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Santorum's long-shot strategy: Romney short on delegates, draws weak support before convention
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) ' Rick Santorum's strategy for becoming the Republican presidential nominee comes down to this: prevent Mitt Romney from winning enough delegates to arrive at the GOP convention this summer with a mandate ' and persuade delegates to ignore election results in their states.
The hope is that delegates will go with Santorum as the more conservative option over front-runner Romney. But there's a hitch: Newt Gingrich is refusing to quit the race.
It's a long-shot gamble for a candidate who began as long shot and badly trails Romney in delegates leading to the August convention in Florida.
Adding to Santorum's challenges is the fact that Gingrich is splitting the conservative vote and is dismissing pressure by Santorum to drop out after losing this past week in Alabama and Mississippi.