Pat Buchanan shocked Sen. Phil Gramm in Louisiana caucuses Tuesday, winning their battle for a conservative jump-start in the 1996 Republican presidential race. Other candidates boycotted the contest in deference to next week’s traditional kickoff contest in Iowa.
Buchanan said he was “incredibly heartened” by the results.
There were 21 Republican National Convention delegates at stake and with all the precincts counted, AP’s delegate survey showed Buchanan won 13 and Gramm eight.
That was a stiff setback for Gramm; for weeks he had been predicting he would win most if not all of the Louisiana delegates in an event engineered by his allies in the state GOP.
Buchanan delegates were supported by twice as many Christian conservatives as were Gramm delegates. Buchanan and Gramm split the vote among voters who said they were not part of the religious right, an exit poll found.