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North Dakota caucuses results: Rick Santorum wins

Rick Santorum has been declared the winner of the North Dakota GOP caucuses. As The Fix team explained:

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas had repeatedly said he doesn’t care about winning, only about amassing delegates. But he was eyeing North Dakota as his best chance for a true victory.

This caucus state was really a tossup. There was no reliable polling in the small state. All delegates are unpledged, although they are advised to follow caucus results at the convention, and no candidate but Paul spent much time in the state. He even gave his Tuesday-night speech in Fargo.

But Rick Santorum got a leg up in North Dakota thanks to his Midwestern roots. His victory in the state helps the former senator from Pennsylvania argue that he is the candidate who performs best across the map. As he said in his victory speech: “We won in the West, the Midwest and the South, and we’re ready to win across this country.”

Super Tuesday is upon us and the battle for the Republican presidential nomination is in high gear as the four leading candidates compete for more than 400 delegates in 10 states: Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Vermont, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Dakota, Idaho and Alaska. Results from the caucuses in North Dakota were expected to start coming in about 9 p.m. EST.

Analysis from The Fix: Mitt Romney’s visit to Fargo on Thursday solidified this as the second most important caucus state. Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have all been to the state in recent days. It’s a great opportunity for Santorum as a Midwestern/Plains state and for Paul as a caucus state. And it might actually be more competitive than Idaho because Romney doesn’t have a built-in Mormon advantage here.

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Republicans debate tonight. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Justice Scalia, in his own words
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

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