Santorum Hopes for a Big Night in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri

Kevin Glass

2/7/2012 10:41:00 AM - Kevin Glass
Three states are holding Republican primaries tonight - Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri - and Rick Santorum hopes he'll be able to breathe new life into his campaign with strong showings in every state.

Missouri's election tonight is a non-binding affair that will essentially serve as a public opinion bellweather, but the other two states will have more meaningful results. While Romney has been leading comfortably in Colorado, Santorum has a strong lead in the polls in both Minnesota and Missouri.

Missouri looks like a probable win for Santorum. He's at 45% there to 32% for Mitt Romney and 19% for Paul. Minnesota provides an opportunity for a win as well. Currently he has a small advantage with 33% to 24% for Romney, 22% for Newt Gingrich, and 20% for Ron Paul. And Santorum should get a second place finish in Colorado, where Romney appears to be the likely winner. The standings there are Romney at 37%, Santorum at 27%, Gingrich at 21%, and Paul at 13%.

After a string of disappointing finishes behind both Gingrich and Romney, Santorum is looking to today to pick up the pieces and surge again in the polls to become a major player. Frontrunner Romney has taken notice, attacking Santorum recently as he sets his sights on retaining his status at the top.

More importantly, Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado will all be in play in the general election. Santorum's strong showing in these swing states could pierce the Romney campaign's veil of "electability," which has helped the Romney camp's momentum recently.

A big night tonight might be the last chance for Santorum to edge back into the national conversation.