(CNN) – While he may have lost two big primaries in the South, Mitt Romney's campaign touted his Tuesday win in Hawaii's caucuses.
"From one end of America to the other, the voters have spoken," the candidate said in a statement released by his campaign Wednesday. "And what they have said is that they want to send a conservative businessman to the White House."
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Hawaii, with 17 delegates at stake, proved to be an appetizing target in the delegate-hungry GOP field this cycle. Three of the candidates-Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul-sent surrogates to the Aloha State ahead of its contest this week, a sign that as the GOP scrambles to find its nominee, no island is too far.
Paul's campaign also went up with a paid television ad in the state, touting his economic recovery plans.
According to CNN's latest estimate, Romney picked up nine delegates in Hawaii. The former Massachusetts governor also gained nine delegates after winning Tuesday's contest in American Samoa, and he took in 21 delegates combined from Mississippi and Alabama, bringing his total number to 498.
The wins came three days after he pulled delegates from victories in the U.S. territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, following his success in the two southern states, Santorum now has 239 delegates. Newt Gingrich saw mild gains on Tuesday and now has 139, while Paul has 69 delegates.
Hawaii held an open contest, meaning any registered voter could participate in the caucuses.