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Santorum wins Alabama GOP primary: NBC projects

(Xinhua)

14:48, March 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum was projected the winner of two primaries on the so-called "Southern Super Tuesday."

According to projections of NBC news and CNN, the former senator from Pennsylvania took both Alabama and Mississippi, but didn't get much ahead of top rivals Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in the two primaries, which were tight races and held high stakes for all four major GOP presidential candidates.

In Alabama, Santorum has about 35 percent of support after 79 percent of votes were tallied, followed by Ginrich, who has about 30 percent. Romney came in third, with 28 percent. The other candidate, Ron Paul, got about 5 percent.

The contest in Mississippi was even tighter. Santorum won with about 33 percent of votes, followed by Gingrich's 31 percent. Romney has 30 percent, and Paul 4 percent.

Nevertheless, the double wins could give Santorum some new momentum and cast doubts on front-runner Romney's ability to close the deal of the nomination race. The former Massachusetts governor still leads the delegate count, but both Santorum and Gingrich claimed Tuesday's results once again shattered the "inevitability" argument of the Romney campaign.

Seizing the opportunity to rally the party's conservative base behind him, Santorum called on supporters to gather around "one conservative who can beat President Barack Obama in the fall."

With no candidate indicating an exit, the field of the GOP presidential nomination race haven't been narrowed after "Southern Super Tuesday."

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