Santorum Claims Momentum With Wins In Three States

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum claimed a surge of momentum and fundraising on Wednesday, a day after his shocking sweep of nominating contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri that dealt a blow to front-runner Mitt Romney.

Even though Romney holds strong advantages in financing and organization, his campaign will have to refocus to fight the challenge from Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania known for his socially conservative views.

"We definitely are the campaign with the momentum, the enthusiasm on the ground," Santorum said on CNN.

For Romney, Tuesday's results included losses in two states - Colorado and Minnesota - that he won in his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign. Minnesota also became the first state where Romney did not end up in first or second place.

The startling results raised fresh doubts about whether Romney, a wealthy former private equity executive and former Massachusetts governor, can extend his support from the party establishment to win over a broad swath of Republican voters.

"Team Romney might need to tweak its strategy. So far they've been successful in going negative on their opponents and touting his business experience," Republican strategist Ford O'Connell said. "But obviously Republican primary voters are hungry for something more. A lot of folks see him as a single-issue candidate right now."

Read more from Steve Holland At Reuters 

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published this page in In The News 2012-02-08 10:30:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy