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Santorum adopts Oklahoma as his ‘Super Tuesday home state’

Chris Moody
The Ticket

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Rick Santorum speaks at a rally in Oklahoma City, Sunday. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Ron Paul don't have home states to call their own this Super Tuesday, but Santorum has decided to adopt one anyway.

During a rally at a church near Tulsa on Sunday night, Santorum joked that since Pennsylvania--where he served in Congress from 1995 to 2007--was not competing in the Republican primary cycle until April, he felt most at home in Oklahoma.

"I don't have my home state up on Tuesday like Congressman Gingrich or Gov. Romney, though Gov. Romney has about five home states--I don't know how that works--but I don't live that kind of life," Santorum said. "I have one home state. But I can tell you that if I feel like if I have any home state up on Super Tuesday, it's here in Oklahoma."

Ten states--Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Vermont--will hold a caucus or a primary on Tuesday. Romney has claims to a few: He was born in Michigan, served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, and owns homes in California and New Hampshire. Gingrich has ties to Georgia, having represented the state in the House of Representatives from 1979 to 1999.

The Oklahoma primary has a respectable 43 delegates at stake, and Santorum is counting on conservative states like it to bolster his delegate count. Santorum said he felt a kinship with Oklahoma, a state that voted solidly for John McCain in 2008, and George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000. 

"Get this brushfire going," Santorum told the hundreds of supporters who filled the church gymnasium Sunday night. "I saw a few brushfires on my way over. ... We need another kind of brushfire from here in the heartland."

An American Research Group poll released earlier this month showed that Santorum leads Romney in Oklahoma by 11 percentage points. Santorum plans to spend the next two days campaigning in Ohio, where the race is a dead heat between him and Romney.

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