Kansas, Wyo. hold caucuses; Romney wins 2 U.S. territories
(CBS News) The loss of top seed Kansas Jayhawks to Baylor in the Big 12 basketball tournament Friday is not the only match-up for Kansans this weekend. The Republican presidential primary fight continues on Saturday, as Kansas caucus-goers choose their preference for the Republican nominee.
Kansas is one of two states and three territories to hold caucuses Saturday, and the Jayhawk State awards the most delegates of the five contests, with 40 delegates at stake. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are contesting there, while Newt Gingrich continues to focus on the Southern states - and Mitt Romney hasn't spent time there.
Wyoming, which provides 29 delegates, also holds its caucuses today, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, which will award 9 delegates. Caucuses in Wyoming began earlier in the week and a straw poll held nearly two weeks ago showed Mitt Romney in the lead.
Because Santorum has campaigned in Kansas (which has a significant presence of evangelical and socially conservative voters), he is expected to do well, but no polling has been conducted in the state to confirm or deny the candidate's strength.
Guam and the Northern Marianas also held their caucuses, and Romney won both contests, obtaining 9 delegates from each. In Guam, all 215 participants raised their hand in support of the former Massachusetts governor, and in the Northern Marianas, he won 87 percent of the 848 votes cast.
Romney's son Matt campaigned in both Guam and the Northern Marianas for his father.
In sum, 96 delegates are stake Saturday, enabling the candidates to slowly add to their columns to get closer to the 1,144 necessary, which is a number difficult for the candidates to achieve any time soon, ensuring a much longer Republican primary season.
According to CBS News estimates, Romney is leading the delegate race with 396 delegates (not counting Guam and the Northern Marianas), and Santorum is in second place with 146 delegates.