Online Staff Report
Following his Feb. 7 sweep of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has now won the most states in the race for his party’s nomination for president.
Santorum has won four (Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri) of the first eight states, while frontrunner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won three states (New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has won one state (South Carolina).
Santorum’s Feb. 7 sweep broke down as follows:
In Colorado, Santorum had 40.3 percent, Romney 34.9 percent, Gingrich 12.8 percent and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, 11.8 percent;
In Minnesota, Santorum had 45 percent, Paul 27.1 percent, Romney 16.9 percent and Gingrich 10.8 percent; and
In Missouri, Santorum had 55.2 percent, Romney 25.3 percent and Paul 12.2 percent (Gingrich did not appear on the ballot).
According to an Associated Press report, Santorum’s Feb. 7 sweep earned his campaign $250,000 overnight.
On CNN’s Starting Point Feb. 8, Santorum said: “I think last night we raised a quarter of a million dollars online. We are going to have the money we need to make the case we want to make.”
According to the New York Times, Romney’s campaign has raised $57.1 million while Santorum’s campaign has raised just $2.2 million. Of the remaining candidates for the Republican nomination, Paul has raised $26.1 million and Gingrich $12.7 million.
President Barack Obama, meantime, has raised $139.5 million and will mostly be able to save his funds for the November general election season.
A Feb. 8 national Gallup Tracking poll shows Romney at 37 percent, Gingrich at 21 percent, Santorum at 17 percent and Paul at 12 percent in the race for the Republican nomination.
The race next moves to Maine Feb. 11, Arizona and Michigan Feb. 28, Washington March 3, and then on to Super Tuesday March 6 in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. Illinois’ primary is March 20.
Santorum said his Feb. 7 sweep represents a shift among voters toward a more pure conservatism. He also said the victories show the party is “beginning to get” that he is his party’s best hope for beating Obama in November.
“I don’t stand here to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama,” Santorum said.
Santorum also attacked Romney’s compromises on health care, economic bailouts and cap and trade, and poked fun at Romney’s attempts to brand himself a political outsider.
“Gov. Romney, Mr. Outsider, was for government takeover in health care, was for government takeover of the private sector of the Wall Street bailout and was for the government takeover of industry and energy with the cap and trade,” Santorum said on CNN. “So, Mr. Private Sector was Mr. Big Government when he was out there running for the private sector.”
Meantime, Romney offered a low-key reaction to his Feb. 7 losses.
“This was a good night for Rick Santorum,” Romney said to supporters in Denver. “We’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee with your help.
“When this primary season is over,” Romney continued, “we’re going to stand united as a party behind our nominee to defeat Barack Obama.”
Romney is now one-for-four in state primaries and caucuses since he said Feb. 1 “I’m not concerned about the very poor” following his Jan. 31 victory in Florida. Romney has a net worth of between $150 million and $200 million.