The final results of the GOP race in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri have boosted Rick Santorum's chances and dealt a rude blow to Mitt Romney, who has so far enjoyed the top frontrunner position comfortably.

In Minnesota, Santorum had a convincing victory with 44.9 percent votes. Texas Congressman Ron Paul had a strong second place finish with 27.1 percent votes. Romney, who won the state easily in 2008 elections, had to settle for a third position with 16.9 percent, behind Santorum and Paul. For Newt Gingrich it cannot be more disappointing as he finished last in the contest with 10.8 percent votes.

In Colorado the latest trial polls had predicted a Romney victory with Santorum in second place. But Santorum edged out Romney to win the caucus with 40.2 percent and 26,372 votes. Romney has gathered 23,097 votes constituting 34.9 percent vote share.

Gingrich and Paul finished in third and fourth place, respectively, with 12.8(8,457) and 11.8(7,792) percent of votes in the state.

Santorum also won the Missouri primary convincingly with 55.2 percent while Romney got 25.3 percent followed by Paul with 12.2 percent vote share. However, Missouri which held a non-binding, no-delegate primary, is dubbed as a beauty contest, as the state will be holding a caucus to award its delegates later in March. Gingrich did not contest in Missouri.

The results are a clear indication that the 2012 GOP presidential race is going to be one of the most unpredictable in recent history. Santorum's surprising wins are a clear jolt to Romney's campaign as it successfully blew out Romney's inevitable candidate image. Now, he will have to head for other elections in the next-in-line states, as the one among the frontrunners.

The results have given much needed boost to Santorum's candidacy, while it took the steam completely out of Gingrich's campaign. Gingrich has much to worry on Santorum's resurgence as it indicates his failure to consolidate his position as a conservative and anti- Romney alternative. Even the fact that Romney, his top rival so far, is trailing can't be a solace to him.

In fact, Gingrich failed in leveraging his New Hampshire victory or the Romney alternative image, while Santorum surged past him to win the contests, sticking to his ultra conservative image.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, saw a strong second finish in Minnesota behind Santorum, but was placed last at Colorado and Missouri. However, in Colorado he was only marginally behind Gingrich. 

For Paul, whose strategy is to gather more delegates, the situation isn't as grim as it is for Gingrich. With his fervent supporters, Paul intends to stay in the race till the end to win as much delegates as he can. The strategy might still work for him in the long run, as he is successful in garnering his share of votes in all the states he campaigned.