On the night of the Nevada caucuses, as Mitt Romney hosted a boisterous presidential-style victory party in Las Vegas to celebrate a big Nevada win and Newt Gingrich held a combative press conference to insist his loss in the state would not slow his effort, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was nowhere to be found in the Silver State.

Assessing his chances of winning in Nevada as slim, Santorum had already leapfrogged past it and was rallying with voters in Colorado.

Santorum’s willingness to duck out of Nevada–and Florida before it– to focus on the Republican nominating process’s next three more low -key races in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, paid off Tuesday, with a Santorum sweep of the three contests that has reshaped the Republican presidential campaign once again.