Rick Santorum won Tuesday's Alabama and Mississippi GOP presidential primaries, with Southern conservatives again rejecting Mitt Romney, who earlier in the day said Santorum's campaign was reaching a "desperate end."
Newt Gingrich, who had staked his campaign on a Southern strategy after winning South Carolina and Georgia, was fighting with Romney for second place in both contests and pitched that as part of his reason to continue campaigning through the GOP convention.
In Alabama, Santorum won 35% of the vote. Gingrich and Romney both had 29% - although Gingrich was about 2,000 votes ahead with 99% of the vote counted - and Ron Paul had 5%.
With 99% of the vote counted in Mississippi, Santorum had 33%. Gingrich was at 31%, Romney at 30% and Paul at 4%. Results of caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa had yet to be reported.
"We did it again," Santorum told supporters Tuesday night in Lafayette, Louisiana, which will hold a GOP primary on March 24.
Santorum, whose Alabama and Mississippi victories give him 10 wins to Romney's 16, poked at the frontrunner as he reiterated his stance that he is the viable conservative alternative to the former Massachusetts governor.
"People (said), 'You're being outspent (by Romney),' and everybody's talking about all the (delegate) math, and that his race is inevitable. Well, for someone who thinks this race is inevitable, (Romney) has spent a whole lot of money against me for being inevitable," Santorum told supporters.FULL STORY