Santorum Wins Louisiana Primary
Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, boosting his claim as the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican party even as his odds of beating Mitt Romney in the overall delegate race continue to appear slim.
The defeat represented the latest setback in the South for front-runner Mitt Romney, who has lost primaries in six southern states this month and also lost a key primary earlier this year in South Carolina.
Santorum, meanwhile, can again claim momentum based on a strong showing in a heavily conservative state. He has won seven contests for the presidential nomination this month, including five in the South.
Nonetheless, Romney’s other victories, especially a big win in the Illinois primary Tuesday, appear to have cemented his status as the likely nominee. After winning several large, industrial states in the Midwest, Romney has enjoyed a new level of acclaim from Republican leaders in recent days, including the endorsement of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, while both Santorum and Newt Gingrich have struggled to demonstrate a viable path to the nomination.
The results in Louisiana illustrated Romney’s chief remaining weakness: his standing among the most conservative voters.
Cathy Helms, 43, a stay-at-home mother in Benton, La., who home-schools her children, said she was supporting Santorum because he is a “true conservative,” unlike Romney.
“I want him in office because he is somebody who lives what they say and that’s what important to me,” Helms said of Santorum. “I want someone in office who is who he says he is.”
Even if Romney wins the Republican nomination, Helms said, she is not yet to the point where she feels as if she can embrace him in the general election.