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Santorum Sweeps Missouri, Minnesota & Colorado [VIDEO]

Rick Santorum with daughter Elizabeth (L) and wife Karen at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri.
Rick Santorum with daughter Elizabeth (L) and wife Karen at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. (Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s star has brightened considerably, at least for now, after caucus wins in Minnesota and Colorado and a first place finish in the non-binding Missouri Republican presidential primary.

The sweep raised fresh questions about front-runner Mitt Romney’s appeal among the ardent conservatives at the core of the party’s political base.

Santorum says his win shows that “Conservatism is alive and well.”

Santorum won Minnesota with 45 percent support but Colorado was closer. He beat Romney 40 percent to 35 percent.

Romney showed no sign of disappointment in remarks to supporters, calling it “a good night for Rick Santorum.” Romney says he still expects to be the nominee. Ron Paul says he’s still slowly building delegates and plans to be heard at the convention.

Newt Gingrich was far off the pace.

Romney’s bad day is Santorum’s best in GOP race

Mitt Romney rally after Colorado caucuses
Mitt Romney rally after Colorado caucuses (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Republican Rick Santorum is looking to capitalize on a string of stunning victories that has snapped his four-state losing streak and raised new questions about front-runner Mitt Romney’s clout with conservatives.

Romney is shrugging off his poor showing, but his losses in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado have laid bare his stubborn weakness just when it looked as if his party was beginning to embrace him.

Bringing up the rear of the Santorum surge: Newt Gingrich. The former House speaker mostly skipped the contests and finished at or near the back of the pack in all three states.

Santorum is casting the results as a victory for a purer form of conservatism. He says his message is heard more clearly by voters without the deafening TV ad war Romney has dominated.

Paul says results help him rack up delegates

Ron Paul
Ron Paul (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ron Paul is emphasizing his ability to collect GOP delegates as the presidential nominating contest continues.

Speaking from a campaign rally in Minnesota on Tuesday, Paul says he’s pleased with his showing in recent caucus contests.

Paul is sitting in second place behind former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in Minnesota. The Texas congressman says he will continue to compete and collect delegates to the Republican convention. He says that’s the best way to promote his campaign’s message.

Paul is not attacking his fellow Republican candidates by name. But he says he’s the only candidate that will offer real cuts to the federal budget and is the true conservative in the race.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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