Alabama and Mississippi are two states that are very similar to each other. In general elections, they usually vote within a percentage point of each other. And in this primary election, voting on the same night, it could be expected that their votes would be similar. If anything, Alabama, which has a few larger cities and is a bit more affluent, could be expected to support Mitt Romney more.
And while Alabama, like Mississippi, did support Rick Santorum, it did it by a greater margin, giving Santorum 34.5% of the vote, Newt Gingrich 29.3%, and Mitt Romney 29%. Mitt Romney did well in the three urban areas of Alabama, Newt Gingrich did well in the south and the east, and Rick Santorum did well in the north and the west, although none of the three had a hardcore base of support.
There are three things I would bring up from Alabama, as well as Mississippi.
First, Newt Gingrich is quickly losing a reason for being in the race. Much like I said of Ron Paul after Alaska, Newt Gingrich now has no realistic prospects for winning another state.
Secondly, Ron Paul won 4.4% of the vote in Mississippi, and 5% in Alabama. These are two of his lowest numbers yet, and shows that despite Paul's core of devoted supporters and some quite strong showings in certain regions of the country, he is not truly running a national campaign.
Thirdly, and most importantly, I think we can say at this point that Mitt Romney is incapable of pulling off a surprise. There was some thought that Romney could do so tonight, dispelling the notion that the party's base didn't approve of him and all but ending the race. But while Romney is still the front runner, he seems incapable of making any bold moves or breaking through.
So, much as I said on Super Tuesday, the contest remains in quite the same position, other than it seems likely that Newt Gingrich might soon drop out.