Rick Santorum Takes Missouri

Rick Santorum won the Missouri primary this evening in an upset victory made possible by Newt Gingrich’s failure to get

Rick Santorum could have a big night tonight

Rick Santorum won the Missouri primary this evening in an upset victory made possible by Newt Gingrich’s failure to get himself on the ballot in the Show Me State. NBC News declared Mr. Santorum the winner just under two hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m. New York time.

After Mr. Gingrich’s win in South Carolina, the race for the Republican nomination seemed to be shaping up as a two man contest between Mr. Gingrich and the frontrunner, Mitt Romney. With his Missouri win, the Santorum campaign hopes voters will reconsider Mr. Santorum as a viable, conservative alternative to Mr. Romney, however he won’t earn any delegates for his victory because of a dispute between the Republican National Committee and the Show Me State.

Missouri¬†isn’t awarding delegates tonight, because the State Legislature moved the primary date forward after Florida did the same in order to remain relevant in the nomination process. In an effort to stick with the traditional primary calendar, the RNC responded by vowing to take half of the delegates of states that pushed their primaries ahead of March 6. Missouri Republicans solved this problem by scheduling a caucus next month where delegates will actually be awarded.

Prior to tonight’s trio of votes in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, Mr. Romney was well ahead in the race for his party’s nomination after a strong finish in Iowa and wins in New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada. Ron Paul, who has yet to win a primary in any state, finished third in tonight’s Missouri vote. Rick Santorum Takes Missouri