The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, February 8, 2012

By Jacqueline Fernandez

Feb 8, 2012 4:26am

Compiled by ABC News’ Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, Amanda Van Allen, and Carrie Halperin

RICK SANTORUM
ABC News’ Matt Negrin: “Rick Santorum Sweeps: Stops Mitt Romney in Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado” Rick Santorum won all three Republican voting contests Tuesday night, breaking Mitt Romney’s winning streak and denying him the image of an unstoppable front-runner.  Based on ABC News projections, Santorum won the Missouri primary and the Minnesota caucus. The Colorado GOP also tells ABC News that Santorum won that state’s caucus. LINK

USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Live: GOP chairman says Santorum wins Colorado” Rick Santorum scored three victories in the GOP presidential race, defeating Mitt Romney in Missouri and Colorado and Ron Paul in Minnesota. His final victory was declared about 1 a.m. ET Wednesday when Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call told CNN that Santorum scored a stunning upset over Romney, who won the state four years ago. LINK

The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg: “Another Twist for G.O.P. as Santorum Fares Well” His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, an unexpected trifecta that raised fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support. LINK

The Washington Post’s Phlip Rucker and Nia-Malika Henderson: “Santorum revives campaign with wins in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota” Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night Tuesday, winning GOP presidential contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, all of which is expected to breathe life into his struggling campaign and slow Mitt Romney’s march to the Republican presidential nomination. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. and Danny Yadron: “Santorum Delivers a GOP Stunner” Rick Santorum jolted the Republican presidential race Tuesday with a three-state sweep of nominating contests in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, puncturing Mitt Romney’s claim to be the unstoppable front-runner. Mr. Santorum’s three victories—one in the Mountain West and two in the Midwest—give his campaign a much-needed burst of momentum while stirring doubt about Mr. Romney’s abilities to woo conservatives to his side in important electoral swing states such as Missouri and Colorado. LINK

The Hill’s Josh Lederman: “Romney dealt punishing blow by three-pronged defeat” Mitt Romney’s dominant position in the Republican presidential race was dealt a punishing blow Tuesday when rival Rick Santorum handed him defeats in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado.  Romney entered Tuesday’s contests having won three states and lost two. He has now lost five states – including every state in the Midwest and South that has held a primary contest. His loss was especially stinging in Colorado, where he won with 60 percent in 2008 and was expected to coast to victory.  LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Paul West: “Rick Santorum wins Republican votes in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado” Republican long shot Rick Santorum poked holes in Mitt Romney’s aura of inevitability Tuesday night with a trio of upset victories that shifted the dynamic of the 2012 presidential contest. The former Pennsylvania senator’s wins in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and Missouri primary were setbacks for Romney, the national front-runner, who had been expected to cruise easily through a series of relatively minor February voter tests. He must now wait three weeks to regroup, when Arizona and Michigan hold what suddenly are shaping up as unexpectedly important primaries. LINK

The New York Daily News’  Thomas M. Defrank, Jonathan Lemire, and Alison Gendar: “‘Fear the sweater vest’: Rick Santorum pulls off hat trick with primary victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado“  Rick Santorum had a night of here-to-stay success Tuesday, romping to victory in Minnesota and Missouri and winning a nail-biter in Colorado to pull off the hat trick. The three states on the GOP calendar were more about bragging rights and meant little in the delegate standings, but by night’s end, Santorum was the one who could boast of a trifecta that may change the dynamic of the GOP race.LINK

The Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson and Stephen Dinan:Santorum sweep: Wins Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado” Rick Santorum clobbered Mitt Romney in a head-to-head match-up in Missouri’s non-binding primary, easily won Minnesota’s caucuses and snagged a close victory in Colorado’s caucuses in a clean sweep Tuesday that once again rewrote the story of the Republican presidential nomination battle.  LINK

Politico’s Alexander Burns: “Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado results: A sweep for Santorum“‘Rick Santorum dealt an embarrassing setback to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign Tuesday night, sweeping non-binding contests across three states and raising new questions about conservatives’ willingness to accept Romney as their nominee. Santorum beat Romney handily in the Missouri primary and Minnesota caucuses, and well after midnight on the East Coast he was also declared the winner of Colorado’s caucuses. LINK

Bloomberg’s  Kristin Jensen and Catherine Dodge: “Santorum Sweep Slows Romney’s Drive” Rick Santorum shook up the race for the Republican presidential nomination by sweeping three contests yesterday, casting doubt on front-runner Mitt Romney’s hold over the party’s core voters.  Santorum beat Romney by 30 percentage points in Missouri’s non-binding primary, where former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich wasn’t on the ballot. LINK

MITT ROMNEY
ABC News’ Amy Walter: “Romney Is Rebuked With Losses in Minnesota, Missouri” Make no mistake, victories by Rick Santorum tonight in Minnesota and Missouri represent a rebuke of the Mitt Romney will sail to the nomination” narrative. It also highlights Romney’s continued struggle to win over skeptical conservative GOP voters and energize the base. After big wins in Florida and Nevada, the conventional wisdom was that Romney had vanquished his strongest rival – Newt Gingrich – and had this nomination all but sewn up. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS
Romney Keeps Focus on ObamaLINK
Santorum: ‘Conservatism Is Alive and Well’LINK

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