Rick Santorum won today’s Louisiana primary, news outlets said, but it might do little to stop Mitt Romney’s march to the GOP presidential nomination.
Twenty delegates were at stake today, not nearly enough to concern Romney’s campaign, USA Today said.
“Miracles happen,” Santorum supporter Joan Wetzel told USA Today. “You never know.”
News outlest cited early exit poll results in declaring a lopsided victory for Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator.
CNN predicted Santorum would win nearly the majority of votes in Louisiana, his 4th southern state victory.
"Santorum can't just win, he has to win big," political observer Bruce Haynes told CNN. "He's the one who needs to shake up this race. Another ho-hum win in the South doesn't cut it. He's on a political bridge to nowhere and is running out of time to change destinations."
The Los Angeles Times said Santorum carried nearly all voter categories, including those who earn more than $200,000 per year and those who aren't white, evangelical voters.
According to CNN estimates, Romney entered the Louisiana contest with 563 of 1,144 delegates needed to represent the Republicans against President Obama in a fall election.
Santorum has 263 while former House speaker Newt Gingrich has 135 and Ron Paul has 71.
Santorum told supporters in Milwaukee to continue their push.
“Stand for your principles,” he said in Wisconsin, the next state to vote on April 3. “Don’t compromise. Don’t sell America short.”
The District of Columbia and Maryland also vote a week from Tuesday.
The Associated Press said early exit polls show Santorum winning in the most convincing of fashions.
He also carried support of blue-collar workers, the AP reported.
Fully half of Louisiana's 46 delegates are reserved for the GOP state convention in June, while 3 go to the state's Republican National Committee members.