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Santorum wins Kansas caucuses; Romney racks up delegates elsewhere

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Santorum campaigns in Lenexa, KS Mar. 7 (Eric Gay/AP)

Rick Santorum has won the Republican presidential caucuses in Kansas.

Santorum captured an overwhelming 51 percent--although that constituted only about 15,300 people-- of the vote. Mitt Romney took second with 21 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich with 14 percent and Ron Paul with 12.5 percent. Those results mean Santorum stands to gain a substantial number of Kansas' 40 delegates.

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Santorum made clear he had to win Kansas in order to remain competitive in the race for his party's presidential nomination.

"We have to do well here in Kansas," Santorum said this week in Lenexa, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. "No, we have to win here in Kansas, and win big."

In the 2008 Republican primary, Mike Huckabee carried Kansas with 60 percent of the vote. John McCain received 23.5 percent, Paul received 11 percent and Romney, who had already dropped out of the race, received 3 percent.

Romney and Gingrich largely skipped Kansas in favor of states voting next week. Gingrich canceled an all-day swing Friday in Kansas to campaign in Mississippi and Alabama, where voters head to the polls Tuesday. Romney also didn't focus on the state, although he did win an endorsement from Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and presidential candidate, in December.

[Watch: Rick Santorum addresses supporters after his win in Kansas (Video)]

But Romney picked up delegates elsewhere for himself on Saturday.

In what might be a record for delegates per individual vote, Romney won nine delegates Saturday when 207 Republicans in Guam endorsed his presidential candidacy. And then he won another nine delegates by winning the Republican caucuses in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Romney also carried Wyoming's county conventions Saturday, winning six additional delegates. Santorum won three Wyoming delegates and Paul received one. (One additional Wyoming delegate remained uncommitted, and another remained to be decided.)

And Romney also picked up seven delegates in the U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday. Paul won the support of one U.S.V.I. delegate and one additional delegate remained uncommitted.

[Watch: Romney picks up delegates in Wyoming, Virgin Islands (Video)]

Romney began the weekend in the lead with 339 delegates, compared to 107 for Gingrich, 95 for Santorum, and 22 for Ron Paul, according to the Republican National Committee. The RNC totals do not reflect any wins in contests where delegates are not bound to the winning candidates.

Update 9:10 p.m. ET: Story updated to include vote results from Wyoming and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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