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rick santorum in louisiana Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum gives a thumbs up during his election night party on March 13 in Lafayette, Louisiana. (Photo: AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Election 2012: Santorum Sweeps South

But Romney wins in the Pacific

By Jessica Taylor | March 14 , 2012

Tuesday was no regular day on the island of Oahu. It was the day of the Republican caucus in Hawaii, and thousands of Republicans came to cast their vote at 41 different caucus sites across the state.

Hawaii was one of three states that held primary votes yesterday. The others were Alabama and Mississippi. A caucus was also held in American Samoa.

At the end of the night, Rick Santorum was the big winner. He was victorious in Alabama with 34.5 percent of the vote and Mississippi with 32.8 percent. In both states, Newt Gingrich finished second, followed by Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

"We did it again," Santorum told supporters at a rally in Louisiana. "The time is now for conservatives to pull together."

Santorum's victories pushed his delegate total to 252. Romney is still in the lead with 495 delegates, but Santorum is closing the gap.

A candidate needs 1144 delegates to win the Republican nomination.

While Santorum was winning the south, Romney won in Hawaii with 45.4 percent of the vote. Santorum was second with 25.3 percent, followed by Paul at 18.3 percent and Gingrich at 11 percent. Romney also won in American Samoa with 100 percent of the vote.

At the Kalani High School caucus site in Honolulu, voters had a clear idea of what they wanted in a President.

The next President should be "someone who is honest and can move America forward instead of moving it backwards," Lisa Bracewell said at a caucus in Honolulu.

Sam Slom, the state senator from Hawaii's 8th District, agreed that honesty was very important.

"I want our next term’s President to be honest, have integrity, and I want someone who knows business and economics, and not just talks about family values but lives them," Slom said.

The economy was the other major issue concerning voters.

Bracewell said that the next President has to be able to improve the economy. He can do that by "opening up more jobs for people so we can have more opportunities for everybody."

But some people came out to vote so they can get a Republican into the White House.

"I want someone who can beat [President] Obama," Samantha Magurig said.

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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