Three states voted yesterday in the GOP presidential primary with Rick Santorum winning the states of Alabama and Mississippi and Mitt Romney winning Hawaii. Things are more complicated than that, however, due to the fact that delegates to the RNC weren't given out on a winner-take-all basis. Thanks to his relatively close finishes in the two states won by Santorum and an additional victory in American Samoa, Mitt Romney actually came away with the most delegates last night. While Santorum and Romney did well, last night was a tough one for Newt Gingrich, who failed to win the popular vote in any of the contests. More below the break from the Washington Times:
With 98 percent of the precincts counted in Alabama, Mr. Santorum pulled in 38 percent of the vote; Mr. Gingrich, 23 percent; and Mr. Romney, 23 percent, according to the AP. In Mississippi, Mr. Santorum held 35 percent; Mr. Gingrich, 32 percent; and Mr. Romney, 32 percent with 99 percent of the precincts counted.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who finished in single digits in both primaries, basically skipped the southern states to focus his money and energy elsewhere — though he did pick up a single delegate in the Hawaii caucuses.
Taken together, Mr. Romney walked away with at least 40 delegates and Mr. Santorum won at least 34, while Newt Gingrich added at least 24 delegates and Ron Paul got at least 1, according to the AP.
There were more than 107 delegates to the Republican National Convention up for grabs Tuesday: 47 in Alabama, 37 in Mississippi, 17 in Hawaii caucuses and six more in caucuses in American Samoa.
At an election-night party in Lafayette, La., Mr. Santorum opened his victory speech with, “We did it again.”
Promising supporters that he plans to “compete everywhere” in the upcoming contests, the former Pennsylvania senator said, “The time is now for conservatives to pull together. The time is now to make sure that we have the best chance to win this election. And the best chance to win this election is to nominate a conservative to go up against Barack Obama.”
The good news for the Santorum campaign was generally viewed as bad news for Mr. Gingrich, the former Georgia congressman who had predicted he would win in both Southern states.
But in his comments to supporters in Birmingham, Ala., the former House speaker and longtime Georgia congressman made it clear he has no intentions of stepping aside before the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.
“I emphasize going to Tampa because one of the things tonight proves is that the elite media’s attempts to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed,” he said to cheers.