Mitt Romney and the GOP establishment have better hold their water ’cause a Mitt presidential nomination is not a done deal.
Last night, true conservative Rick Santorum who actually had won the Iowa caucuses, swept the GOP caucuses and primaries in three states — Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri!
The Minnesota result marked the first time so far in the 2012 Republican race that Romney did not come in first or second. Romney also lost in two states – Colorado and Minnesota – that he had won in his failed 2008 bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Steve Holland reports for Reuters, Feb. 8, 2012:
“Former U.S. senator Rick Santorum rejuvenated his presidential hopes on Tuesday with a shocking sweep of the three nominating contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, dealing a blow to wounded front-runner Mitt Romney.
Even though Romney still holds strong advantages in financing and organization, his campaign will now have to refocus to fight back the challenge from the surging conservative Santorum.
Backed by a wealthy “Super PAC” that pays for attack ads against rivals, Romney had excelled in major contests thus far in the race. After big wins in Nevada and Florida in the previous week, he did little campaigning in Minnesota and Missouri and had been expected to win easily in Colorado.
Until Tuesday, Santorum had won only one of the first five Republican contests in the state-by-state battle for the Republican nomination to face President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.”
Here are the results of the GOP contests in the three states:
Colorado Caucuses (36 delegates; with 99% of precincts reporting):
- Rick Santorum: 40%
- Mitt Romney: 35%
- Newt Gingrich: 13%
- Ron Paul: 12%
Missouri Primary (52 delegates; with 99% of precincts reporting):
- Rick Santorum: 55%
- Mitt Romney: 25%
- Ron Paul: 12%
- Uncommitted: 4%
Minnesota Caucuses (40 delegates; with 95% of precincts reporting):
- Rick Santorum: 45%
- Ron Paul: 27%
- Mitt Romney: 17%
- Newt Gingrich: 11%
Santorum is a devout Catholic who had been in a battle with Gingrich to become the conservative alternative to RINO Romney. Santorum’s victories give heart to social conservatives fighting battles of abortion, gay marriage and contraception in recent days.
Tuesday’s strong showing by Santorum came as divisive social issues came to the forefront again in U.S. politics. Earlier in the day, a U.S. appeals court ruled that California’s ban on gay marriage violated the U.S. Constitution in a case expected to lead to a showdown in the Supreme Court.
In addition, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have slammed the Obama administration for a new regulation that would require health insurance to include birth control. The bishops contend the policy infringes on religious liberty because the church does not condone birth control of any kind.
Santorum took some jabs at Obama, focusing in particular on the new contraception rule. He accused the president of trying to “impose his secular values on the people of this country.”
“I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” he added to cheers from the crowd.
The startling results in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri raised fresh doubts about whether Romney, long considered the most likely Republican nominee, can win over the broad swathe of Republican voters, particularly the most conservative ones who are the most unenthusiastic toward him.
But Santorum’s campaign is far behind Romney in fund-raising and in support by the Republican establishment. Santorum is not a wealthy man like Mitt, nor does he have a billionaire SuperPAC donor like Newt. Despite that, Santorum has managed to win 4 of 8 GOP contests to date (Mitt won 3; Newt won 1; and Ron has won none).
So if you want a real conservative to run against Obama this November, donate some dollars to Rick Santorum! Click here.
The next major Republican nominating contests are the Arizona and Michigan primaries on February 28, while Maine wraps up its caucuses this Saturday.