The Spectacle Blog

Santorum Wins Louisiana

By on 3.24.12 | 8:02PM

CNN is projecting that Rick Santorum will win the Louisiana Republican primary, where voting just concluded. The exit polls point to a double-digit margin for Santorum over Mitt Romney, with Newt Gingrich in third place. The early exits show a broad-based win delivered by a conservative primary electorate: Santorum won Tea Party supporters by 16 points, self-described conservatives by 17 points, evangelicals by 32 points, and very conservative voters by 24 points. Santorum won Catholics, his coreligionists, by six points, though that margin than doubles among Catholics who attend Mass weekly.

Among the 39 percent plurality that wanted a candidate who could beat Barack Obama, Romney beat Santorum 48 percent to 31 percent. But Santorum took 72 percent of the voters who wanted a true conservative, with Ron Paul finishing second and Romney fourth. Santorum also beat Romney by 60 points among those who wanted a candidate of high moral character (Gingrich finished fourth among this group). Curiously, Santorum beat Romney by five points among moderate or liberal voters.

Those numbers may change when the final wave of exit polls come in and are recalibrated against the actual results, but that's the basic picture. Santorum will take the bulk of the 20 delegates at stake, though Romney could still be in contention for as many as eight. The remainder of Louisiana's delegates will still be unbound.

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