With little chance of better than a fourth-place finish in today’s Nevada caucuses, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum vowed that the GOP nomination battle is a “long, long way from being over.”
In an interview with CNN tonight from a campaign stop in Colorado, Santorum said he is focusing on upcoming races in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri rather than The Silver State.
A short time after the interview Fox News projected that Santorum would finish a distant fourth in Nevada.
“We think we can be competitive here,” he said of Colorado. “We think we can be competitive in Minnesota, Missouri, and we’re going to work those states very, very hard.”
Santorum, who ran no television ads in Nevada, predicted that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will not have the same advantage in upcoming contests that he enjoyed in the first five primaries and caucuses in terms of organization and preparation.
“I think we can do well,” said Santorum. “I’m hopeful, optimistic that we might be able to pull out one of those three and finish well in the other two.”
Santorum said he still expects to win the nomination and he pointed to a new Rasmussen poll that shows him beating President Barack Obama by 1 percent in the general election. It was the first time in any poll that Santorum has led the president.
“People are looking at this race and they are going to start to see that Mitt Romney simply, and Newt Gingrich don’t have what it takes to win the general election,” declared Santorum.
“They may be able to win a nomination but that’s not what Republican voters are looking for. They are looking for someone who has what it takes to beat Barack Obama — and we’ve got the right message and we’ve got the right background and contrast to do that.”
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