Santorum keeps hopes alive with Kansas win | News | DW | 11.03.2012
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Santorum keeps hopes alive with Kansas win

US Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has swept to victory in caucuses in the state of Kansas. His rival, frontrunner Mitt Romney, countered with a win in Wyoming and three US island territories.

Rick Santorum convincingly won the Kansas presidential caucuses Saturday, a vital boost in keeping his candidacy hopes alive.

The conservative former senator eclipsed the opposition with 51 percent of the vote, well ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on 21 percent.

The win gives Santorum 33 of the state's 40 delegates, cutting slightly into Romney's clear advantage.

It represents a crucial victory for Santorum ahead of contests next week in Alabama and Mississippi, which could strengthen his standing as the conservative alternative to Romney.

US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney shakes hands with supporters

Romney still has a long way to go to be sure of enough delegates

Former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich gained 14 percent and Texas Congressman Ron Paul had 12 percent.

In terms of delegates, the complex system used as a scorecard in the race, Romney has more than twice as many as Santorum, though he is still well short of the winning post.

Candidates need to win 1,144 delegates to win the presidential nomination at the Republican Party's national convention in Tampa, Florida, in August. Romney currently has 453 while Santorum has 217. Gingrich is on 107 and Paul has 47.

Romney's tally also included 22 that he won over the weekend in the US Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. He also won the Republican presidential delegate vote at Wyoming's county conventions.

The victory gave him at least six of the 12 delegates at stake in the sparsely-populated state, Santorum securing at least three and Paul one.

rc/ai (AFP, dpa, Reuters)