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    Santorum looks for rebound in Louisiana

    SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Rick Santorum is looking to Louisiana for a much-needed rebound as Republican voters go to the polls Saturday in the state's GOP primary.

    The former Pennsylvania senator is expected to do well in the contest, just a handful of days after a decisive loss to front-runner Mitt Romney in Illinois on Tuesday.

    A win over the former Massachusetts governor would serve as a reminder that Romney still struggles among the GOP's conservative faithful, especially in the South. Santorum beat Romney in primaries in Alabama and Mississippi earlier this month.

    But Romney is outpacing Santorum in the race for critical delegates to the Republican National Convention, and he's been beating Santorum in big, industrial Midwestern states.

    "I need your vote, and I want the vote of the people of Louisiana so we can consolidate our lead," Romney said Friday while campaigning in Shreveport. He told supporters his campaign wants to focus on "raising the money and building the team to defeat someone that needs to be out of office in 2012 and that's Barack Obama."

    Republicans were voting as President Barack Obama began a trip overseas and the country was focused on the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Obama made a personal appeal to Martin's family on Friday, and the GOP candidates all said an investigation into his death was an appropriate course to take.

    Romney and Santorum were both campaigning in this northern Louisiana city on Friday, where a large oil and gas industry make energy a top issue in the primary. Both men have been highlighting that on the trail. Also in Louisiana was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has fallen back in polls and has lost other Southern primaries to Santorum.

    Santorum spent much of Friday on the defensive, explaining comments he made earlier in the week and insisting he would support the eventual GOP nominee. Still, Santorum says there are similarities between front-runner Romney and Obama that make them indistinguishable on some issues. He caused an intraparty uproar earlier in the week after suggesting he'd prefer a second term for Obama over a Romney presidency.

    "Over my dead body would I vote for Barack Obama," Santorum said as he walked back his original comments less than 24 hours before Louisiana polls were set to open.

    The situation underscored Santorum's challenges, particularly because he faces more difficult territory in the race ahead. He faces increasingly difficult delegate math as Romney continues to win delegates even in states where the popular vote is close.

    There are 20 delegates at stake in Louisiana's primary. They are awarded proportionally to the candidates who receive more than 25 percent of the vote. So a close race would yield just a handful for any of the men in the contest.

    Most states divide all the available delegates among the candidates who meet the minimum threshold. Louisiana's system is strictly proportional, with any leftover delegates designated as uncommitted, meaning they will be fought for at the state convention.

    Romney has 563 delegates of the 1,144 necessary to win at the convention, according to an Associated Press tally. Santorum has 263, while Gingrich trails with 135. Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 50.


    Associated Press writer Cain Burdeau, in Pineville, La., contributed to this report.

    • Kei  •  Pleasanton, California  •  10 hrs ago
      Santo: "there are similarities between front-runner Romney and Obama that make them indistinguishable on some issues."
      Not all but SOME issues?. We know now that there are SOME issues on which Santo has found it expedient to have a stand indistinguishable from that of Romney's and Obama's. Like a concern for the economy and unemployment (soon after stating that he does not care).
      And in education - the shared stand that America's youth should aim for a college degree (soon after college-educated Santo declared his outrage at the snobbish idea).
      For the military - the eagerness to start yet another war-front in the Middle East.
    • Kei  •  Pleasanton, California  •  11 hrs ago
      AP: " ..a reminder that Romney still struggles among the GOP's conservative faithful"
      Not a big deal. Throughout the Democratic Party's primary in 2008, Obama struggled among some key demographics of the party.
      GOP's conservative faithful? Since it is not spelled out, should we then assume that Santorum is not "struggling" among the GOP's conservative faithful? Before the Illinois primary, we read the following:
      "Santorum TIES Romney among (USA's GOP) conservatives, voters aged 35 to 54, and those who attend a place of worship weekly. He leads Romney SLIGHTLY in the Midwest." - Gallup, Mar 20, 2012.

      FYI AP, Bigoted rednecks of the southern states are NOT going to anoint the GOP's nominee.
    • A Yahoo! User  •  11 hrs ago
      It appears the Democratic crossover vote for Rick will keep Rick in the race for a while. Surelly Rick can figure out what is going on and spending others money and getting crossover votes. Surely he would know he is not that poplular in the Republican party. What will the suporters think when he loses out on the nominee? Will he ever get any support again? Would it have been better to drop out and try it another year like Perry? Will his supporters be mad at him for going ahead and spending their money if he has little chance of winning?
    • Tim  •  11 hrs ago
      I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator... I am fighting for the Lord's work" ------ Adolph Hitler in 1938.
    • BARRABAS  •  11 hrs ago
      ...the reports came back that the vote turn out was very low in Louisiana... doesn't say much for the GOP....
    • B.F.M. unleashed  •  13 hrs ago
      screw politicians, screw capitalism, screw religion. screw voting. stay home, have sex, the rich and controlling have not found a way to tax it yet! oh, but you know they would if they could!
    • barbara S  •  13 hrs ago
      Rebound? That's really, really funny. Even with the LA win Santorum is d - o - n - e.
    • Greg  •  13 hrs ago
      It's my impression that the people would like the real Mitt Romney to stand up, and the real Rick Santorum to sit down.
    • Jon  •  14 hrs ago
      Rick is right about banning pornography, but he needed to be more specific about cutting food stamps.
    • Jon  •  14 hrs ago
      Ban pornography, make the world a better place.
    • Trickledown Economy  •  New York, New York  •  14 hrs ago
      IRO 2012! - Informed Republicans for Obama 2012! --
      Dont be afraid to voice it, we are tired of the tea party and under educated whiners taking over our party, we now look like party of hate. IRO 2012!
    • Lee S  •  New York, New York  •  14 hrs ago
      My Republican friends,

      I can only imagine the pain and humilation you feel as you watch your once proud party being torn usunder by these babbling, Bickering bufoons! I do hope your once proud party regains one sliver of its once proud self as you sit and watch our commander in chief repair the damages and cranage left behind by a man not qualified to watch a house plant!

      Good luck with the clown show called the GOP, The clown car comes with a Echa-sketch, A Racist, and a Cheater..And the wheels are about to come of the car~

      A Democrat!
    • Buckeyes  •  14 hrs ago
      It's loud and Clear Gingrich and Paul
      Time to get out of the way.
      America has spoken
    • Buckeyes  •  14 hrs ago
      Why are all "winner take all" states are liberal states?
    • Sean  •  14 hrs ago
      Sanitarium wants to focus on internet porn and has said allowed "the economy is not my problem", if these are his directives somebody hide the tax dollars, as if the "war on drugs" was not fruitless enough.
    • Lee S  •  New York, New York  •  14 hrs ago
      I think the final voter turn out was like 5000 out of 15,000,000
    • John  •  14 hrs ago
      tricky ricky is an idiot.romney sucks..ronnie is stupid...only newt can beat the black retard obama..
    • John  •  14 hrs ago
      sanitarium cant win..he is an idiot..romney cant win..he is a white obama..ronnie paul is a goomer...only newt can take on obama and win..he will make stupid obama look like a retarded 2nd grader
    • Mr. Muligan  •  14 hrs ago
      This is all engineered to make it look like a run-off when there is none. Santorum is sick in the head. He stole his dead baby from the hospital, took it home, made his kids hold it and then slept with it in his bed. Go search on this news story. The man is certifiable.
    • John  •  14 hrs ago
      sanitarium cant beat stupid obama..only newt can beat retard obama..romney is a white obama ..he will not win
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