Shock wins for Santorum bring in campaign dollars

Supporters pledge $250,000 within hours of their man's surprise victories in three states

Denver

Rick Santorum, the social conservative who roared back to snatch three states from the supposed front-runner, Mitt Romney, in the race for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday night, said his campaign had raised a quarter of a million dollars online within a few hours of his wins and was quickly gaining speed.

"We are doing very, very well raising money," Mr Santorum said yesterday as he geared up to try to capitalise on his stunning clean sweep of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. "We definitely are the campaign with the momentum, the enthusiasm on the ground."

Even though the frantic pace of the primary and caucus season eases off a little now, with nothing in the diary until a televised debate in two weeks, the candidates quickly fanned out to court voters before contests in Arizona and Michigan in three weeks, and then 11 states on the all-important "Super Tuesday" of 6 March.

While this may still be Mr Romney's race to lose, the dramatic events of Tuesday night were a reminder that it is still unpredictable. He came third in Minnesota, behind the former Pennsylvania senator Mr Santorum and the libertarian Texas congressman, Ron Paul.

In Missouri, Mr Santorum beat Mr Romney by 30 points, though it was a non-binding result there and he was helped by the failure of Newt Gingrich to get on the ballot. Most shocking was the nail-biting night in Colorado – a state Mr Romney was meant to have in the bag. Instead, the former Massachusetts governor ended up losing it to Mr Santorum by five points.

Just as astonishing is the positive reversal of fortune, of Mr Santorum, who notably failed to convert his win in Iowa – belatedly declared – into any kind of momentum in subsequent races. All of a sudden, he can boast having won four states against three for Mr Romney and one for Mr Gingrich.

Mr Romney still far outpaces his rivals in numbers of delegates backing him for the Republican Party convention in August. Indeed, under the arcane rules, Mr Santorum does not immediately gain new delegates from Tuesday's voting, though he is likely to do so further down the road. And the money and organisational advantages still rest firmly with Team Romney.

Yet things seemed very different yesterday, even if in this race momentum can be taken away as quickly as it is given. The candidate furthest in the ditch is surely Mr Gingrich, who thought he was going to be the conservative standard-bearer to stop Mr Romney. He might as well hand over his hard hat to Mr Santorum, who can already hear the distant booms of heavy Romney ordnance being fired in his direction.

An extremely deflated-looking Stuart Stevens, a top political strategist to Mr Romney, spelled out where he thinks the chinks in Mr Santorum's armour lie – in his record as a US senator and Washington insider, particularly on snagging "pork-barrel" federal dollars for pet projects in his home state.

"I mean, he's someone who's been involved in Washington for a very long time, and that's a completely different approach than Governor Romney," Mr Stevens said, standing in an empty hall where, moments earlier, his candidate had spoken to supporters and not even tried to put a positive spin on the awful result. "I just don't think it's a time when people are looking to Washington to solve problems with Washington."

Mr Romney must take care not to make his party's conservatives crosser than they already are. And he must also find ways to endear himself more effectively to the Republican base.

In a forlorn post-results speech, he offered a new tale about his father George, the former Michigan governor, and the trick he developed when he was an apprentice plasterer. "He learned how to put a handful of nails in his mouth and spit them out, point forward," Mr Romney said. The candidate smiled wanly, aware that tales of his father are no substitute for tales about himself to make him seem human.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world