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Santorum Gets Alabama, Mississippi
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

Santorum Gets Alabama, Mississippi

 
 

And so it keeps rolling on. Rick Santorum had a perfect night tonight, and things went probably as badly for Mitt Romney as they could have done, with the former Massachusetts governor coming in third in both the Alabama and Mississippi primary contests.

Pressure is now only likely to increase on Newt Gingrich to bow out of the contest, after the former House speaker came in second in two states that his campaign would have felt are friendly southern territory.

The problem for Santorum is that the delegate math just isn’t looking friendly for him. CNN's John King has been using a nifty graphic each primary night that runs through the different potential scenarios in each state through the rest of the campaign. And even with some extremely generous giveaways to Santorum, he still can't overhaul Romney since the Republicans changed the rules to drop the winner-takes-all approach to allocating a state’s delegates.

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Should Gingrich decide to drop out of the race, then Santorum can get closer, but he’d still have to win in some unfriendly territory.

The Republican convention in Tampa in August, when the winner will be crowned, is looking increasingly like it could get messy. And it will do the eventual Republican candidate no favors at all to have to wait until then to train his fire – and his campaign cash – on Barack Obama.

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