Rick Santorum won the Alabama and the Mississippi primaries Tuesday nightin deeply conservative Southern crossroads in the struggle for the Republican presidential nomination.
"We're on our way to victory tonight; we're on our way to victory in this election," exulted Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who has long sought to emerge as the sole more-conservative rival to Romney.
He made the comment even before he was declared the projected winner in both contests.
Romney, the faraway front-runner in the delegate chase, bristled in the hours before the votes were counted, saying Santorum was "at the desperate end of his campaign."
Gingrich had the most to lose as he struggled for political survival in a part of the country he hoped would fuel one more comeback in the unpredictable race to pick an opponent to President Barack Obama. He was running second, ahead of Romney, in both Alabama and Mississippi.
There were 107 Republican National Convention delegates at stake on Tuesday, 47 in Alabama, 37 in Mississippi, 17 in Hawaii caucuses and six more in caucuses in American Samoa.
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