Louisiana Not Looking Good for Romney

But Mitt gets near-endorsement from DeMint

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 23, 2012 3:08 AM CDT | Updated Mar 23, 2012 7:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Louisiana holds its Republican primary tomorrow, and the state probably won't snap Mitt Romney's Southern losing streak, analysts say. Romney hasn't spent much time or money there, and its high proportion of conservative voters and relatively low household income make it fertile ground for Rick Santorum, the Wall Street Journal finds. Public Policy Polling's numbers back that up: It has Santorum up 42% to 28%, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul bringing up the rear once again, at 18% and 8%, respectively.

Some 20 delegates are up for grabs in the last primary until Maryland, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC, vote on April 3. And with four candidates still in the race, this is the first meaningful Louisiana primary since the state's GOP started holding them in 1980, USA Today notes. The vote comes as Republican leaders step up calls for the party to get behind the front-runner. After a meeting with Romney, South Carolina's Jim DeMint, one of the Senate's most outspoken conservatives, said it was time for his rivals to do some "self reflection." He stopped short of endorsing Romney but said he was not only comfortable with him, he was "excited about the possibility of him possibly being our nominee."

Rick Santorum greets supporters before speaking at Superior Energy in Harvey, Louisiana.
Rick Santorum greets supporters before speaking at Superior Energy in Harvey, Louisiana.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A Republican delegate in Houma, Louisiana holds up an Etch A Sketch with a NO ROMNEY banner during a Gingrich campaign stop.
A Republican delegate in Houma, Louisiana holds up an Etch A Sketch with a "NO ROMNEY" banner during a Gingrich campaign stop.   (AP Photo/The Houma Daily Courier, Michael Conti)
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