Santorum calls for conservatives to unite behind him

Urging conservatives not to yield, Rick Santorum is telling supporters in Mississippi that they could make the Republican presidential contest a two-man race if they deliver him a victory next week.

A Santorum victory would inflict an embarrassing loss to rival Newt Gingrich in the South.

Mr Santorum and Mr Gingrich have been competing to emerge as front-runner Mitt Romney’s chief rival, yet they continue to split the party’s right-leaning bloc.

The division has allowed Mr Romney to shore up delegates and momentum, including six of the 10 states that weighed in on Super Tuesday. Mr Santorum won three, yet remained far behind Mr Romney.

That could change, Mr Santorum said, with a Gingrich loss in Mississippi in what is seen as the former Georgia congressman’s backyard.

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