Bellwether: Santorum blows past Gingrich in Pennsylvania, now leads Romney by one

posted at 8:37 pm on February 9, 2012 by Allahpundit

I know what you’re thinking. “Who cares, AP? It’s his home state and their primary isn’t until the last week of April.” True. Pennsylvania might not matter much. But these numbers are important right now because they might — might — give us a window into how the race is going next door in Ohio, one of the key states voting on March 6, a.k.a. Super Tuesday.

Ohio could matter a lot.

The statewide poll of 500 Republicans showed Santorum’s support more than doubled from 14 percent six weeks ago to 30 percent, putting him in a statistical dead heat with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who increased his support to 29 percent from 18 percent. Santorum’s gain was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s loss, as his numbers here plunged from 35 percent to 13 percent…

James Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling and Research, which conducted the poll, said Santorum’s growing strength among Republicans suggests conservatives are tuning in to the race.

“Rick speaks their language. They believe he’s the real deal, but they seem to draw the line when it comes to moving on to the fall,” Lee said. “They don’t seem to think he’s electable. That’s the real conundrum he’s in: How does he persuade mainstream voters he’s the guy who can win in November?”

One way he could solve his electability problem is by beating Romney in Arizona and/or Michigan on February 28. If that happens, then suddenly Ohio might be in play. And if Ohio’s in play, then the odds of a brokered convention may increase rapidly. Here’s what Sean Trende had to say about it in making his point about the regional split among the candidates that I wrote about earlier:

Super Tuesday will likely be tougher for [Romney]. Four of the five largest states — Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia — are Southern (or in Oklahoma’s case, culturally Southern). Romney will likely win Virginia by default, but he will probably fare poorly in the remaining three. If Gingrich can maintain his strength in the South, he will likely win them.

On the other hand, Romney will probably do well in Massachusetts, Idaho and Vermont. Santorum seems well-positioned to win North Dakota.

So the viability of a three-way split probably comes down to Ohio, which has a fair number of evangelicals, though not to the degree that Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia do. Santorum has some strengths he can draw on in the Buckeye State, as his blue-collar message could play well even among Republicans there. If he wins, it means that we probably do have a deeply divided GOP, with Gingrich taking the anti-Romney vote in the South, and Santorum taking the anti-Romney vote in the Midwest.

The last poll of Ohio, conducted by PPP, had Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum within four points of each other, but it was taken back on January 28-29, before Santorum’s clean sweep in the midwest on Tuesday. Needless to say, things have changed since then — enough so that PPP is tweeting tonight about its new national poll due out tomorrow that will show Santorum leading. Quote: “What’s really scary for Romney is the numbers if Newt dropped out…Newt, by staying in, is all the sudden Mitt’s BFF”. The wrinkle in Trende’s analysis, then, is that Gingrich might be fading so rapidly — witness his collapse in Pennsylvania cited above — that he can’t hold those southern states which we currently expect him to win. If that happens and Santorum starts winning in the south too, Romney’s in deep, deep trouble.

But let’s say Newt bounces back (there are two more debates before Super Tuesday) and holds the south, preserving the regional split and the dream of a brokered convention. Would that convention actually be a nightmare in practice? Jay Cost, the Weekly Standard’s election guru, e-mailed me in response to this post with a warning to be careful what I wish for:

A brokered convo would be an unmitigated disaster!

(a) Romney will go in with the most delegates, so he’d be the odds-on favorite to win. So, in that case we’ll still wind up with an Obama-clone, only he’ll be bloodied up all to hell. Terrific.

(b) What happens if we get some dark horse? They start running from scratch in late August? No advisors, no infrastructure, no fundraising? This kind of approach worked back in the 1870s when there was a permanent party org that basically ran the whole show, but there isn’t anymore, and worse the campaign finance laws really keep the party from pulling the weight for the candidate on the ground. And we don’t have something like organized labor on our side to pick up the slack, either.

What about no debate prep? Remember how bad Fred Thompson and Rick Perry did when they decided to jump in on a lark?

(c) It would be a mess to watch on television. How many ballots are we talking about? What happens if it goes past the lease on the convo center? How does that chaos look compared to the Donks orderly convo? Doesn’t it play right into O’s hands…”I’m the only grown-up in the room!” Remember: it’s been literally two generations since we’ve had a messy convo. The public won’t put it into context because the collective memory only has these carefully managed coronations. Our brokered convo plus Obama coronation = massive bounce for the One.

Good points all, but let me counter. One: A dark horse would have grave weaknesses, but depending upon who he/she is, I’m not sure the dark horse would be weaker than Romney. Like Cost says, even if Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich survives a brokered convention to emerge as nominee, they’ll be brutalized by the process. It may be that you need a clean slate with a new candidate at that point. Two: The absence of any organization for the dark horse is a concern, but it’s a concern that party leaders will begin to deal with long before the convention begins. If Super Tuesday comes and goes and the race is still deeply divided three ways, you’ll start seeing stories in the press about some sort of organization quietly being assembled to get to work for a dark-horse nominee just in case it comes to that. The RNC and conservative Super PACs will also start gearing up to go to war for the nominee in case he has no organization of his own. Don’t get me wrong: The organizational question mark is a serious concern, but we’re going to end up playing a weak hand no matter what in November. Serious concerns will abound until the polls open on election day.

But back to Ohio. Cost replied to my points about the convention with this:

I think for that to happen, Daniels or somebody would have to toss in during the primary period. He could still do it late. Imagine a scenario where he gets in before the CA filing deadline, wins the CA primary, starts building an organization, leads in the Gallup poll among GOPers, performs best against Obama, etc. That would be a scenario like what Bobby Kennedy planned to do in 1968.

Otherwise, you’d have a legitimacy problem as well. Romney could credibly argue that the “people” had “voted” for him.

I think the big test for all of this is the Ohio primary. If Romney can’t win that, Daniels could still get on the ballot in CA, NJ, NM, MT, UT and a few other places. I think the establishment GOPers are probably equally scared of Santorum as they are of Gingrich, in that they fear both of them would lose (correctly, IMO). So Ohio is for Romney v. Santorum what Florida was for Romney v. Gingrich — Romney has to close it out there or else the bigwigs are going to intervene.

Right. If he can’t seal the deal in one of the perennial key swing states on Super Tuesday, you’re likely to see chaos the day after. That’s why the new Pennsylvania poll maybe matters. And why Ohio definitely matters.

Update: Corrected a careless error above: Jay Cost used to be at RealClearPolitics, now he’s at the Weekly Standard. Sorry for the mix-up.


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I need to see some Santorum vs. Obama numbers.

thebrokenrattle on February 9, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I’m stunned he leads in Pennsylvania. Go Rick.
I read this morning a Romney loss in Michigan (I know, unlikely) would be a fatal blow to his campaign.

Marcus on February 9, 2012 at 8:40 PM

GO SANTY!

KOOLAID2 on February 9, 2012 at 8:40 PM

OT
Why is there a liberal on the CPAC stage?

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

My Momma’s from PA.
Go Santorum!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

OT
Good he’s gone. Music!

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:44 PM

OT
Why is there a liberal on the CPAC stage?

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Lemme guess-Coulter?

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Third look at the second look of WTF were they thinking with Romney?

Dack Thrombosis on February 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

So because Santorum and Newt are dogfighting for the right-wing vote, it’ll be Romney.

Random on February 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

One way he could solve his electability problem is by beating Romney in Arizona and/or Michigan on February 28.

It seems to me that Romney’s the one with the electability problem.

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Still finding it hard to be interested. My vote won’t count in any case, and the feds are causing my primary to be pushed back even further now.

Give me a candidate who will fight for my rights against the Feds.

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Who has a major group of backers that are die hard and hard working that could be a dark horse worthy of promotion? I dunno, I can think of one good one that has not entered the race.

astonerii on February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

If you think the establishment GOP will give up just because Santorum is coming on think again, the depth of their deceit goes far beyond letting it ride.

The republican knives will be out from now on, as despicable as that is.
We don’t need nobles.

Speakup on February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

So did Santorum sleep with his dead kid?

1punchWill on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Do we have ANY inkling when the primary will be?

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Santorum’s vetting has only just begun though. The more voters learn about Santorum, his big government, union-loving voting record & the things that have come out of his mouth (especially on social issues like birth control & homosexuality), the less they will see him as electable.

JA on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Santorumentum!!!!!!

huskerdiva on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Pensyltucky is keeping the comedy coming! Best wishes to the guy who lost his PA senate seat by 17 points!

KeninCT on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

SNL is crossing its fingers that Santorum is the nominee. Think of all the stereotypical social con material he will feed them! What they did to Palin will be minor in comparison.

inthemiddle on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

I hope everyone is paying attention to Romney’s message and interview today.

“I have the money for the long haul” – and thats it.

Combine his negative attack ads, while denouncing negative attack ads – or hiding behind a PAC. That’s what you are left with.

And before the Rom’s come out and say no one else can beat Obama’s money spend – that is on The GOP to consider, raise and fund – not just the individual.

If every Establishment squish holds back their money, doesn’t support a non-Romney nominee. Remind them how important the House is.

We are at the Conservative presepice.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

So did Santorum sleep with his dead kid?

1punchWill on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Eff off, dogsh*t.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

No ALT, its that guy thats on in the morning with coffee and his sidelick is dancing.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

…Romney has to close it out there or else the bigwigs are going to intervene.

So basically, what he’s telling us is that, if the people do not choose a the Republican elite’s boy, the elites will circumvent the entire process.

My collie says:

Why are we even bothering with primaries and caucuses?

CyberCipher on February 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I need to see some Santorum vs. Obama numbers.

thebrokenrattle on February 9, 2012 at 8:40 PM

A few days ago Santorum was polling a point or two ahead of Obama according to Rasmussen. Romney was trailing by 6 or so.

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Even taking all of these points as stated, why do these brokered convention conversations always rest on Mitch Daniels? He knows policy but where’s the buzz. The only possible advantage of a brokered convention is to ditch these “meh” guys we have now in favor of the ever-sought white knight who would take the race, lift it over his head, then dropkick the whole thing into the White House. Mitch Daniels doesn’t scream that. I remember all of the disinterested wimp talk from last year. I remember his repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth over the “truce.”

If there is a brokered convention, then it had better end with Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, or David Petraeus as the GOP nominee. Ryan is the only one with the honed debate skill that could pwn the President going in blind. Jindal has Daniels’ grasp of policy, plus admiration from all wings of the GOP, plus a decent amount of charisma. Petraeus gives us the Ike vibe, and backs us up if economic concerns give way to the ongoing upheavals in the Middle East.

Gingotts on February 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

This Ohioan is voting Santorum.

PS: Santorum led Obama by 1, before the three state sweep. (looking for poll)

knob on February 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Yes, that’s what I was thinking of.

knob on February 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Rick’s reputation in PA is bad.

Look for a loss.

profitsbeard on February 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

sidelick=sidelick
After the glitter thread I bet you thought I misspelled that.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

So did Santorum sleep with his dead kid?

1punchWill on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Goodbye.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 8:50 PM

As I said in a prior thread, Santorum and Newt are dogfighting for the right-wing vote, so it’s Romney.

Random on February 9, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Like Cost says, even if Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich survives a brokered convention to emerge as nominee, they’ll be brutalized by the process.

Romney and Gingrich have already been brutalized and their dead carcasses are lying on the side of the road.

JPeterman on February 9, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Santorum…Front runner. Nice.

Deep Timber on February 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Pensyltucky is keeping the comedy coming! Best wishes to the guy who lost his PA senate seat by 17 points!

KeninCT on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

I wonder how badly Romney’s ass would’ve been mauled if he had had the guts to run for re-election in 2006?

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Oops.

Random on February 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I am from PA and I am having a really hard time working up any enthusiasm for Rick. If Paul Ryan is open to VP as rumored I would get behind Mitt/Ryan. Santorum is a jerk and he hated the tea party.

msmveritas on February 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Santorum’s vetting has only just begun though. The more voters learn about Santorum, his big government, union-loving voting record & the things that have come out of his mouth (especially on social issues like birth control & homosexuality), the less they will see him as electable.

JA on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

The big question is whether they will learn this before Gingrich is forced out. Maybe someone can un-suspend his or her campaign at CPAC and make this a fight.

Sekhmet on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

I am in a suburb of Columbus….Go Rick, go…He seems to be the genuine article…however, a brokered convention that would produce a candidate that is fully vetted, ahem, the Arctic Fox, would be even better ! :)

MJScanlonOH on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

1punchWill on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

1punchline
Any lamer and we will have to treat you like a horse with a nasty break.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

SNL is crossing its fingers that Santorum is the nominee.

inthemiddle on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

And we should always let SNL tell us who to vote for cause they clearly have our best interests at heart?

sharrukin on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Do we have ANY inkling when the primary will be?

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Hi alt, Latest I heard is that the Apr 3 date is a no-go, so it’ll be sometime later. I’m sick of this. They can’t even send out voter cards because of this, as you know, and the candidates can’t campaign because they don’t know what district they are in. Bah.

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Why is there a liberal on the CPAC stage?

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Lemme guess-Coulter?

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Thread winner!!!

bw222 on February 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Allah’s got a brokered convention obsession and he’s ramming it down our throats.

aquaviva on February 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Not surprised about PA numbers. Don’t think it influences Ohio, though.

Philly on February 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I’ve no doubt Newt will bow out for the good of the country. no. doubt.

DHChron on February 9, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Don’t think it influences Ohio, though.

Philly on February 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

me either.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Romney losing to Santorum in Michigan??? End times!

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Hi alt, Latest I heard is that the Apr 3 date is a no-go, so it’ll be sometime later. I’m sick of this. They can’t even send out voter cards because of this, as you know, and the candidates can’t campaign because they don’t know what district they are in. Bah.

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

WAT? I’ve already asked it off from work!!

Sekhmet on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

SNL sucks.

no one watches it…it’s irrelevant.

DHChron on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

He is doing nothing special.

He is articulating conservative values. Meaning, you only get what you work for, don’t expect a handout and don’t lay on your azz.

Peace through Strength. – Name your enemy.

Follow the Constitution.

…………

Really this isn’t hard.

Key West Reader on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

My district seems to have mostly survived unscathed.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Santorum is the flavor of the week. He has no chance of winning the nomination IMO. Social conservative BS is all that he has going for him. The country is going broke and the republicans are worried about condoms and gays?! Get a grip, people.

Kaffa on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Shaking things up is good, very good. Good.

Bishop on February 9, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Mitch Daniels ain’t runnin’. Cheri Daniels has chosen not to undergo the obligatory public proctoscopy.

novaculus on February 9, 2012 at 8:56 PM

It’s all mental masturbation until the polls close.

The Ugly American on February 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM

1punchline
Any lamer and we will have to treat you like a horse with a nasty break.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

So he didn’t?

1punchWill on February 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM

WAT? I’ve already asked it off from work!!

Sekhmet on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I’m supposed to work as election judge-but they can’t schedule training until there’s a primary date.
%^&*&^% Liberals!

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM

1punchWill

Is that your name because you have a glass jaw, or because you show up and throw one punch then run away like a coward?

Flange on February 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

KeninCT on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

You get a date yet?

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Bishop on February 9, 2012 at 8:56 PM

I’m sorry, how good is it?

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Santorum is the flavor of the week. He has no chance of winning the nomination IMO. Social conservative BS is all that he has going for him. The country is going broke and the republicans are worried about condoms and gays?! Get a grip, people.

Kaffa on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I agree.

The Tea Party is dead.

Key West Reader on February 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Daniels! Tofu, anyone ?

galtani on February 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM

KeninCT on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM
You get a date yet?

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Careful, he’s “athletic”.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

1punchWill on February 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM

KeninCT on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Here let me introduce you, You two are perfect for each other.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

The country is going broke and the republicans are worried about condoms and gays?! Get a grip, people.

Kaffa on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Mittbots seem to be the ones worried about it, just as Gingrich made them all zealots for marital fidelity. Funny how that works.

Anyway, Romney’s flailing even against a divided and less-than-stellar opposition. The guy’s dead meat now, or dead meat in November. Take your pick.

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

WAT? I’ve already asked it off from work!!

Sekhmet on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Yeah, as of this week it will probably de delayed again. I’m sick of the feds considering me to be racist because I live in a Voting rights act state. Enough of this crap. Seriously, I’ve had it.

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

There’s that liberal on stage again.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Kaffa on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

We’re a little worried about the administration infringing upon our religious freedoms too… I recognize the desperate situation we’re in with the runaway spending and continued economic malaise, but Obama’s war on Christians is not to be ignored either. Go ahead and press us, we’re still a vast majority of the population and we will make our voice heard.

Not that I’m saying nominating Santorum is the best way to do so. I’m still unsure there, but I would not be surprised if voters in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado saw him as the most likely to represent the voice of the “bitter clinger” population.

Gingotts on February 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Lotta fired up Catholics in Pennsylvania this week.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Careful, he’s “athletic”.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Yeah, I got a used jock for him.

Bmore on February 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Lotta fired up Catholics in Pennsylvania this week.

rockmom on February 9, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Winner.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Careful, he’s “athletic”.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

That’s what limp-wristed men say about themselves when their upper body strength is lacking.

Bishop on February 9, 2012 at 9:04 PM

You know, I hope we do have a brokered convention. Then we can watch as the entire Republican election effort crash and burns, and we can all be reminded what an idiotic idea it is to have the party establishment pick a candidate in a day when:

A. The Major parties aren’t exactly popular and
B. The dirty political backroom deals required for this aren’t popular amongst the general public.

Really, you’d think people could pretty easily put together that this is a bad idea but apparently, via Allahpundit and some True Conservatives, we need a reminder.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM

I really will start to panic if Santorum starts winning more states. Seriously guys? This is political suicide.

I will vote for the guy, but he will lose by the same points nationally as he lost his senate seat.

ConservativeLaw on February 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Santorum is the flavor of the week. He has no chance of winning the nomination IMO. Social conservative BS is all that he has going for him. The country is going broke and the republicans are worried about condoms and gays?! Get a grip, people.

Kaffa on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

This flavor of the week is different. This flavor of the week is winning real votes, not polls.

gryphon202 on February 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Is that your name because you have a glass jaw, or because you show up and throw one punch then run away like a coward?

Flange on February 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Yes.

Tim_CA on February 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

My district seems to have mostly survived unscathed.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I will stay in the same district too, but there’s a guy who wants to primary my congressman, and he lives in another town, and doesn’t know what district he’ll wind up in. My guy Lamar Smith has been overall quite good, but his SOPA thing showed he needs to be sent a message. Maybe a scary primary would do the trick.

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Careful, he’s “athletic”.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM
That’s what limp-wristed men say about themselves when their upper body strength is lacking.

Bishop on February 9, 2012 at 9:04 PM

He looked a bit fluffy… and messy to boot.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

A few quotes from Rick Santorum, AKA the Bedroom Snooper:

“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

“I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual.”

“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s OK, contraception is OK. It’s not OK. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

God help us if Santorum is the nominee because creepy stuff like this ain’t gonna fly with most voters. Four more years of Obama, for certain.

JA on February 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Newt should do the same for Santorum before Super Tuesday as Perry did for Newt before South Carolina. Newt should hang around and see if he can regain any traction in the run-up to Super Tuesday, but if not, he should drop out and endorse Rick a few days before the vote. If Romney wins the nomination, Newt will be in the wilderness for a very, very long time. If he helps stop Mitt and deliver the nomination to Santorum (or some other compromise candidate), he will remain politically relevant and protect his legacy from the 90′s from Romney’s surrogates who now belittle and repudiate all that Newt accomplished for conservatives and the party.

Santorum and Gingrich have been in the trenches fighting for conservative causes for years. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was on the political equivalent of study-abroad in Massachusetts, learning the language and beliefs of the Bay State’s liberal aborigines. Mitt has a lot of nerve to question Rick and Newt’s loyalty to the conservative movement and the party.

Lawdawg86 on February 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

SNL is crossing its fingers that Santorum is the nominee.
inthemiddle on February 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Good Lord. Who. Cares.

Marcus on February 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

My impression of Santorum during the debates (except the last one) left me with the feeling that he just does not have the charisma necessary to win. But I just went and watched his speech in MO and developed a glimmer of hope that maybe I can regain some excitement about this election. He really connected with people while talking about freedom and the founders vision of this country, specially towards the end of the speech. He looked and sounded like the real thing. And he does not come across as a politician who will say whatever you want to her. I am sure warming up to him.

neuquenguy on February 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

the Tea Party was co-opted…socons ate it from the inside

DHChron on February 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

or else the bigwigs are going to intervene.

If the bigwigs intervene, they will have revolt on their hands. That would bloody and splinter the Republican Party far more than any other scenario.

INC on February 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Marcus on February 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Well, I’d hope you’d care, because if the stuff outlined in this post:

JA on February 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM

-gets out? We’re all thoroughly f*cked.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM

My impression of Santorum during the debates (except the last one) left me with the feeling that he just does not have the charisma necessary to win. But I just went and watched his speech in MO and developed a glimmer of hope that maybe I can regain some excitement about this election. He really connected with people while talking about freedom and the founders vision of this country, specially towards the end of the speech. He looked and sounded like the real thing. And he does not come across as a politician who will say whatever you want to her. I am sure warming up to him.

neuquenguy on February 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I hope you’re right. There’s just not a whole lot I am certain about these days when it comes to politics.

gryphon202 on February 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM

Then we can watch as the entire Republican election effort crash and burns, and we can all be reminded what an idiotic idea it is to have the party establishment pick a candidate in a day when:

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM

They tried to pick Romney, but the voters seem to be gagging on it.

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 9:12 PM

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM

We’ve got Neugebauer.
His seat is totally safe.
The Ronulans HATE him.
That’s a big +

annoyinglittletwerp on February 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM

My impression of Santorum during the debates (except the last one) left me with the feeling that he just does not have the charisma necessary to win. But I just went and watched his speech in MO and developed a glimmer of hope that maybe I can regain some excitement about this election. He really connected with people while talking about freedom and the founders vision of this country, specially towards the end of the speech. He looked and sounded like the real thing. And he does not come across as a politician who will say whatever you want to her. I am sure warming up to him.

neuquenguy on February 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I think that’s very fair – and accurate.

At the Florida debate – Santorum seemed knowledgable, but lacking a bit of confidence. It was the Rom v Mitt show, so thats understandable. His content was spot on.

He appears to have not only gained the confidence, but like someone who finally is getting respect and attention – actually wants it.

Great prep/buildup from his team and himself.

Odie1941 on February 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM

amazing how these so called experts can predict everything. Romneycare winning arizona & michigan. Weren’t these same experts saying tuesday morning that romneycare was going to win Colorado. The freakin same day as the vote. Lo and behold, Romneycare ended up losing Colorado by 5.5 points. A state he won 4 years earlier by 42 points.

These so called experts, can eat sh*t!

Romneycare is a socialist, no principled conservative will ever vote for him. Heck, in Virginia, the only names on the ballot are Romneycare & Paul. My guess Paul carries Virginia!

Danielvito on February 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Yes, because the difference between individuals in the party endorsing a candidate of their preference before the votes, giving people the chance to join them or tell them off in the democratic process, and the bigwigs going behind the doors and arranging for who will be the party nominee are totally similar things.

Your skills of observation are unmatched.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Im in Ga and Almost everyone I know likes Santorum over Gingrich not that theres that much enthusiasm for any of them. Newt hasnt lived in Ga for years.

ldbgcoleman on February 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Any bet that Barry is deliberately whipping up the HHS controversy now to goad religious and social cons into Santorum’s corner, and either prolonging the bloody primary fight or, worse to nominate the modern day William Jennings Bryan “

galtani on February 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Santorum won 3 caucus primaries, which are scams. Santorum won Missouri which is filled with …ehem…evangelicals who dislike Mormons.

*I don’t think that is the primary reason why Mittens lost, but it is a big reason in Missouri. Come on, the Dr. Dobson/Tony Perkins Anti-Mormon Coalition is powerful. Because God won’t bless America with a mormon at the helm logic.

He has 22 delegates to Romney’s 106.

Maine is next, followed by Michigan and Arizona.

Allahpundit, please for the love of god stop pining for a brokered convention, it will doom us all.

What the hell is going on? :) Damn you Rick Perry, Damn you for being a crappy candidate, you left the anti-romney’s so irrational as they will throw away everything for Santorum, whose only claim to conservative fame is social issues.

Can we start talking reason?

*starts hyperventilating in a paper bag :)

ConservativeLaw on February 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM

-gets out? We’re all thoroughly f*cked.

WealthofNations on February 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM

As if SNL can’t make fun of a stiff, awkward, multi-millionaire Mormon.

ddrintn on February 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Yeah, as of this week it will probably de delayed again. I’m sick of the feds considering me to be racist because I live in a Voting rights act state. Enough of this crap. Seriously, I’ve had it.

juliesa on February 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I’ll vote for anybody who agrees with me politically. ANYBODY!! Red, yellow, black, white, straight, gay, vegisexual, male, female, Catholic, Protestant, Pagan, Hindu— HELL, I’d vote for a mixed-race hermaphroditic Subgenius if s/he was a good conservative Republican. Why should I be thrown in a district for “diversity’s” sake?

Sekhmet on February 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Let’s not pretend anymore. We are well and truly screwed.

TheBlueSite on February 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM

the Tea Party was co-opted…socons ate it from the inside

DHChron on February 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

All the hate for social conservatives is very…liberal.

neuquenguy on February 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM

I’m feeling grizzly.

tinkerthinker on February 9, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Can we start talking reason?

*starts hyperventilating in a paper bag :)

ConservativeLaw on February 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM

“Reason” by your apparent standards dictates that we will end up with Obama Lite ™. I don’t accept that.

gryphon202 on February 9, 2012 at 9:17 PM

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