The Big Story Blog

MN Caucuses: Make that two for Santorum

Posted at 9:40 PM on February 7, 2012 by Catharine Richert

Santorum2.JPGThis just in: Rick Santorum has won the Minnesota caucuses.

With nearly 40 percent of the precincts reporting, Santorum has roughly 46 percent of the vote, according to the Secretary of State's website.

Earlier tonight, Santorum won the Missouri primaries.

Neither nominating contest is binding. But it's still been a good night for Santorum, wrote the Washington Post's Chris Cilliza (note his story was posted before the Minnesota win.)

With wins in Missouri and potentially Minnesota -- two of the three states holding contests Tuesday -- Santorum has cast at least some doubt on Romney's presumptive nominee status for the entire three-week lull period before another state casts its votes.

UPDATE:

With two wins under his belt, Rick Santorum gave a victory speech in Missouri Tuesday night.

"Your votes were heard loud and louder" across the nation, he told the crowd.

Particularly in Massachusetts, Santorum added - a dig at Mitt Romney, who he defeated in Minnesota and Missouri tonight.

Santorum said he wouldn't be surprised if President Barack Obama wasn't listening to his supporters, either.

"Why would be listening now?" Santorum said. "Has he ever listened to the voice of America before?"

The former Pennsylvania Senator said Obama wasn't listening to voters when he supported legislation meant to help banks or signed his new health care law.

Santorum contended that Romney isn't much different from Obama on the Wall Street bailouts and health care reform.

Santorum used the similarities to underscore his electability.

"I don't stand here to be to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney," he said. "I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama."



About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.