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Super Tuesday fallout: Will the South ever vote for Mitt Romney?

On paper, Mitt Romney can clinch the nomination without winning many die-hard red states. But a surge by Rick Santorum in the South could spell big trouble for the frontrunner.

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann wave to supporters at his Super Tuesday campaign rally in Boston, Tuesday night, March 6.

Stephan Savoia/AP

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Mitt Romney's failure to win a bona fide red, evangelical state on Super Tuesday highlights his liabilities among white evangelical conservatives, a population that may hold the key to his nomination.

Yes, Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, eked out an important symbolic victory in the Ohio bellwether and won in Alaska, Massachusetts, and Vermont. And he did win Virginia, a Southern state, but the victory was a hollow one, since neither Rick Santorum nor Newt Gingrich were on the ballot.

Indeed, wherever evangelical voters are in a majority – in Tennessee, three of four who went to the polls Tuesday counted themselves as such, compared to half in Ohio – Romney so far has lost. And it was no different on Tuesday.

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