Santorum number one in MS and AL primaries, Romney wins Hawaii caucuses (updated)

Rick Santorum picked up media momentum in yesterday's Southern primaries, but did not narow Romney's lead in the delegate count.  Mitt Romney came in third, a big disappointment considering poll numbers reported before the election indicating a close race.  Santorum's margin in Alabama was about 5 percent over Gingrich, and 7 percent over Romney, a clear win. In Mississippi, he enjoyed 2 points over Gingrich, and 3 over Romney. But because of proportional distribution of delegates, Santorum's first place status in the Southern state does not yield significant gains on front-runner Romney, while Romney's bigger victory in Hawaii's caucuses actually will enlarge his delegate lead.  Andrew Malcolm of IBD notes: Due to the new proportional allocation, Santorum, Gingrich and Romney will each get about a third of the Alabama and Mississippi convention delegates. And Romney's lead of about 250 delegates remains intact. Except -- oh, wait! -- after everyone went...(Read Full Post)