Mississippi and Alabama – Primary Results Tonight – Santorum Wins Alabama, Santorum Wins Mississippi

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It’s about 8:25 PM ET and polls have been closed in Mississippi and Alabama since 8:00 PM. Fox News just started showing results but less than one percent of precincts are reporting in Alabama. So far Rick Santorum is ahead there by about 5 points over Romney. According to the AP, exit polls showed Santorum with a slight edge in that state, and Romney ahead in Mississippi. We won’t know Hawaii’s results until morning.

Here’s the delegate breakdown:

There were 107 Republican National Convention delegates at stake, 47 in Alabama, 37 in Mississippi, 17 in Hawaii and six more in caucuses in American Samoa.

I’ll update when there’s more to report. In the mean time, if you think the races is about being the “anti-Romney” you may want to think again.

In what are expected to be tight three-way contests in Mississippi and Alabama today, Santorum and Romney are neck-and-neck. But even if Gingrich were to exit, the two would still be neck-and-neck. A poll conducted this weekend by Public Policy Polling (PDF) shows Romney leading Santorum by 1 percentage point. When the same respondents were asked who they would support if Gingrich were not a candidate, the results hardly change: Santorum takes a 3-point lead—still within the poll’s margin of error.

The lack of a unified anti-Romney vote has also been borne out in polls in Michiganand in Ohio, showing Romney was the second choice of Gingrich and Santorum voters.

While polling numbers suggest Romney’s margin would tighten somewhat in a one-on-one race against Gingrich or Santorum, looking backward even if Santorum and Gingrich’s votes had been combined, it would have swung just a handful of delegates, and not a single winner-take-all state. (Read More)

As for me, I’m in the anti-Newt camp.

Politico has results coming in on the front page. So far nothing is showing up for Mississippi.

Update: Fox News just started showing Mississippi results. With less than 1% reporting they’re showing Romney with a huge lead. I expect that to tighten up as the night goes on..

Update: According to the Google results page, the only 27 votes have been counted so far in Mississippi. Like I said, expect that to tighten.

Update: While you’re waiting for the results to come it, have fun reading about how tolerant liberals are of opinions that differ from their own. Shocking, isn’t it?

Update: Mississippi and Alabama are still way too close to call. Both races have tightened up, with Santorum ahead in both contests. It’s starting to look like Gingrich may get enough votes to keep him from getting out of the race, still early so we’ll have to wait and see.

Update: Those of you (at least here in the east) who like to stay up really late, or wake up really early, can check the Hawaii results here. It’s a little bit past 9:30 ET, and Santorum’s still leading in Alabama and Mississippi, but there are a whole lot of precincts left to report. Based on these early returns, it’s looking like we’ll still be doing this next month when New York and some other big states vote.

Fox News is reporting that in Mississippi it’s a statistical three way tie. In Alabama, Santorum’s lead is a bit more comfortable, and Newt and Mitt are essentially tied. Newt was interviewed, and said he’s not bowing out any time soon.

Update: Something else to read while you wait – James Pethokoukis on Obama’s secret plan (or non-plan?) to deal with a catastrophic debt crisis. Just a reminder of the importance of the election in November.

Update 10:10 PM ET: Fox News indicated they’re probably going to call Alabama pretty soon. It will be for Santorum. A little more reading while we wait, from a couple of days ago: Santorum not so strong with Pennsylvania folks. I liked him more before I started reading stories like that one. Here he is talking about being the underdog in this race – why, because he can’t pick the pockets of taxpayers to buy votes? And now, after whining about Fox News being biased towards Romney, he’s on the air with Greta VanSusteran kissing up to her. I wish he’d stop.

Update 10:15 PM ET: Fox News just predicted Santorum will win Alabama. He’s got 35% of the vote. Maybe now he’ll stop with the nonsense.

As for Mississippi, it’s still too close to call. Santorum has the lead, Gingrich is in second followed by Romney – 33%, 32%, 30% respectively.

Update: 10:50 PM ET: Rick Santorum is now projected to win Mississippi. It looks like Gingrich will come in second in both states, with Romney a close third.

Update 11:00 PM ET: Earlier tonight Byron York was on TV and he said something like “Gingrich’s campaign has become a negative exercise” against Romney. Now that he’s giving his second place finish speech, I think York is correct.