Santorum sweeps back into the race

posted at 8:40 am on February 8, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last night when discussing the trends in the three non-binding Republican contests, I tweeted that Rick Santorum’s win in Missouri was only surprising in gaining a majority, but that a win in Minnesota would be surprising — and a win in Colorado would be shocking.  As it happens, National Journal agrees with that assessment. Santorum shocked the Republican race with a clean sweep of Tuesday’s caucuses and primary, and may have pushed himself into serious consideration as the long-sought conservative consolidation alternative to Mitt Romney:

Rick Santorum on Tuesday completed his sweep of states with a stunning upset of Mitt Romney in Colorado’s caucus, according to state Republican officials, shaking up a GOP presidential race that has seen more drama than Romney’s campaign envisioned even a week ago.

Santorum earlier won Minnesota’s caucus and a non-binding Missouri primary. Romney – who won Colorado handily in 2008 — had long remained the odds-on favorite to prevail in that state’s caucus, as polls had shown him with a double-digit lead.

A jubilant Santorum told supporters that he isn’t the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney:

“I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” he told supporters earlier in the evening. “I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

Missouri had looked for some time to be Santorum’s best shot.  Newt Gingrich chose not to get on the ballot, which made the state Santorum’s opportunity to fight Romney head-to-head.  What little polling existed showed Romney to be about ten to twelve points back, but Romney ended up losing by thirty points as Santorum claimed a 55% majority.  Santorum swept every county, including the presumed Romney stronghold of St. Louis, putting an exclamation point on Santorum’s ability to beat Romney.  He also beat Ron Paul in Minnesota by eighteen and Romney by 28, a state Romney carried easily in 2008, but with a low turnout in 2012 despite appearances from both candidates in the final few days.

However, while Santorum was expected to be competitive in Minnesota, Romney was widely expected to win Colorado.  Romney stayed in Denver for the caucus results, which differed sharply from his massive 42-point 2008 victory.  Instead, Romney ended up the night down five points in a race that also had a 10% dropoff in turnout from four years earlier.  Suddenly, Romney’s organization and his ability to simultaneously compete in multiple states looks a lot less formidable than it did a week ago, and this three-state loss — especially in Minnesota, where Romney finished third behind Ron Paul — makes Romney look a lot less inevitable.

It wasn’t all that good of a night for Paul, either, though.  He managed to get into second place in Minnesota thanks to Romney’s stumble, but Paul was supposed to own the caucus states through his superior organization and fundraising.  His strategy was to win smaller-state caucuses and build a delegate count that would force Republicans to bow to his movement at the convention in Tampa.  He’s getting higher percentages of the votes but not doing much better in a four-man race in position finishes than in 2008.  As in the previous contest, his support and influence is beginning to look overrated, and Paul has to hope for something better out of Maine’s caucus this Saturday.

The man who suffered the worst night was Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich’s absence from the Missouri ballot, which was a deliberate tactical move, looks like a big mistake in retrospect.  He allowed Santorum the opportunity to probe that it would be Santorum and not Gingrich who could rally conservatives against Romney.  Gingrich’s third-place finish in Colorado barely beat Paul to stay out of the cellar, and Gingrich did finish dead last in Minnesota.  There isn’t even a fig leaf of spin from these results to which Gingrich can cling; Gingrich was entirely irrelevant in all three contests, except to the extent that he got beat.

After Maine’s caucuses on Saturday, which I presume all four candidates will now hotly contest, the next big test will be to see if and how Santorum can build on his sweep in Arizona and Michigan.  Romney had big leads in both, with Santorum in third place behind Gingrich.  We’ll see whether these non-binding contests matter to voters on February 28th — and Super Tuesday on March 6th.  If nothing else, this is a very good time for a shoestring campaign to catch fire.

Update: Byron York reports that this sweep may have been ordained in Florida, thanks to the nasty, personal battle between Romney and Gingrich:

“I think this started in Florida, when Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich went at each other with such personal attacks,” says Chuck Laudner, a longtime ally of Rick Santorum, calling late on election night from Minneapolis.  “They weren’t really on the issues.  It was investments and name calling, and I think it turned people off.  People here looked at that and said there’s got to be an alternative.”

Laudner, the Iowa conservative political operative who became nearly a household name as the owner and driver of the “Chuck truck” that carried Santorum across Iowa before that state’s caucuses, spent the last ten days in Minnesota, trying to persuade influential Republicans to support Santorum. “Ten days ago, I couldn’t get a single statehouse or senate member to go public with an endorsement,” he says.  Then, after the fighting in Florida and its continuation in Nevada, things changed.  “By the end of the week, we got a couple of endorsements, and they helped us get a couple more, and then we had a lot of names.”

The shift to Santorum was fast and overwhelming.  In the end, Santorum beat Romney by 27 points in a state Romney had won by 19 points back in 2008.  Santorum scored an even bigger victory in Missouri’s beauty-contest, nonbinding primary, beating Romney by 30 points.  And even in Colorado, where the race was closer, Santorum came out ahead.  For a candidate who hadn’t won since his narrow and belated victory in Iowa, it was three victories in one night. Santorum has now won four contests to Romney’s three and Gingrich’s one.

Speaking for myself, the Florida contest prompted my final assessment.

Update II: Santorum beat Paul in MN by 18, not Romney, whom he beat by 28.  I’ve corrected it above.

Update III: My friend Shaun Mullen wanted a little more insight into what may be going on in Minnesota  It’s important to remember that the activist conservative base drives the caucuses in Minnesota, which is why Romney won in 2008; he was seen at that time as the conservative alternative to the inevitable John McCain nomination.  Santorum has done a good job in articulating the conservative agenda while Romney and Gingrich spend their time attacking each other on Bain and Freddie Mac.  This is the consequence.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 10

Heh. Behold the power of the blogger-in-absentia…..

Santorum wins even without Ed’s vote in MN. BTW, Boss Emeritus also endorsed him and Santorum won CO too.

ted c on February 8, 2012 at 8:43 AM

“I’ll Attack China!” Santorum whips Mitt with a big stick (ohne whisper).

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Byron York reports that this sweep may have been ordained in Florida, thanks to the nasty, personal battle between Romney and Gingrich

Thank you speaker Gingrich?

cozmo on February 8, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Winning these won’t translate into money for Santorum. At least, not enough to make a dent in the Romney juggernaut.

Harbingeing on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

“I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” he told supporters earlier in the evening. “I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

that’s quite a distinction and well-put. Whoever came up with that statement for him (or if he did it himself) should be congratulated.

ted c on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Hopefully this keeps Gingrich out of the race for good but he’ll still be causing trouble on the sidelines with his petty vindictive garbage.

Santorum has deserved a second look for what seems like forever and it’s nice to see that he’ll be getting some front runner treatment and, even though I don’t think he’s as strong a candidate as Romney, he’ll probably handle his victories and defeats much classier and more presidential than Gingrich.

Looking forward to the next debate.

Zybalto on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Why the massive drop in turnout? Are people not keen to get rid of Obama – at any cost?

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Amongst neoconservatives without Independents:

ABO + ABR = Santorum

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I can’t see Rick winning AZ….

All I can see is a whiner against obama
——–
I’ve only seen one newt ad on tv so far

cmsinaz on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Have to say “well done Rick Santorum”.

Can’t deny he is making a race of it – hope he can keep it up.

Romney will have to step it up – or he might be in big trouble -

jake-the-goose on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

You know, I wonder if Santorum owes some of his strong showing to Planned Parenthood. Could their attack on Komen last week have caused a fair number of Republicans who might have otherwise voted for Romney to vent their anger at the polls by supporting the most pro-life candidate?

radjah shelduck on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

petty vindictive garbage.

That applies as well to Santorum’s rhetoric.

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Finally some good news.

David in ATL on February 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Great. Let’s trash the electablity argument entirely and nominate someone who is seen as a judgmental social con, a bsupporter of big government and a guy who is despised by swing voters.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Santorum………the best of what is left.

We stand a better chance of having CONSERVATISM promoted with him more than the other 3.

And no ROMNEYCARE, or Moon colonies when we are busted broke.

And he’s not a retread from 2008.

And maybe he would pick ALLEN WEST as his Veep.

GIRD YOUR LOINS RICK……..Hell breaks loose on you today.

PappyD61 on February 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

radjah shelduck on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

The most pro-life pro-interventionist war candidate got the neoconservative vote.

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 8:50 AM

ED,

Santorum beat Romney by 28% in Minnesota, not 18%.

takeamericabackin10 on February 8, 2012 at 8:50 AM

someone on MSNBC said yesterday that Santorum wasn’t qualified to be President. but meanwhile, Obama was in 2008. morons

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Well who would have thunk it? MSM said we should stick a fork in him.

Long haired country boy on February 8, 2012 at 8:50 AM

It’s those red-neck Evangelical Mormon-haters in the Deep South again!

/MSM hoping this would have happened in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia

mankai on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

What needs to happen now is for Gingrich to bow out gracefully and endorse Romney to allow conservatives to all unite behind Santorum. But I suspect his massive ego will not permit such a move.

Shump on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

There isn’t even a fig leaf of spin from these results to which Gingrich can cling

But they were “beauty contests”. Ol’ Newt didn’t stand a chance against Mr. Handsome and the young guy.

Why the massive drop in turnout? Are people not keen to get rid of Obama – at any cost?

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

The race is lacking the charisma machine that is John McCain.

forest on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Romney juggernaut

Romney outspent Santorum 100 to 1 and lost all three. Some juggernaut.

I saw both Karl Rove (“The base hates Romney.”) and Dick Morris (“Romney needs to stop the negative campaign against Republicans.”) this morning.

I think their message is the more Romney spends and puts himself out there, the more people want to vote for anybody else.

Marcus on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Santorum’s strong showing in the debates must finally be getting their due respect. Can’t say I’ll necessarily be all in for him in/when this gets to New York, but it’s good to see somebody succeed at and by articulating conservatism.

Gingotts on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Winning these won’t translate into money for Santorum. At least, not enough to make a dent in the Romney juggernaut.

Harbingeing on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Says you and others like you have been saying that over and over. You really don’t have any clue about who will start donating to Santorum and who won’t. I am tired of people like you making these comments in an attempt to discourage others from supporting Santorum. I say let the process run and we’ll see who finishes on top. Meanwhile, GO SANTORUM!

GeorgiaBuckeye on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Petty vindictiveness works. Romney drove Gingrich’s numbers down through the sheer weight of negative advertising. It’s not the negative campaigning that’s hurting Romney, it’s his lack of positive message and broad appeal – his appeal is only to Washington insider types and a small group of self-proclaimed “moderates” who dislike the Tea Party.

Santorum supporters had better be prepared for the huge blast of attacks coming their way. They WILL repeat the strategy they used on Gingrich to stop Santorum.

You know, I wonder if Santorum owes some of his strong showing to Planned Parenthood. Could their attack on Komen last week have caused a fair number of Republicans who might have otherwise voted for Romney to vent their anger at the polls by supporting the most pro-life candidate?

radjah shelduck on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

It really is just a matter of Santorum being the last credible Not Romney standing.

Doomberg on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

What’s the weather report Willard?!

A little chilly?

There’s a cold breeze blowing in America this morning.

My wife and I happily voted for Santorum in Missouri yesterday. Very light polling. I voted at 6pm and I was voter #86 for the day.

All that said, still wonder if I’ll vote Republican come November, even if Santorum manages to get the nod.

Have to maintain my recalcitrant ways.

Logus on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Good grief. Santorum has exactly zero chance of beating Obama. IMHO. If he’s the nominee, the contest is going to be all about social issues. And that will turn off independent and moderate voters.

Syzygy on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Great. Let’s trash the electablity argument entirely and nominate someone who is seen as a judgmental social con, a bsupporter of big government and a guy who is despised by swing voters.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

I don’t know about the rest of your statement, but while I presume you meant it sarcastically, I wholeheartedly support the idea of trashing the electability argument. It’s been ridiculous from the beginning, particularly since Santorum is now doing better in head-to-head polling against Obama than is Romney.

Shump on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

santorum is perceived to be not only pro-life, but also very anti-contraception.

who really thinks people won’t have sex outside of marriage?

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Why the massive drop in turnout? Are people not keen to get rid of Obama – at any cost?

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

My guess is that a lot of people don’t like any of the candidates so they don’t really care who wins the primary but they’ll show up in Nov. to vote against Obama.

Kataklysmic on February 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Winning these won’t translate into money for Santorum. At least, not enough to make a dent in the Romney juggernaut.

Harbingeing on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Romney dents his own juggernaut. Just as it was with Newt’s win in South Carolina, last night was more about Romney’s inherent weakness than Santorum’s strength. Large segments of the base just aren’t buying what Romney is selling and there is little to nothing that can be done or said to change that.

Romney can (and I’m sure will) kneecap his opponents, but that will do nothing to give his own candidacy credibility. It’s far too late to build a conservative record.

Conservatives to Romney: No Massachusetts Morons need apply.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 8:47 AM

You need to use “neocon” more.

Just say that every single Republican who doesn’t vote for Ron Paul has only one reason for doing so… he has a bloodlust for killing babies… then drop the epithet “Neocon!” on ‘em.

You’re off to a good start, but don’t slip up. Neocon, Neocon, Neocon… just keep posting it… it’ll make you feel better,

mankai on February 8, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Petty vindictiveness works. Romney drove Gingrich’s numbers down through the sheer weight of negative advertising. It’s not the negative campaigning that’s hurting Romney, it’s his lack of positive message and broad appeal – his appeal is only to Washington insider types and a small group of self-proclaimed “moderates” who dislike the Tea Party.

Santorum supporters had better be prepared for the huge blast of attacks coming their way. They WILL repeat the strategy they used on Gingrich to stop Santorum.

Doesn’t always win friends though… or votes. In fact, if I see people doing such things, it’s usually such a turn-off I won’t have anything to do with you, specifically voting for you.

So, if Romney thinks he’s going to get my vote in November by getting negative and flinging mud everywhere and all over fellow Republicans to get the nomination, it’s not going to work. Instead he’ll just come out looking quite muddy himself. Meanwhile, teh “One” will be looking like a “Shiny Man”.

Logus on February 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Maybe mittens will learn to stop attacking his peers.

Key West Reader on February 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM

santorum is perceived to be not only pro-life, but also very anti-contraception.

who really thinks people won’t have sex outside of marriage?

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

He may be opposed to contraception personally, but he does not want to prevent contraception for the rest of America. Your illicit sex is much safer than an unborn baby in Massachusetts.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM

We stand a better chance of having CONSERVATISM promoted with him more than the other 3.

Santorum does not respect the Constitution’s integrity, does not respect the separation of powers, the limitations on powers. He’s a power hungry angry man, and will get the votes of power hungry angry voters. Santorum is a Keynesian, and will not improve the US Economy. Our circumstances will worsen under “I’ll Attack China!” Santorum.

Proverbs 14:16,17 (KJV) A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

James 1:19,20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

:( I was really hoping for a moon base.. Oh well..
Go Santorum!!!!

Electrongod on February 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

santorum is perceived to be not only pro-life, but also very anti-contraception.

who really thinks people won’t have sex outside of marriage?

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Who really thinks that Santorum would actually try and force people not to have sex outside of marriage?

Red Herring alert.

mankai on February 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Let’s see what happens now that Santorum has become Target Numero Uno for the Romney Machine.

Let’s also stay tuned to CPAC, in case of….surprises.

Sekhmet on February 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Spot on syzygy

cmsinaz on February 8, 2012 at 8:57 AM

It is a long game. Caucus voting is like having the voting done in HA, the sample is skewed.

galtani on February 8, 2012 at 8:57 AM

The race is lacking the charisma machine that is John McCain.

forest on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Heh! that explains it all!

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

It’s those red-neck Evangelical Mormon-haters in the Deep South again!

/MSM hoping this would have happened in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia

mankai on February 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Yep, we will never vote for Morons.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

flyfisher: we might need to research SAntorum’s rhetoric on contraception.

my husband (as judge) sees alot of crack whores with scads of children that our tax dollars will support. contraception should be given to these women

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Dear God…. we actually do want another 4 years of Obama and 3 or 4 Supreme Court justices chosen by him.
Santorum is a good man who would absolutely lose in a landslide. (How’d that last Senate campaign go? You know, the one in which an INCUMBENT Santorum was shown the door in a landslide.)
Keep at it you fantastic purists you!
Maybe Obama will be much better when not having to run for a 3rd term.

Sugar Land on February 8, 2012 at 8:59 AM

It is a long game. Caucus voting is like having the voting done in HA, the sample is skewed.

galtani on February 8, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Funny, I don’t recall Romney supporters saying that after Nevada.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:00 AM

i do like that Santorum is talking about the destructive Obama policies.

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Heh. Behold the power of the blogger-in-absentia…..

Santorum wins even without Ed’s vote in MN. BTW, Boss Emeritus also endorsed him and Santorum won CO too.

ted c on February 8, 2012 at 8:43 AM

(chuckle)
Now, watch as all of the “principled conservatives” ditch Mittens and flock to Santorum. Are only pols held to account for flip-flopping?

Newp

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Romney spent approximately $40 million to destroy Newt Gingrich
in Florida after Newt won South Carolina.

How much will Romney spend to destroy Santorum?

With Newt we knew his marriage baggage going in, we oldsters
knew the ethics lies from previous, knew that they were debunked
long ago, and know his record with the Contract with America and
balancing the budget in the 90′s, his high conservating ratings over the years.

With Santorum what do we have? He hasn’t really done much (like
someone else we knew – Obama). The rap I have against him is
that he and his family pretended to live in an empty house to get in state tuition. He talks a good game. Not sure about the action part.

Romney’s opposition research is on full speed right now. It will be interesting what they come up with since so little is known
about the Santorum.

Amjean on February 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Why the massive drop in turnout? Are people not keen to get rid of Obama – at any cost?

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

No, people are desperate to get rid of Barry. It’s just that they’re getting sick of Mittens and Newt and can’t get themselves geeked about replacing Obama with either one. Santorum does come off as too whiny and condescending at times in the debates(although he has improved a great deal over the last couple months), but he’s been far superior to those two when it comes to staying on message and not getting dragged into the mud with the personal and negative attacks.

If Newt were to take one for the team the way Perry did and step aside, I think Santorum would not only have a shot at the nomination, but he’d be the favorite. As it stands, he could still give Mittens a run for his money, but Newt’s gotta decide within the next few days what’s more important to him: massaging his massive ego or doing what’s necessary to prevent a Romney victory.

Doughboy on February 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

There isn’t even a fig leaf of spin from these results to which Gingrich can cling; Gingrich was entirely irrelevant in all three contests, except to the extent that he got beat.

Amazing to think that South Carolina win was less than 3 weeks ago and now Newt is scraping bottom. Craziest primary cycle I’ve ever seen.

Bitter Clinger on February 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

<blockquoteKataklysmic on February 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Here’s hoping!

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

flyfisher: we might need to research SAntorum’s rhetoric on contraception.

my husband (as judge) sees alot of crack whores with scads of children that our tax dollars will support. contraception should be given to these women

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I’m all in favor of that, but it should be done by state and local governments, not with federal money. Heck, I would condition aid of any kind on birth control.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Romney got his ass beat by an Alan Grayson margin..…or bigger!?!?!

ted c on February 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Regardless of what Dick Morris (you know, of dickmorris.com) says, it is not the negative advertising Mitt’s putting out that is sinking him. The fact of the matter is Mitt has not, and can not, convince the conservative base that he’s not a RINO! Nice job Rick! Keep going because you just won PA and quite possibly Ohio!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

“I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” he told supporters earlier in the evening. “I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

NOW you’re talkin’.

Cleombrotus on February 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Umm…in all this victory talk, how many delegates did Santorum pick up? 20 something? Seems like a pretty big victory dance for scoring a field goal to stay behind.

Rick Santorum is a good candidate. I like his positions on a lot of things and not so on others. Which, quel surprise, pretty much describes every candidate on the Republican side. But I have grave reservations about a man who can’t even get re-elected in his own state and gets turn outs that are way off historical trends.

MunDane68 on February 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Romney’s opposition research is on full speed right now. It will be interesting what they come up with since so little is known
about the Santorum.

Dick Morris was on Fox News saying Romney better start working on why Conservatives should vote Romney, and his “opposition research” is backfiring BIG.

Marcus on February 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM

There isn’t even a fig leaf of spin from these results to which Gingrich can cling

Yeah, I know. :-(

Flora Duh on February 8, 2012 at 9:06 AM

but he does not want to prevent contraception for the rest of America.

Says you. Santorum has yet to say that himself. No one would be surprised when he falls for the bait set up for him by Obama supporters (media). Santorum is brash.

The local morning talk radio hosts were discussing Santorum’s lack of practical experience, having achieved nothing outside of a limited political career, lobbying (rotating door from Congress to insider profiting, not immune to corruption attacks).

Santorum’s law experience was limited to promoting the rights of professional wrestlers to abuse steroids. That is fodder for GOP ’12 smears by the opposition.

maverick muse on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

With Santorum what do we have? He hasn’t really done much (like
someone else we knew – Obama). The rap I have against him is
that he and his family pretended to live in an empty house to get in state tuition. He talks a good game. Not sure about the action part.

That’s because there isn’t much action part. Santorum is not the purist that True Conservatives™ paint him to be. Libertarians despise him and GOP voters in PA turned him out by a wide margin, voting Democrat in droves.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

santorum is perceived to be not only pro-life, but also very anti-contraception.

who really thinks people won’t have sex outside of marriage?

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Weren’t people

just

complaining about Newt’s sex outside of marriage? Now I guess we’re doing the Romney 180° flip.

Newt: Too much sex outside marriage.
Santorum: Too little sex outside marriage! (unless an affair can be found or invented for Santorum, then we’ll be back to too much sex outside marriage again)

Doomberg on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I blame the Boss Emeritus. If she hadn’t meddled in these races and endorsed Santorum this wouldn’t have happened. Bless you Michelle.

meci on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Good grief. Santorum has exactly zero chance of beating Obama. IMHO. If he’s the nominee, the contest is going to be all about social issues. And that will turn off independent and moderate voters.

Syzygy

And another, “Amen to THAT, my brother!”

Santorum couldn’t beat an egg and, as for turning off the majority of the country who ARE those right of center/independent voters (who also vote in an election, by the way), nominate this snarling SoCon and you’ll have a repeat of that lovely convention where the cheerful Buchanon brother/sister sideshow took over the floor and the rest of America took the election OFF.

We need THAT this year like we need another…four years of Obama.

It’s national security and the ECONOMY, STUPIDS.

tree hugging sister on February 8, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Flora Duh on February 8, 2012 at 9:06 AM

btw, Congratulations Ed.

Flora Duh on February 8, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Congrats Ed! Congrats to all you Santorum supporters!

Bmore on February 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Your illicit sex is much safer than an unborn baby in Massachusetts.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Smack! That was a grand slam.

cozmo on February 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Regardless of what Dick Morris (you know, of dickmorris.com) says, it is not the negative advertising Mitt’s putting out that is sinking him. The fact of the matter is Mitt has not, and can not, convince the conservative base that he’s not a RINO! Nice job Rick! Keep going because you just won PA and quite possibly Ohio!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

That’s my contention, too. The base will never buy Romney’s snake-oil, no matter how well-organized and funded.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Great. Let’s trash the electablity argument entirely and nominate someone who is seen as a judgmental social con, a bsupporter of big government and a guy who is despised by swing voters.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Really? Even as recent polls show Santorum doing better head-to-head with Obama than Romney? Romney as the “most electable” is a fallacy and has been all along.

Bitter Clinger on February 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Regardless of what Dick Morris (you know, of dickmorris.com) says, it is not the negative advertising Mitt’s putting out that is sinking him. The fact of the matter is Mitt has not, and can not, convince the conservative base that he’s not a RINO! Nice job Rick! Keep going because you just won PA and quite possibly Ohio!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on February 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I don’t think the negativity is helping, but you’re right that he can’t seal the deal with conservatives. Of course it ain’t helping matters that last week he ran his mouth about “not being concerned with the very poor because we have a safety net for them” and that he supported automatic increases in the minimum wage. The former is the same class warfare bullcrap we’ve derided Obama for and the latter is actually to the left of Barry and most Democrats. Seriously, has any prominent Democrat come out publicly recently in support of federally mandated minimum wage hikes? It’s bad enough that the GOP elites are asking the base to support a so-called moderate, but I sure as hell ain’t pulling the lever for a guy more liberal than even Obama on an issue like that.

Doughboy on February 8, 2012 at 9:10 AM

my husband (as judge) sees alot of crack whores with scads of children that our tax dollars will support. contraception should be given to these women

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Are you going to force these “crack whores” to use contraception or be sterilized? Ask your husband if that is constitutional.

Fallon on February 8, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Its a Trifecta Santorum Storm!!!

canopfor on February 8, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Doughboy on February 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

We on the right are not being well served, sad to say.

OldEnglish on February 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Santorum does not respect the Constitution’s integrity, does not respect the separation of powers, the limitations on powers. He’s a power hungry angry man, and will get the votes of power hungry angry voters. Santorum is a Keynesian, and will not improve the US Economy.

So apparently anyone not named Ron Paul is an incipient totalitarian. Nice disconnect from reality you’ve got going there.

Athanasius on February 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM

If Romney’s the nominee, we’re in big, big trouble.

MeatHeadinCA on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Santorum is not the purist that True Conservatives™ paint him to be.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

You think we don’t know that? What we also know is that HE’S NOT MITT ROMNEY. Coincidentally, that happens to be one of Newt’s best selling points, too.

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

So,the media are now inexplicably perplexed that Mittens
got Mauled by Santorum!!

canopfor on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

CLEANUP AISLE SIX!

Lotta Romney supporters heads exploded last night.

Happy Nomad on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Dick Morris was on Fox News saying Romney better start working on why Conservatives should vote Romney, and his “opposition research” is backfiring BIG.

I do agree with this. Mitt needs to start talking to conservatives and dropping his general election strategy.

I don’t necessarily think that oppo research is the reason why Mitt got beat last night, but the mud fight with Newt certainly hurt him. Newt, the total phony, tried to take Romney down with him, and, at least in the short term, he succeeded. Now let’s see what Newt does….will he drop out and join forces with Santorum, or will he try to destroy him too?

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Santorum is not the purist that True Conservatives™ paint him to be.
Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

And Romney is?

cozmo on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

If Romney’s the nominee, we’re in big, big trouble.

MeatHeadinCA on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

If a Meathead in California can figure that out, shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone else, too?

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

So,the media are now inexplicably perplexed that Mittens
got Mauled by Santorum!!

canopfor on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Given that the MSM have never understood the Tea Party Movement, are you really that surprised?

Happy Nomad on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

How much will Romney spend to destroy Santorum?

Amjean on February 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Can this be the “Question of the Day?”

Fallon on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Question is:

Who’s Baggage will you carry into the General!?

canopfor on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

That’s because there isn’t much action part. Santorum is not the purist that True Conservatives™ paint him to be. Libertarians despise him and GOP voters in PA turned him out by a wide margin, voting Democrat in droves.

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Except none of the right-wing extremists “True Cons” here have remotely claimed that Santorum is some kind of “purist.” I would expect some of us are supporting him because he is the last Not Romney standing and some of us are supporting him because they like his stance on 1-2 issues.

Doomberg on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

my husband (as judge) sees alot of crack whores with scads of children that our tax dollars will support. contraception should be given to these women

kelley in virginia on February 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I think we should just round up those children and have them euthanized./

In your argument, the problem is not the crack whores having children, it’s the tax dollars that support them. If the crack whores and welfare queens weren’t rewarded by the system for having babies, they’d stop.

Do you really think that contraception is hard to find? And that’s the problem? Do you think free contraceptive devices are more available now or in the 1950s?

I also note that while you chastise crack whores, you previously stated that it’s stupid to expect people not to have sex whenever they feel like it. If we combine the idea of removing the rewards for bad behavior with the return of shame for illicit sexual behavior, we’d be 90% closer to rediscovering the greatness that was America.

mankai on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Good grief. Santorum has exactly zero chance of beating Obama. IMHO. If he’s the nominee, the contest is going to be all about social issues. And that will turn off independent and moderate voters.

Syzygy

BINGO!
The question now is whether or not the Tea Party will endorse a “radical” social con?
IF they’re consistent, they won’t.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

There isn’t even a fig leaf of spin from these results to which Gingrich can cling…

There is too a fig leaf, my friend. Romney will now focus on Santorum and vice versa, allowing Gingrich to move in on some big states for Super Tuesday under the radar. Winning big state primaries is crucial to the non-Romney Conservative in the race. Gingrich is gunning for Ohio.

And this is all assuming, of course, that Gingrich gets his and his campaign’s butts into gear. I do see this as getting him some breathing room to regroup and stop the “Romney the Inevitable meme”. .

RepubChica on February 8, 2012 at 9:14 AM

How does winning caucuses in states that netted him a grand total of zero delegates translate into “Santorum sweeps back into the race”? Especially with a turnout that was that low – in the tens of thousands for at least two states.

What I find fascinating is how some conservative bloggers are determined to prop up Santorum as being a “true conservative”. Yeah right… *rolls eyes*

Santorum is a social conservative – nothing more, nothing less. But he is as liberal as you can get with respect to fiscal issues and is no different from Obama and the Dems when it comes to a desire to grow Govt. and expand its power.

The only difference is what they wish to use Big Govt. for.

And so just as with Iowa, these conservative bloggers are trying to manufacture a surge for Santorum while hitting hard on his more conservative and arguably more electable rivals such as Perry and Gingrich.

And so we saw Michelle Malkin whip herself into a ‘Gardasil’ fury over Perry and denounce Gingrich for his ‘Bain’ attacks on Romney – but couldn’t summon the same outrage for Santorum’s liberal voting record and love for earmarks.

I see this sudden love for Santorum similar to the fawning over Cain even though any serious political connoisseur knows neither ever stood or will stand a chance of beating Romney even in a two-way match.

The calls for Gingrich to step down is just a tacit admission on the part of these bloggers that Romney’s march to the nomination is inevitable and so they are just trying to kneecap his strongest opponents out of the way.

I would prefer they man up and say so instead of trying to throw fairy dust in our eyes.

TheRightMan on February 8, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Santorum is a Keynesian, and will not improve the US Economy.

But Romney, the guy who wanted to dump billions on the auto industry, supported TARP, and called for stimulus spending, is not a Keynesian? Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Tea party is dead.

balkanmom on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

If a Meathead in California can figure that out, shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone else, too?

flyfisher on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

LOL. I heart that Meathead. Good guy.

RepubChica on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

This is the last boomlet for a non-Romney.

EricW on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Shocker? Only in the margin of victory. It’s not a shock seeing Santorum get his chance at the ring.

MNHawk on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Given that the MSM have never understood the Tea Party Movement, are you really that surprised?

Happy Nomad on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

I thought the TEA party was dead, again?

The question now is whether or not the Tea Party will endorse a “radical” social con?
IF they’re consistent, they won’t.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM

That’s it, blame the TEA party.

cozmo on February 8, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Priscilla on February 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Romney figured after Florida that he didn’t need conservatives. That was his mistake.

mankai on February 8, 2012 at 9:16 AM

As it stands, he could still give Mittens a run for his money, but Newt’s gotta decide within the next few days what’s more important to him: massaging his massive ego or doing what’s necessary to prevent a Romney victory.

Doughboy on February 8, 2012 at 9:02 AM

The Moon will become the 58th state before Newt does anything other than ego masturbation.

TXUS on February 8, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Romney pays an awful lot for the rate of return he gets.

His spend to return ratio is off the charts. Thats a huge problem he is and always will have – “I have the most money” is not equating to votes, and that is the linchpin of their strategy – per his campaign – and its failing.

Odie1941 on February 8, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 10