Huckabee wins Georgia, third-largest Super Tuesday prize

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has surprised pundits by winning four states on Super Tuesday, picking up three wins in the South, where he was expected to run strongly, and capturing West Virginia.

Huckabee was declared the winner in Georgia shortly before 11 pm EST, grabbing the third biggest Republican prize of Super Tuesday. The Peach State trails only California and New York in number of delegates awarded. Huckabee’s victory will give him at least 30 of the state’s at-large delegates as well as the bulk of 39 delegates awarded on the basis of performance in each of its 13 congressional districts.

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Huckabee also won in Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia, outpacing one-time frontrunner Mitt Romney (R), and he was leading in Missouri and Tennessee.

As polls on the West Coast were about to close, the former Massachusetts governor had one only won his home state and Utah.

Huckabee’s victory in Alabama would give him a portion of the state’s 45 pledged delegates.

He won his home state of Arkansas, where McCain and Romney made almost no effort.

That assured Huckabee a portion of the 31 pledged delegates from the state where he spent 10 years in the governor’s mansion. A promising sign for the former Arkansas governor came hours before the rest of the nation’s polls closed, when he won West Virginia’s caucus and at least 18 of the state’s 30 delegates.