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Santorum beats Romney in Louisiana

His victory in Louisiana gives Rick Santorum bragging rights, but it does not change the overall dynamics of the race. He still dramatically lags behind Mitt Romney in the hunt for delegates.

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Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum shakes hands, signs autographs, and takes photos with supporters at his prep rally Friday in Shreveport, La. Santorum kept his campaign alive with a strong win in Louisiana's GOP primary Saturday.

Henrietta Wildsmith/The Shreveport Times/AP

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Rick Santorum won the Louisiana Republican presidential primary Saturday, beating front-runner Mitt Romney in yet another conservative Southern state.

Although the victory gives Santorum bragging rights, it does not change the overall dynamics of the race; the former Pennsylvania senator still dramatically lags behind Romney in the hunt for delegates to the GOP's summertime nominating convention.

Even so, Santorum's win underscores a pattern in the drawn-out race.

The under-funded under-dog has tended to win in Bible Belt states that include Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Romney – a deep-pocketed, highly organized former Massachusetts governor – has persistently struggled in such heavily conservative regions.

Neither candidate was in the state as Louisiana Republicans weighed in. Nor was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was trailing in Louisiana.

Romney took a rare day off Saturday, with no public events. Santorum spent the day campaigning in Pennsylvania and next-up Wisconsin, which votes April 3 and represents one of his last chances to beat Romney in a Midwestern state.

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