Washington: Rick Santorum, the Republican presidential hopeful, has won the Kansas caucuses, while the front runner Mitt Romney was declared winner in Wyoming ahead of the next week's crucial primaries in the Southern states of Alabama and Mississippi.

Newt Gingrich, who so far has won only two states, South Carolina and Georgia, however said would not withdraw from the race even if he loses the Tuesday's primary in Alabama and Mississippi; thus making the Republican presidential primary race more complicated.

To bag the Republican presidential nomination, the candidate needs to have 1,144 delegates, who are elected from various states where elections are currently being held.

With 446 delegates, Romney – the former Massachusetts Governor – has the largest number of delegates and analysts consider him to be closest to getting the party's nomination to challenge Barack Obama in the November presidential elections. Santorum has 199 delegates, while Gingrich so far has 117 and Ron Paul has 61.

However, Santorum's win in Kansas on Saturday gave a modest boost to his effort to challenge Romney. Santorum received 51 percent of the votes, while Romney was a distant second with 21 percent, followed by Gingrich with 14 percent and Paul (13 percent).

Romney won the Wyoming primary with 46.4 percent of the votes, while Santorum got 29.4 percent. Romney also cornered 18 delegates with wins in Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. This was in addition to seven delegates in the US Virgin Islands.

Gingrich, who is now focusing his entire attention on Alabama and Mississippi, where 90 delegates are at stake, said he would stay in the race despite losses here next Tuesday. However, the race has now reduced to a two-way between Romney and Santorum, the latter claimed soon after his victory in Kansasa on saturday.

"So we feel pretty good that it's now narrowing to a two-person race," Santorum said in an interview. "We've been competitive," he said.

"We've had a very, very good day," Santorum said in Missouri. "I kept saying, 'You just stick with us, you go out and vote for your values and trust what you know... Because you don't live in New York City. You don't live in Los Angeles. You live like most Americans in between those two cities and you know the values you believe in," he said.

(Agencies)