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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
kansas caucus voters election 2012 Rep. Lynn Jenkins talks to the Shawnee County Republican Caucus before the candidate speeches began at the Ramada on March 10 in Topeka, Kansas. (Photo: AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Ann Williamson)

Election 2012: Santorum Wins Kansas

Voters have their voices heard in first election after Super Tuesday

By Caleb Wilson | null null , null

On Saturday, hundreds of Republicans came to Wichita in cars, trucks, and even charter buses, to cast their votes at the Century II Expo Hall. They all came to Century II to participate in the Kansas caucus.

Voters were looking for the one candidate who has all the qualities they're looking for in a President and who will focus on the issues they're most concerned with. And when the ballots were counted, that candidate was Rick Santorum.

Santorum won a decisive victory in the Kansas caucus with 51.2 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney came in second with 20.9 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich with 14.4 percent and Ron Paul with 12.6 percent.

Primaries were also held in Guam, the Northern Marinas Islands, and the Virgin Islands. Romney won all three contests.

"We are very pleased to see the Santorum surge sweeping through the Jayhawk State [Kansas]," Santorum's National Communications Director Hogan Gidley said. "This is a great win for the campaign and further evidence that conservatives and Tea Party loyalists uniting behind Rick as the true, consistent conservative in this race."

Vickie Kilmer of Goddard, Kansas, was one of the voters who looked for a candidate that will "stand up for American values that have been in America forever," she told the Kids Press Corps. But she was also concerned about "the economy, jobs for Americans, and getting back to the American way of life [and] freedom for all."

The economy was on the minds of other voters, too.

"Clearly our economic conditions are challenging, and I have a great deal of concern with us thinking we need to be involved in another war," Tim Taton from Viola, Kansas, said.

Mick Hanson, a voter from Colwich, Kansas, added that his biggest concern is his children's future.

The Kansas primary was the first test for the Republican candidates since Super Tuesday. Romney won the majority of the delegates up for grabs, but Santorum kept the pressure on Romney by picking up wins in three states.

"I think it obviously showed the Republican Party is really split," Taton said. "I mean, with Rick Santorum and Romney both pretty much splitting [the votes], I feel like that's divisive and really a challenge to get behind a single candidate."

The next chance voters have to pick a Republican candidate is Tuesday when Hawaii, Alabama, Mississippi, and American Samoa hold their primary elections and caucuses.

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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