Santorum wins TN GOP presidential primary - WSMV Channel 4

Santorum wins TN GOP presidential primary

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -

Rick Santorum has won Tennessee's Republican presidential primary with a platform of social and religious issues that resonated with the state's conservative voters. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in second in Tuesday's election.

Blake Fontenay, spokesman for the state comptroller's office, said voter turnout was comparable to the 2004 presidential primary based on early voting figures.

Tennessee has 55 delegates up for grabs, the third most among the 10 Super Tuesday states.

With 99% of precincts reporting Tuesday, Santorum had 37% to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 28%, among the more than 550,000 votes cast statewide.

Newt Gingrich was unable to replicate his success in neighboring Georgia, the former House speaker's home state. He was third with 24% in Tennessee, followed by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's 9%.

Nearly half of those voting in Tennessee's Republican presidential primary on Tuesday said the economy was their top concern.

The Tennessee GOP maintained its headquarters at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to watch the results come in Tuesday.

Although Rick Santorum may have taken a win in Tennessee, state Republican leaders were still counting those all important delegates late Tuesday evening.

"All eyes were on Tennessee tonight," said Chris Devaney, Tennessee GOP Chairman.

Devaney said Tuesday was monumental for Tennessee Republicans, and he said he is just happy Tennessee is relevant in the presidential nominating process for this election.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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