Politics

Santorum Wins Louisiana

 

As anticipated, Rick Santorum won the Louisiana GOP primary by a wide margin, perhaps a bit less than the 43-27 lead over Mitt Romney anticipated in the last American Research Group poll taken before the election.  All of the major media organizations called the race for Santorum within a few minutes after 9:00 PM Eastern time, but the exact vote totals are still being tallied.

CNN’s exit polls indicate Santorum won virtually every demographic in Louisiana, including both genders (by roughly equal margins), all age groups, and every degree of conservatism.  The only group to give Romney a decisive victory was voters earning $200,000 per year or more, which Romney won 45-31 percent.

Despite his strong double-digit lead, Santorum will not gain much ground in delegates against Romney on Saturday night.  Louisiana has a total of 46 delegates to the Republican National Convention, but only 20 of them are awarded during the primary.  Delegates are awarded proportionately to any candidate who earns more than 25 percent of the vote, which at the moment would appear to leave out Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, who are polling at roughly 20 and 5 percent respectively.  If the current voting situation holds up throughout the night, Santorum will collect 12 or 13 delegates from Louisiana, while Romney will take 7 or 8.  The rest of the Louisiana delegates will be awarded at the state convention on June 2.

Update: With the final vote count tallied, Santorum increased his lead, and ended up winning 49-26 percent over Mitt Romney, a 23-point victory.  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul finished with 17 and 6 percent, respectively, and thus did not reach the 25 percent threshhold necessary for winning any delegates.

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