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Rick Santorum sweeps Tuesday contests with Colorado win

February 07, 2012|By Kim Geiger
  • Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, wave to supporters at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Mo.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, wave to supporters at… (Whitney Curtis / Getty Images )

Reporting from Washington — Rick Santorum won the Colorado GOP presidential preference straw poll, according to the Colorado Republican Party.

The victory means a trifecta tonight for the former Pennsylvania senator, who also won in Minnesota and Missouri.

It is a significant defeat for front-runner Mitt Romney, who took 60% of the vote in the Colorado’s 2008 nominating contest. John McCain, the eventual nominee, won just 18%.

PHOTOS: Campaign 2012 highlights

The results were announced late Tuesday on CNN by Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call. Santorum was expected to finish with about 40% of the vote.

Going into Tuesday's contests, Santorum had not won a GOP presidential nominating contest since he narrowly beat Romney in Iowa.

"That's a state that people would say, 'Whoa, how can Rick Santorum do well in that state?' " Santorum said earlier in the evening in an interview with CNN. "Well, he did."

But like the other voting contests in Minnesota and Missouri, Colorado’s caucus results are nonbinding. The state will ultimately send 36 delegates to the Republican National Convention in August.

Colorado is among the battleground states up for grabs in the general election. Obama won the state in 2008 with 54% of the vote compared to McCain’s 45%.  

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