up questioning is the candidate ready for the oval office.

Upcoming contests for the GOP hopefuls include Puerto Rico, Illinois and Louisiana each holding primaries this week.

The 2012 Delegate Tracker has, of the 2286 total available delegates Mitt Romney has secured 495, Rick Santorum 252, Newt Gingrich, 131 and Ron Paul 48. Previous GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman received 2 leaving a total of 1358 available. To secure the Republican Nomination for President a candidate must receive 1,144 delegates.

Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” rhetoric has all but sealed his demise with close to 150 sponsors departing the syndicated t talk show host leaving his programming future of up in the air.  

 

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