Santorum cruises to victory in Louisiana

By the time the nets had projected Santorum's big win in the Louisiana primary, the canddiate was long gone, scratching for votes in his home state of Pennsylvania and then moving on to Wisconsin.


Santorum fell just short of winning 50 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting, beating Romney by more than 22 percentage points. Romney nabbed 27 percent of the vote.

Newt Gingrich finished third with about 16 percent, meaning he won't win any delegates because of a 25- point threshold requirement for claiming them.

Santorum picked up only 10 delegates from the victory, with five going to Romeny and five remaining unbound after Saturday's vote. The Louisiana GOP will divide up the remaining 23 delegates through a caucus process in late April.

With the results pretty much set before voting began, the field of GOP hopefuls had already shifted its attention to future contests. Santorum and Gingrich spent Saturday in Pennsylvania, and Santorum went on to Wisconsin. Romney took a break from the trail this weekend and will resume campaigning Monday in southern California.

"I just want to thank you for making a very clear and crisp statement," Santorum said in a celebration with a small group of reporters from a Wisconsin restaurant. "You don't believe this race is over. You didn't get the memo."

Winning a primary with only a plus 5 delegate advantage is not going to make much of a dent in Romney's lead.

Wisconsin, which holds its primary on April 3, is vital to win if Santorum is going to remain part of the conversation. Maryland and Washington, D.C. also hold their primaries on the 3rd and Santorum has little chance in either. If he is shut out a week from Tuesday, even some of his strongest supporters might question why he is remaining in the race.