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Rick Santorum Takes Strong Lead in Kansas Caucus

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With 32 percent of precincts reporting, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is the projected winner of the Kansas caucus, according to early poll results Saturday.

With more than three-quarters of the vote in, Santorum took a strong lead over Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich with 53 percent of the vote coming in for the former Pennsylvania senator. Romney and Gingrich are in a close race for second place; Romney has 17 percent of the vote, and a lead of roughly 200 votes over Gingrich, who currently has 16 percent of the vote. Ron Paul is in fourth place with 13 percent of the vote. Santorum was favored to win the Sunflower State, which will award 40 delegates, on a proportional basis.

Romney took two smaller, yet equally decisive victories on Saturday in the American territories of Guam and the Northern Marianas, where Romney won with 84 percent and 87 percent of the vote respectively, winning all nine of the delegates offered in each location, giving him a total of 18 delegates.

Caucuses are also taking place in the Virgin Islands on Saturday. Those results have not yet been reported.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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