(CNN) – Republican voters in Alabama and Mississippi handed Rick Santorum two more wins on Tuesday and conservative support continued to elude Mitt Romney. Plus, Newt Gingrich found reason to continue his campaign despite losing both southern states.
Here are five things we learned from Tuesday night.
(CNN) - If Newt Gingrich can't win Alabama and Mississippi, where can he win? The former speaker fell short in the heart of Dixie on Tuesday, and it's not clear where he goes from here.
Approaching the halfway mark of the primary season, Gingrich has finished first in a grand total of two states: South Carolina and his home state of Georgia.
Lafayette, Louisiana (CNN) - A beaming Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum declared he "did it again" and "defied the odds" Tuesday night as he took the stage fresh off his wins in the critical Southern states of Alabama and Mississippi.
Speaking to a packed banquet room at a hotel in Louisiana - a state that holds its contest next week - the former Pennsylvania senator told supporters that if they followed in Tuesday's footsteps, he'd be one step closer to clinching the title of 'Republican nominee.'
Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) – Mitt Romney lost the Alabama and Mississippi primaries to Rick Santorum on Tuesday, but he continued the long slog for delegates, which his campaign believes will eventually secure him the nomination.
Romney and his advisers played down the importance of winning both states in the hours before polls closed, and pointed instead to the proportionally awarded delegate totals Romney could add to his overall haul.
(CNN) – Rick Santorum will win Tuesday's Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, CNN projects, giving a boost to his claim that he is the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.
The projected wins were somewhat of a surprise. Polls released Monday showed Santorum running 8 to 10 points behind Romney and Newt Gingrich in Alabama and Mississippi.
(CNN) – Rick Santorum will win Tuesday’s Alabama primary in the Republican presidential race, CNN projects based on exit polls.
(CNN) - Voters in four states cast ballot Tuesday for the Republican presidential nomination, with Rick Santorum winning the largest contests in Alabama and Mississippi. The four Republican presidential candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Santorum of Pennsylvania, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas battled for 110 total delegates in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Samoa.
Below is reporting from our producers and correspondents. Follow real time results at CNNPolitics.com. Read more here.
11:51 p.m. ET - @crowleyCNN: Mothership is full of chatter that GOP headed for brokered convention. I'm not there yet.
11:50 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: Newt adviser floats me idea of a Santorum-Gingrich ticket: "Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would be a powerful team against Barack Obama."
11:48 p.m. ET - @stevebruskCNN: Latest CNN delegate estimate: Romney 480, Santorum 234, Gingrich 139, Paul 66
11:40 p.m. ET - @DWSTweets: Wasn’t for a lack of trying—Romney had a huge spending advantage over his rivals, which he used to carpet-bomb them with negative ads.
(CNN) - The Republican presidential candidates' campaigns were downplaying expectations as Alabama and Mississippi voted Tuesday - an indication of how tight the two primaries are and the importance of momentum on the long road to the GOP convention.
Polls released Monday showed a virtual dead heat between front-runner Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich with Rick Santorum running eight to 10 points behind.
Gardendale, Alabama (CNN) - Faith, gas prices, and electability. Those are three of the issues very much on the minds of some voters in this town about ten miles north of Birmingham.
"Evangelical issues, social issues, were most important to us, but also beating Obama, that definitely matters as well," Alan and Kim Jerkins told CNN, as they left a polling station at the Gardendale Civic Center. The married couple had just voted in the state's Republican presidential primary. They said they cast ballots for former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has strong support with many social conservative voters.
(CNN) – Despite a statement from Rick Santorum's campaign touting Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's vote for the candidate, the governor's office said Tuesday that Bentley will not be publicly endorsing a candidate for the state's primary.
A Republican congressman said on the "Rick and Bubba" radio show Tuesday morning that Bentley had voted for Santorum.