by Free Britney at

Rick Santorum posted another convincing win in yesterday's Louisiana's GOP primary, but still faces doubts over whether he can broaden his appeal to win the race.

The Republican presidential candidate said the race was far from over, recalling the naysayers who said Ronald Reagan was too conservative to win the nomination.

But the road ahead is difficult for Santorum, who's slogging it out a game of numbers to clinch the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the party's nomination.

Rick Santorum Pic

Santorum will win at least eight of the 20 delegates up for grabs, according to CNN. Going into Louisiana, Mitt Romney had 563 delegates to Santorum's 251.

At this point, it is very unlikely that Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul can overtake Romney, with their only chance being to keep him from hitting 1,144.

If that were to occur, the nominee could be decided at an open convention when party officials convene this summer, but it remains a long shot at best now.

The candidates get a few days of breathing space before the next round of primaries on April 3 when Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia vote.

Louisiana Republican primary results:

  1. Rick Santorum 91,305 (49%)
  2. Mitt Romney 49,749 (27%)
  3. Newt Gingrich 29,655 (16%)
  4. Ron Paul 11,460 (6%)
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by Free Britney at

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was loving life as he seized upon Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom likening Romney to an Etch-A-Sketch, busting out the popular toy as a prop to lambaste the GOP frontrunner during a speech.

Gingrich, along with many conservatives, could not help but roll their eyes at the remark, given Romney's long-held reputation as a middle-of-the-road technocratic flip-flopper lacking core beliefs or any sort of political consistency.

Still, Newt's personal disdain for Mitt clearly played into this display:

"How many of you have ever had an Etch-a-Sketch? My children had Etch A Sketches," Newt told a crowd in Louisiana. "They were great for car rides. But you'll notice that their pictures aren't permanent, their pictures aren't locked down."

"You can redo it any time you want. That's the problem. If you're somebody who invents RomneyCare and at the signing ceremony say that your closest collaborator was Teddy Kennedy, it's really hard to explain to us that you're really conservative."

"So here's Gov. Romney's staff, they don't even have the decency to wait until they get the nomination to explain to us how they'll sell us out, and I think having an Etch A Sketch as your campaign model, raises every doubt about where we're going."

And so it went. Rick Santorum, too, stopped at Toys R Us and bought an Etch A Sketch for campaign events, Watch him incorporate it into a speech below:

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by Free Britney at

Mitt Romney rolled to victory in the Illinois Republican primary Tuesday, regaining some momentum in a race in which he has been unable to put away his opponents.

The presidential hopeful made the case that he has the best chance of beating President Obama as he sought to overcome doubts from more conservative voters.

After narrow margins of victory over Rick Santorum in battleground states like Ohio and Michigan and a string of losses in the South, Romney cruised in Illinois.

Mitt in IL

He was poised to collect three times as many delegates as Santorum, which aides hoped would increase his lead enough to tamp down talk of a contested convention.

Romney is looking to build an unassailable advantage in the race for the GOP nomination and look ahead to a bruising fall campaign against President Obama.

Yet unless his Republican rivals decide to step aside, that won't happen.

While he has a sizable lead in delegates, Romney has only about half the 1,144 needed to win and will not be able to move beyond the primary for at least two months.

Things are looking up for the frontrunner though. The Illinois electorate is reflective of relatively moderate states that will vote across the Northeast in April.

Illinois Republican Primary Results

  1. Mitt Romney 428,434 (46.7%)
  2. Rick Santorum 321,079 (35.0%)   
  3. Ron Paul 85,464 (9.3%)       
  4. Newt Gingrich 72,942 (8.0%) 
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by Free Britney at

Rick Santorum scored another two wins in the race for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night, indicating a potentially protracted race ahead.

The former U.S. Senator won the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, overcoming the financial advantages of Mitt Romney and Southern allegiances to Newt Gingrich.

Santorum strengthened his candidacy as the GOP campaign rolls into a state-by-state delegates battle in the weeks, and very possibly months, ahead.

An aggressive push by Romney to try and capitalize on the still-divided conservative electorate failed to take hold, and he finished third in both states.

Santorum Wins Again

“We did it again,” Santorum said, addressing jubilant supporters in Louisiana, which votes next week. “The time is now for conservatives to pull together.”

The outcome of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries bolstered Santorum’s argument that he should emerge as the final GOP competitor to Romney.

But Gingrich, who finished a close second in both states, noted that he earned about as many delegates as his rivals, and pledged to continue on.

“The elite media’s efforts to convince the nation that Mitt Romney is inevitable just collapsed,” Gingrich said, addressing a subdued crowd here in Birmingham.

“If you’re the front-runner and you come in third, you’re not much of a front-runner.”

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by Free Britney at

The protracted race for the GOP presidential nomination grew a bit tighter today as Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses by an overwhelming margin.

With 97 percents of the precincts reporting in the Sunflower State, Santorum earned 51 percent of the vote, with Mitt Romney second with 21 percent.

Newt Gingrich with 14 percent and Ron Paul with 12 percent to finish in third and fourth, respectively. Alabama and Mississippi hold primaries Tuesday.

Santorum stands to gain a substantial number of Kansas' 40 delegates, which he called crucial to competitive in the race for his party's nomination.

R Santorum Pic

"We have to do well here in Kansas," Santorum said this week in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City. "We have to win here in Kansas, and win big."

Romney and Gingrich largely skipped Kansas in favor of the states voting next week. Santorum and Paul had been the most active campaigners in Kansas.

Romney began the weekend with 339 delegates, with 107 for Gingrich, 95 for Santorum, and 22 for Paul, according to the Republican National Committee.

The RNC totals do not reflect any wins in states where delegates are not bound to the winning candidates, and also differ from various media estimates.

Romney remains the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nod and face off with President Obama in the fall, but his opponents clearly aren't going quietly.

With 1,144 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, it will take many more weeks for Mitt to reach that total, if he's able to do so at all.

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by Free Britney at

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared to pull off a narrow win in Ohio on Super Tuesday but lost several other states to challenger Rick Santorum.

The day of 10 primaries and caucuses produced no knockout punch, rather another split verdict that overshadowed Romney’s claim of collecting the most delegates.

Romney remains ahead in the delegate count, and thus the race for the nomination, but any hopes of asserting himself as the inevitable nominee fell short again.

Romney Ohio Pic

Far from bringing more clarity to the GOP presidential race as some in the party had hoped, Tuesday’s elections gave every candidate cause to keep driving forward.

Newt Gingrich won a definitive victory in Georgia. Santorum won in Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Ron Paul even posted several second-place finishes.

Romney won Massachusetts, where he served as governor; Virginia, where neither Gingrich nor Santorum qualified for the ballot; and Vermont, Idaho and Alaska.

In Ohio, The Associated Press named Romney the winner early this morning, though some news outlets have not called it yet, and Santorum has not conceded.

Regardless of that outcome, Ohio's tight race and his defeats elsewhere show continuing vulnerabilities for Romney on both geographic and ideological grounds.

Even with most people operating under the assumption that he remains the most likely GOP nominee, he has nonetheless lost states across several regions.

Just the same, he's winning. With 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, Romney has 332 delegates to Santorum’s 139, Gingrich's 73 and Paul's 35.

Super Tuesday results by state after the jump ...

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by Free Britney at

Mitt Romney won Washington state's Republican caucuses this weekend, gaining a boost heading into Super Tuesday tomorrow, March 6, when 11 states hold contests.

The choice isn't binding. Romney won 37.6 percent of vote. He's put together a bit of a win streak, also carrying Wyoming, Arizona and Michigan within the last week.

Ron Paul edged Rick Santorum for second place with both receiving about 25 percent of the vote, with Newt Gingrich coming in fourth with 11 percent of the vote.

Mitt Romney Picture

Republican contests on March 6 include Ohio, a swing state that President Obama, a Democrat, won in 2008 and Republican President George W. Bush won in 2004.

Polls there are very close, while Santorum has the edge in Oklahoma and Tennessee, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads surveys in Georgia.

Romney is expected to win Massachusetts, Vermont and likely Virginia. Paul will continue to be a factor everywhere, particularly in states with caucus formats.

The 2012 Washington Republican Caucus results:

  1. Mitt Romney 19,111 (37.6%)
  2. Ron Paul 12,594 (24.8%)
  3. Rick Santorum 12,089 (23.8%)
  4. Newt Gingrich 5,221 (10.3%)
  5. Other 1,749 (3.4%)
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by Free Britney at

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has won Wyoming's presidential caucus vote, a series of county straw polls that took place over the last three weeks.

At 39 percent, Romney bested Rick Santorum (32 percent), Ron Paul (21 percent) and Newt Gingrich (8 percent). The Wyoming GOP released the results Wednesday.

Like Iowa's caucus, Wyoming's is not binding and will in no way affect the state's 29 delegates to the national convention, where the nominee will be formally chosen.

GOP Contenders

More attention will likely be paid to Wyoming's county conventions, held March 6-10, which will directly elect 12 delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Its April state convention, which will elect another 14 delegates ... none of which will be allocated (or "bound") to any of the four remaining presidential candidate.

Each will have to announce support for a candidate or "undecided." Confused yet?

Only 2,108 total votes were cast in Wyoming, the least populous U.S. state (fun fact). Nevada, the next smallest caucus to date, saw more than 30,000 GOP votes.

Also like in Iowa, the precinct caucuses served another function, besides recording a presidential-preference vote: electing delegates to Wyoming's later conventions.

If Romney's win in Wyoming is any indication, he'll receive more backing than his rivals from Wyoming's unbound national delegates at the GOP convention.

Romney won Michigan and Arizona Tuesday. Ten states cast ballots next week, on Super Tuesday, in an increasingly important date for his three competitors.

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by Free Britney at

Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary narrowly over Rick Santorum Tuesday, reclaiming some momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

He also won Arizona, by a much bigger margin.

Romney needed to win both, but especially Michigan (where he grew up when his father was governor) to assert his ability to regain his tarnished frontrunner status.

A Santorum win in Michigan would have raised questions about how strong a candidate Romney is within the GOP, and even a narrow defeat may have done so.

Nevertheless, Romney was 2-for-2 last night. Whether that gives him a critical boost heading into 10 "Super Tuesday" primaries March 6 remains an open question.

Empirically, Michigan's 30 delegates to the Republican convention, where the nominee is actually chosen this summer, will be allocated on a proportional basis.

That's in contrast to Romney's victory in Arizona, which was both expected and more thorough, netting him all 29 delegates in that state's winner-take-all primary.

Santorum portrayed his Michigan defeat as better than expected, even after leading in the polls earlier this month, given Romney's financial and territorial edge.

"This was going to be Romney's night. The question was how big. And it wasn't very big," Santorum said, adding that it's a "two-person race right now" with Mitt.

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, despite finishing a distant third and fourth Tuesday, have both indicated they are still in this for the long haul to amass delegates.

The Arizona and Michigan primary results, according to Real Clear Politics:

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by Free Britney at

Arizona hosted the 20th GOP debate of this election cycle last night, and what followed was a wide-ranging discussion of issues ... and a familiar personal slap-fest.

It's all the same, only the names change. Wednesday, it was Rick Santorum in the coveted, yet also unfortunate role of the guy Mitt Romney trains his sights on.

Romney and Santorum clashed over the federal government's power in a high-stakes debate that might have been the last in the roller-coaster campaign.

Ron Paul was Ron Paul, defiantly making the case for liberty and getting far too little screen time. Newt Gingrich? He may have effectively called it quits.

The combative, knock-'em-out Newt was AWOL. Instead, the jovial Uncle Newt was back, playing everyone's wingman (and promising $2.50/gallon gas).

It was like mid-to-late 2011 again as Gingrich the enthusiastic, vigorously nodding candidate who would never speak ill of a fellow Republican resurfaced.

Even with his now-infamous media foil, CNN's John King, as the moderator, too. Go figure. A shift in strategy as he looks for a third comeback? Maybe.

He'd surely take it if it happened. But equally likely is that his moment passed, he knows it, and is looking to mend fences with his rivals and America.

The debate was held in the southwestern state of Arizona six days before primaries there and in Romney's native Michigan, which he loves everything about.

Romney still faces skepticism among Republicans who dislike his shifting stances on issues, but it was Santorum being called a "fake" conservative by Paul.

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