While Sen. Santorum was expected to win Minnesota and Missouri, Colorado was widely-believed to be a safe state for Mitt Romney because of the large margins he held in 2008. That turned out to be far from the truth as the Santorum campaign orchestrated a Tuesday night tsunamai for which the Romney people were totally unprepared.
While Romney decided to skip these three states for others, Santorum used retail politics as he did in Iowa to exactly the same result. Political pundits had proposed that this style of campaigning would be impossible to keep up past Iowa and Santorum has proven that kissing babies and saying hello can still get it done.
Gingrich’s campaign is said to be suffering from financial difficulties and having fared this poorly will certainly make it even more difficult for him to continue. Of the less-effective candidates in these races, Gingrich finished at or near the bottom of all three races while Rep. Ron Paul floated in the middle.
Ron Paul has cash from a very loyal following that will keep him going despite being the only remaining GOP candidate to fail to win at least one primary or caucus event.
It is widely expected that Romney will change tactics to placate the right while going heavily negative on Santorum to remove a stubborn challenger.
Colorado Results (99% reporting 1:32a)
*CDN is calling Colorado for Rick Santorum
Minnesota Results (86% reporting 1:03a)
*CDN is calling Minnesota for Rick Santorum
Missouri Primary Results (100% reporting 1:00a)
*CDN predicts that Rick Santorum has won the Missouri (Beauty Contest) Primary – no delegates to be awarded (caucus to be held later)
1:33 – There is nothing more to see here folks.. it’s over. Go to sleep… really (Ferris rocks!)
1:00 – Colorado GOP chair announces that with 98% of the vote – Rick Santorum wins Colorado – it’s a sweep
12:24 – Romney takes slight lead .. shortly after CDN calls it for Santorum.. figures.
12:18 – Anderson Cooper calls Colorado poll attendance “depressing”
12:15a – CDN calls Colorado for Rick Santorum.
11:22 – Colorado results begin coming in again
11:12 – Colorado results coming very slow. No new info in more than 90 minutes.
11:09 – Paul takes the stage to say “We had a strong second place and it’s going to continue”. Looking forward to results in Maine.
10:47 – Santorum takes stage in Missouri and starts with “We doubled him [Romney] up tonight in Missouri and Minnesota”. Santorum also announced “I am not standing here to be the Conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I am the Conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”
10:21 – CDN is calling Minnesota for Rick Santorum
10:15 – Lack of entrance and exit poll data (and slow results from Colorado) will delay CDN’s call on the remaining two states
9:56 – CNN pundit says that “Santorum voters will go to Romney” counting him out of the race despite tonight’s results.
9:45 – with almost 4% in, Santorum clearly posing a challenge to Romney’s “electability” claim
9:40 – Romnemomentum could come to a halt tonight as Santorum is poised to take the middle of the country.
9:33 – CDN is calling Missouri for Rick Santorum with more than 26% of the vote, his lead is significant and accelerating (54.2%)
9:32 – MSNBC’s Maddow misstates result totals in Missouri as 1% of returns when more than 25% are in.
9:22 – CNN tries to get a Romney supporter on Camera from a caucus crowd.. no takers.
9:13 – Missouri results flying in while Minnesota’s are trickling in a bit slower.
9:01 – Herman Cain says that big win for Santorum tonight will only give him a slight “bump” not a “surge”
8:47 – Some pundits already starting to explain Santorum’s early success as a result of low voter turn-out
8:45p – Santorum holding his early lead so far. Paul showing better in MN than MO while the reverse is true for Romney
8:15p – Polls close in Missouri.
8:00pm – Minnesota Caucuses begin