With all the focus on Newt Gingrich versus Mitt Romney of late, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum not only reminded everyone of his presence once again, he did so in a sweep--taking caucus victories yesterday in the important states of Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. He was not awarded any delegates for these victories, however, so the question for today is, how much do Santorum's triumphs count? A lot, not much, or somewhere in between?
Rick Santorum jolted the Republican presidential race Tuesday with a three-state sweep of nominating contests in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, puncturing Mitt Romney's claim to be the unstoppable front-runner.
Mr. Santorum's three victories—one in the Mountain West and two in the Midwest—give his campaign a much-needed burst of momentum while stirring doubt about Mr. Romney's abilities to woo conservatives to his side in important electoral swing states such as Missouri and Colorado. So far, Mr. Romney has won in states where he has devoted significant campaign time and advertising dollars.
In two of the states, Colorado and Minnesota, Mr. Romney had won by large margins in 2008. He was hugely favored in Colorado in the days leading up to the Tuesday caucus. Two of his top aides have deep experience in the state, and his campaign has been busy organizing there for months.
Of the eight nominating contests so far, Mr. Santorum has now won four, while Mr. Romney has won three and Newt Gingrich one—a tally that seemed unlikely on a few days ago. Until Tuesday, Mr. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, had won only a single contest, a narrow victory in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses.