Results For Colorado Caucus: Rick Santorum Edges Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul Scrap For Last

This might just be Rick Santorum’s Super Tuesday.

The former Pennsylvania Senator has already won the non-binding Missouri primary with 55% of the vote and won the Minnesota caucuses with 45% of the vote. And now, Santorum is polling far ahead of all other GOP challengers in the Colorado caucus.

 

1:20 a.m. Santorum wins: Santorum notched 38% of the vote, barely edging out Romney, who had 37%. Gingrich (13%) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) (12%) scrapped for last place.

12:35 a.m. With  54% of polls reporting, Romney now has a 39% lead, followed by Santorum with 35%, and Gingrich and Paul with 13% each.

11:54 p.m. With 32% of polls reporting, Santorum has a 43% lead, followed by Romney who has 29%, Gingrich with15%, and Paul with 11%.

11:22 p.m. With 22% of polls reporting, Santorum has regained the lead with 42% of the vote. Romney is in second with 31% of the vote, Gingrich in third with 16%, and Paul with 11%.

11:10 p.m. According to the New York Times, the first results from the Denver metropolitan area are in and they should come as a relief to Romney. He has 49% of the vote in Douglas County so far and 53% in Arapahoe County.

The newspaper reports that in both cases, Romney's numbers are down from in 2008, when he won 72%t in Douglas County and 66% in Arapahoe.

If Romney gets those sorts of numbers elsewhere in Denver — Colorado’s biggest metropolitan area — he should have a lot of cushion to do poorly elsewhere.

One important thing to watch is whether Santroum is finishing second in these areas, or instead falling behind Paul and Gingrich. 

11:00 p.m. With 11% of polls reporting Santorum and Romney are tied with 37% of the vote each, while Gingrich has 17% and Paul has 9%. 

10:30 p.m. With 1% of the polls reporting, Santorum leads with 50% of the vote. He is trailed by Newt Gingrich in second with 21%, Romney with 19%, and  Paul with 10%.

In the Midwest and Mountain West, the social conservative Santorum seems to have finally gained the traction he needed in this primary contest. In some respects Santorum’s big wins in this region of the United States shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Remember that Santorum had in fact won the Iowa caucus (after the votes were recounted he edged Romney by 34 votes). Santorum’s brand of conservatism seems to appeal to Middle America.

Still, the race is too close to call.

At 10:03 p.m. CNN’s senior political analysis David Gergen Tweeted, “If Colorado goes for Santorum, major upset. Way too early to call...also worth remembering Romney got 60% in 2008 in Colorado.”

Politico's Alexander Burns reported earlier in the day that Rick Santorum "may be headed for a big night."

 Santorum spun the day as a potential turning point in the Republican presidential primary. “I feel great that Minnesota is going to change the direction of this race tonight,” Santorum said.

As polls in Colorado begin to report, this might indeed be the big night Santorum was hoping for.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore