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Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks as his wife Karen, right, listens during a primary night watch party Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, in St. Charles, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Three Santorum wins send 'loud and louder' message

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ST. PAUL -- Rick Santorum gained momentum in the Republican presidential race Tuesday with a convincing Minnesota precinct caucus victory.

The former U.S. senator also won Missouri and Colorado contests.

Santorum won 45 percent of the Minnesota vote, with Ron Paul second, as more than 86 percent of Minnesota's precincts reported just before midnight.

"Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota," Santorum told a Tuesday night Missouri rally.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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