Bloomberg News

Santorum Wins Alabama Republican Primary, Networks Project

March 13, 2012

Rick Santorum, right, prior to attending the Alabama Policy Institute 2012 Presidential Candidate Forum, on March 8, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama.  Photographer: Eric Gay/AP

Rick Santorum, right, prior to attending the Alabama Policy Institute 2012 Presidential Candidate Forum, on March 8, 2012, in Mobile, Alabama. Photographer: Eric Gay/AP

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum won the Alabama presidential primary, television networks projected, buttressing his bid to turn the race for the Republican nomination into a one-on-one contest with delegate- leader Mitt Romney.

Networks including NBC and CBS projected Santorum the winner. With 48 percent of the vote counted, Santorum had 35 percent to 30 percent for Newt Gingrich, 28 percent for Mitt Romney and 5 percent for Ron Paul, according to the Associated Press tally.

Santorum also was leading a tight three-way race in Mississippi’s primary.

Alabama will send 50 delegates to the Republican National Convention in August, most awarded in proportion to how well the candidate did in the primary.

Even before tonight’s win, Santorum allies had called on Gingrich to withdraw from the race to consolidate opposition to Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

Santorum, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on March 11, said it would be easier for him to take on Romney if Gingrich withdrew, though he didn’t ask his rival to do so.

“The better opportunity to make sure that we nominate a conservative is to give us an opportunity to go head-to-head with Governor Romney at some point, and hopefully that will occur sooner rather than later,” said Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator. “But we’ll wait and see what the speaker decides.”

Santorum’s campaign didn’t buy any television advertising time in Alabama, though was it helped by $199,290 in spending by his allied political action committee, the Red White and Blue Fund, between Feb. 12 and March 12, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG.

Romney’s campaign and his allied Restore Our Future PAC spent $1.3 million on ads. Gingrich and his allied PAC spent $293,610.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net


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