Republican Voter Reaction: Santorum Suspends Campaign

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Sad. Relieved. Dismayed. Worried. Proud. Those are some of the sentiments Rick Santorum supporters used Tuesday to describe the news that the second-place candidate would suspend his campaign.

Yahoo! News asked Republican voters to react to Santorum's bowing out of the race. Below are some excerpts. Click the intro headline to read the voters' full perspectives.

It's apparent GOP needs a hero -- but Romney's not it: "Santorum's campaign suspension leaves me hoping for divine intervention, the proverbial 'knight in shining armor' that comes riding in to the party's rescue. I know I'm not the only American who hopes for another contender. Hopefully the Republican leadership comes to recognize this essential truth before it is too late -- that this party desperately needs a hero with a broad vision for the future, a plan to get there, and a connection with voters across all demographics to help him make this better vision a reality.

"Sadly, Romney does not possess any of these qualities, and they're necessary to beat President Obama in November." -- Lyn Brooks, Virginia

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As Santorum suspends campaign, it's time to unite behind Romney: "Rick Santorum exited his campaign just as he conducted it, with class and dignity. This shows that Santorum truly wants what is best for the Republican Party. This is in stark contrast to Newt Gingrich, who is clearly staying in the Republican race to further his own cause since he has no realistic chance of overcoming Romney." -- Patrick Michael, Louisiana

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Who Gets the Votes Now?: "Family is extremely important, and so are family values. I believe that Santorum should be with his family. His daughter needs him. His wife needs him, and the rest of his family needs him. Therefore, dropping out of the race was the right move. When I add to it the fact that he was only coming in second and his campaign was losing steam, his resignation makes even more sense.

"In the end, we need a president and presidential contenders to be 100 percent committed to the job, and there's no way Santorum could have been that candidate." -- S.L. Carroll, Indiana

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Caution! Months of monotonous talking points ahead: "With Romney's record of governing coupled with his seemingly broad and flexible ideology, I find it terribly difficult to toss my support to his campaign. Don't worry; I still will. But I will not be wearing a Romney t-shirt nor will I be grabbing any lawn signs or bumper stickers. At this point, the excitement is over and my only responsibility is to drag myself into a voting booth on the correct day. I will also use the Mark Levin strategic tactic of reminding Democrats that their voting day is November 5.

"So now we are left with a few months of monotonous talking points from pundits and staffers all over TV, radio, and the Internet. At this point, most people will (or should) tune them out completely." -- Douglas Stewart, Connecticut

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Mixed emotions persist as Santorum exits presidential race: "I find myself burdened with the odd combination of dismay and relief when reflecting upon Rick Santorum's suspension of his 2012 presidential campaign.

"As a 45-year-old Pennsylvania Republican, I felt a high degree of pride while Santorum proudly represented the Keystone State. As a Roman Catholic, he shared many of the values I treasure. As an entrepreneur, I admired his fortitude. As a Republican, I understand his passion to remove President Barack Obama from office and his desire for smaller government.

"Nonetheless, this upcoming election is truly about electability." -- Robert Watkins, Pennsylvania

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Voters like me are sad, disheartened: "I was thrilled when Santorum won Iowa over Romney and encouraged when he won contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. It appeared that the GOP was finally waking up to realize that the best chance of winning back the White House in 2012 was Santorum.

"However, when GOP leaders like Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan made it clear they would back Romney, I assumed the end was near. And it is not surprising Santorum chose now to drop out of the GOP race after his daughter was admitted to the hospital again and as a potentially embarrassing loss in his home state of Pennsylvania loomed in two weeks." -- Sophie Walton, South Carolina

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