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Santorum Wins Missouri, Salutes Supporters in St. Charles

St. Charles County residents say outcome of vote shows how the base of the Republican party truly feels.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addressed a crowd of supporters in St. Charles on Tuesday night, soon after he was declared the winner of both the nonbinding Missouri primary and the Minnesota caucuses.

"Tonight, the voters in America, Missouri, Minnesota,....I hope you have been listening to our message," he said. "Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama."

Santorum said he's got a pro-growth jobs message and that he cares about both the very rich and the very poor. "I care for 100 percent of America," he said.

Most of his speech was aimed at Pres. Barack Obama. Santorum criticized the president's new regulation that would require health insurance to cover birth control and contraceptive services.

"We were told, 'You have a right to healthcare, but you will have the healthcare that we tell you you have to give whether it goes against the teachings of your church or not,'" he said.

He charged voters to go out and keep working because, "We're not done yet with you here in Missouri, you've got a caucus coming up here next month."

The majority of the Republican primary voters in St. Charles County supported Santorum with 56.2 percent casting votes in his favor. Romney won 25.43 percent of the vote, followed by 12.7 percent voting for Ron Paul.

It's not clear whether the caucus voters in March will follow the will of the people as demonstrated by Tuesday's vote. Typically far fewer people attend caucuses.

"It would be nice if they did," said Bryan Spencer, chairman of St. Charles County's Republican caucus organizing committee.

Jon Bennett, St. Charles County Republican Central Committee member, said he thinks Tuesday's results reflect the broad range of support Santorum has in the state.

"I think it took a lot of people by surprise, that he has this much grassroots support," he said.

Nancy Holtch Adrian, of unincorporated St. Charles County, said if people only listened to the news, they would have thought Santorum had no chance.

"I'm going to vote for the best candidate, I'm not going to vote for who everyone thinks has the best chance of winning."

David and Jann Christensen, of St. Charles, have been supporters of Santorum for more than 10 years. David Christensen said the results of the vote show that many people feel Romney is out of touch with what local people want.

"I think this may change the complexion of the caucuses," Jann Christensen said. "It's not over before Super Tuesday. Not so fast. It's not over yet."

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