Keeping up with the Kandidates: Holy Santorum!

Time and time again, while watching the Republican race unfold, I have been waiting for Rick Santorum to drop out. I figured he didn’t stand a chance and was just sticking around to hurt Newt Gingrich’s chances.

I’m currently eating my words and they taste awful.

Santorum won tonight and he won big. CNN projected his victory in Missouri (where no delegates were at stake) around 9:45 p.m. That’s where it began.

He would finish in Missouri with more than double the amount of votes of the second place Romney.

At 10:32 p.m., CNN projected his victory in Minnesota, also by a large margin. Ron Paul finished second in the land of the lakes.

I’m not even including Colorado, which will get its own blog post tomorrow. As I write this,Santorum is leading in the Rockies, but Romney is keeping it close.

In Missouri and Minnesota, though, how could the low-budget Santorum take down Romney, the big spender?

Just like in Iowa, Santorum spent a significant amount of time in the states that went to the polls tonight. According to CNN, he spent 22 days in the three states — ten more days than any other candidate.

And, just like in Iowa, Santorum came out and let it be known that he isn’t one to bow out because everyone else — including this blogger — said he would.

At the same time, though, CNN was told that the Romney camp wrote these victories off. Romney didn’t campaign nearly as hard in these states as he did in the ones that he claimed victory in. The losses were expected, campaign officials said.

However, it had to hurt to get beaten as bad as Romney did. And when America sees results like tonight’s, it only will garner more support for the victor, Santorum.

In Santorum’s speech tonight, he took a chance to swing not at Romney or Gingrich, but at President Barack Obama himself.

“I do not stand here to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney; I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” Santorum said to a supporting crowd in St. Charles, Missouri.

Santorum is alive and well. Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich was seemingly nowhere to be found.

Have the tides truly turned for Santorum? We’re about to find out.

More on Colorado tomorrow.

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