[QODLink]
Americas
Santorum wins Louisiana Republican primary
Conservative standard bearer picks up another southern state, continuing to thwart Romney's efforts to claim nomination.
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2012 05:32
Mitt Romney's efforts to wrap up the Republican nomination have been thwarted by Santorum, left [AFP]

Rick Santorum has won Louisiana's Republican primary, but he still trails Mitt Romney by a wide margin in the national delegate count for the party nomination to challenge Barack Obama in November's presidential election.

With virtually all votes counted on Saturday, Santorum had 49 per cent of the vote, Romney 27 per cent, Newt Gingrich had 16 per cent, while Ron Paul had six per cent.

If those totals hold, Santorum and Romney would both gain delegates from Louisiana.

Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, has picked up wins in a string of southern states and has emerged as the standard bearer of his party's conservative right, thwarting former Massachussetts governor Romney's efforts to wrap up the nomination before August's national party convention.

"The people of Louisiana sent a loud and clear message - this race is far from over," Santorum said in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he watched the election results after making a series of campaign stops.

Saturday's primary allocated only 20 of Louisiana's 46 total Republican delegates, with the rest of the delegates set to be allocated at the state party convention in June.

In-depth coverage of the US presidential election

Exit polls showed that 47 per cent of Republican primary voters identified themselves as "very conservative," and of those Santorum beat Romney by 52 per cent to 24 per cent.

Santorum also won majorities among voters calling themselves "somewhat conservative" or "moderate," and those who said that religion matters a lot in public life.

Voter turnout at many precincts was low, according to election officials, even though state Republican leaders had
hoped that having the nomination still in the balance would boost turnout.

The next showdown in the Republican nominating contest will be in Wisconsin on April 3. Maryland and the District of Columbia also vote that day.

Santorum has pledged to stay in the race until the party's convention , and is likely to take heart from results in March, a month when he has won seven state contests despite failing to chip away at Romney's delegate lead.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list