Santorum Beats Romney by 22 Points in Louisiana

March 24, 2012 - 11:26 PM
Rick Santorum

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennyslvania (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(CNSNews.com) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania beat former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts by a margin of 22 points in the Republican presidential primary held in Louisiana on Saturday.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Santorum had 49 percent and Romney had 27 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia placed third with 16 percent and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas placed fourth with 6 percent.

Santorum won every parish (the state's equivalent of a county) in Louisiana except one--Orleans Parish, which encompasses the City of New Orleans. However, of the more than 180,000 Republicans who voted in the primary statewide only about 6,800 turned out to vote in Orleans Parish.

Santorum won 8,624 votes in East Baton Rouge Parish alone.

"This race has clearly gotten down to two candidates who can win the nomination," Santorum told reporters while campaigning in Wisconsin on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. "I'd love to have a one-on-one debate."