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Santorum Wins in Missouri Santorum Wins in Missouri

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / CAMPAIGN 2012

Santorum Wins in Missouri

Jan. 7th, 2012 - Manchester, NH - Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.(Liz Lynch)

February 7, 2012

Missouri gave Rick Santorum’s campaign a much-needed boost on Tuesday, putting him on top in a non-binding GOP primary that nonetheless gives him momentum to continue his quest to offer Republicans an alternative to front-runner Mitt Romney, according to CNN and NBC News.

In what amounted to a glorified opinion poll or “beauty contest,” Santorum enjoyed some advantages – Newt Gingrich did not appear on the ballot, and Romney’s campaign sought to play down expectations by saying it would compete in the actual Missouri caucus in March.

But the former Pennsylvania senator took the state seriously, contending that he is a more reliable conservative than Romney and a less drama-provoking one than Gingrich.

 

The victory in Missouri enables Santorum to argue that he can defeat Romney in a head-to-head matchup – something he has made a cornerstone of his campaign. He had earlier narrowly edged out Romney and other candidates in the Iowa caucuses.

Anticipating a strong showing from Santorum, the Romney campaign this week trained some of its fire on its opponent – former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a key Romney surrogate, accused Santorum in a conference call of being a champion of earmarks as a legislator, a line of attack it is likely to repeat going forward. Romney also has broadened his focus beyond the economy to attack the Obama administration on its contraception policy, a move intended to win over Catholics.

 

 

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