Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Santorum looking for Louisiana win

Rick Santorum has been tipped to beat Mitt Romney in Louisiana's vote for a Republican presidential candidate (AP)

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum looks likely to win the Louisiana primary, racking up another victory in the Republican race to challenge President Barack Obama.

A win by Mr Santorum would serve as a reminder that Mr Romney still struggles among the Republican party's conservative faithful, especially in the South.

Mr Santorum beat front-runner and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in primaries in Alabama and Mississippi earlier this month.

But regardless of the outcome, Mr Romney will still have collected far more delegates than all his opponents, creating a juggernaut that looks increasingly unstoppable.

Increasingly, powerful members of the Republican establishment have been coming forward to back Mr Romney in his bid for the White House and trying to put an end to a longer-than-expected primary race that has left the candidates and even the entire Republican party badly bruised.

After rolling to a decisive victory in the heartland state of Illinois, Mr Romney quickly won the surprise endorsement of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the brother of former President George W Bush.

There were also signs that major Republican campaign contributors are shifting more money in his direction.

Still, Mr Santorum tried to keep the pressure on Mr Romney ahead of the Louisiana contest, arguing that he is the only Republican candidate who can offer voters a stark contrast with Mr Obama.

"If you don't have a choice, then a lot of voters are going to vote for what they have. That's why we have to have a choice," Mr Santorum said after testing his marksmanship with a .45 calibre semi-automatic Colt pistol.

Mr Santorum, however, was forced to explain another apparent mis-step, saying he would support the eventual Republican nominee - if it is not him - despite what he insists are similarities between Mr Romney and Mr Obama that make them indistinguishable on some issues. He caused an intra-party uproar earlier in the week after suggesting he would prefer a second term for Mr Obama over a Romney presidency.

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