Missouri Primary 2012 Regarded As Key By Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum came in last in the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday evening. He brushed off the loss in an interview with Fox News, saying that his campaign didn't focus on and actively campaign in the state.

"I think you'll see very different numbers coming forth on Tuesday, where we've spent a little bit more time and a little bit more money. ... In fact, I'm the person who's best able to win this election," he said.

Santorum was more optimistic about Tuesday, when there will be caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and a non-binding primary in Missouri. (That state will also hold a caucus on March 17.) The former senator said that Missouri, in particular, was a key state for him because it would show whether he can go head to head with frontrunner Mitt Romney:

On Tuesday, I think we are going to do very well in Missouri. It's going to be interesting because it's a head-to-head between Gov. Romney myself. Speaker Gingrich is not on the ballot. Ron Paul is. We'll wait and see whether the idea that the one conservative who can actually go up against Mitt Romney head to head and win.

Speaker Gingrich had his shot in Florida, by and large. We didn't play in Florida. He had his chance to go head to head and didn't do well. We're going to go head to head in Missouri, and we'll see what happens.

I think we'll also do pretty well in Minnesota and here in Colorado. I am not predicting wins, but I think we'll do well. We'll do certainly better than we did in Nevada.