USA Today poll shows Obama trailing Romney and Santorum in swing states

posted at 9:15 am on February 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

What happens when an incumbent running for re-election has a signature achievement in his first term that voters strongly dislike?  Barack Obama has that problem with ObamaCare among swing-state voters, and finds himself behind both of the leading Republicans in the new USA Today poll of these states:

Though the law has avid supporters, especially in the president’s Democratic base, the net effect among middle-of-the-road voters is negative for him. What’s more, the issue unites the GOP when the party is fractured among competing presidential contenders.

In the poll, Obama lags the two leading Republican rivals in the 12 states likely to determine the outcome of a close race in November:

•Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tops Obama 50%-45% in the swing states. Nationwide, Santorum’s lead narrows to 49%-46%.

•Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney edges Obama 48%-46% in the swing states. Nationwide, they are tied at 47% each.

Gallup has a separate poll on the question of repealing ObamaCare that shows a 47/44 split in favor of repeal.  This, however, is a poll of general-population adults.  USA Today’s poll was conducted among registered voters, and the negatives are much stronger.  Nationwide, it’s seen unfavorably by 50% of voters, as opposed to 42% who see it positively.  In swing states, it gets slightly worse ratings at 38/53, which is exactly the same percentages on Rasmussen’s repeal question from earlier this month. Pluralities of of 42% in swings states and 41% nationwide expect ObamaCare to make things worse for their families.

The most interesting aspect of the matchups is that Obama now scores below Republicans even though he faces no primary challenge.  Don’t forget that head-to-head matchups at this stage of the process is a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, thanks to the natural division among Republicans and independents during the primaries.  It’s a deeply significant sign that Obama can’t rise above his divided competition despite the battles taking place in the opposition party, and ObamaCare significantly drives that — even as Obama continues to campaign on his “achievement.”

Don’t forget one last thing, too. Democrats purposefully front-loaded the benefits of ObamaCare in 2010 in a desperate attempt to avoid a beating in the midterms.  ObamaCare won’t get any more popular between now and the election, and it’s likely to get less popular.


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Doomberg on February 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

why not go with Newt then? I could listen to him say fundamental all night long baby!

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Because polls this far from election day mean two things: jack and sh*t.

Let Team Obama run a few of the Sweater Vest’s greatest hits through the media non-stop for a few months, and then see how electable Santorum is. If you have trouble imagining what might happen, let me give you a hint: most Americans outside the Bible-thumping whackos who count as Santorum’s fan base don’t want to live in a theocracy.

DRayRaven on February 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I’ve seen certain dire prophecies that if we nominate the wrong guy, Obama will sweep to a 60/40 landslide victory. That is nonsense. I am the furthest thing from thrilled that these are our choices, but no matter who ends up with the nomination, Obama would never get near 60%. He got 53% in 2008. He won’t get 53% in 2012. He might win, but not with 53%.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Right Mover, thank you for your sensible post.
DRRaven – Must you- with the insults. It adds nothing to the discussion. You r ravin…

MontanaMmmm on February 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

How is Santorum a far riskier proposition? He’s down 2 to Obama. Romney is up 2. That’s not a huge difference. And Santorum would easily appeal to the base more than Romney in the general election. At least he can articulate conservatism.

Doughboy on February 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

He’s not as well-known, not as organized, and not as well-funded as Romney. And, I don’t think his particular brand of social conservatism is going to play well in a general.

I’d also argue that he doesn’t really appeal all that much to the base. Just weeks ago he was barely worth mentioning, and when he was he was often derided as a ‘gov’t in the bedroom’-type…it’s only the fact he’s seen as the most viable NotRomney at this point that he’s gotten traction.

changer1701 on February 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

You do know that RomneyCare was challenged in court, and the case was thrown out, don’t you?

Syzygy on February 27, 2012 at 10:13 AM

If you are depending on the courts to protect your rights expect to be disappointed.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM

ObamaCare an albatross.

As it should be.

Kenosha Kid on February 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM

How is Santorum a far riskier proposition? He’s down 2 to Obama. Romney is up 2. That’s not a huge difference. And Santorum would easily appeal to the base more than Romney in the general election. At least he can articulate conservatism.

Doughboy on February 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

How does Santy articulate conservatism? through earmarks?

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM

The next time one of the media or other whiners complain about Santorum bringing RELIGION into politics…..

Check out REVEREND OBAMA and his “CONGREGATION CAPTAINS” in black churches.

HELLO?

PappyD61 on February 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Because once people get to know Santorum, their opinion of him goes down very quickly.

Romney has been campaigning for president for 6 years now. He goes through the motions well – capturing fat cat donors and establishment support – but he just can’t seal the deal.

When he is not able to drown his opponents in negative ads, he can’t win.

Santorum is surging, and he is almost custom built to appeal to the independents that the Republican candidate needs to win.

So, if you are looking for a candidate that people don’t like when they get to know him, Romney fits the bill.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

If Obamacare is a drag, so too is Romneycare, the father. Willard is unelectable, folks. The usual suspects will always vote for Obama, and so too will a majority of the so called indies who are liberals too cowardly to identify themselves as such. Willard will not get the base, and he will lose.

they lie on February 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Throughout the primaries, Romney’s campaign strategy has employed a largely defensive game, focusing on not making any unforced errors or showstopping gaffes, selectively targeting emerging Not Romney opponents–Perry, Gingrich, and now Santorum–with negative ads highlighting and exploiting their respective shortcomings, and standing back while his opponents proceeded to make unforced errors and showstopping gaffes.

Compared to the somewhat detached and aristocratic Romney, Santorum is an impulsive, passionate, and essentially undisciplined candidate. Largely dismissed and ignored until now, under close press and public scrutiny, Santorum’s under an enormous amount of pressure–pressure Romney’s been under since the beginning. Any day now, I figure Romney will provoke Santorum in some way–probably through a surrogate–causing Santorum to give way to impulse, react unthinkingly, say something reckless and irrevocable, and lose.

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

He’s not as well-known, not as organized, and not as well-funded as Romney. And, I don’t think his particular brand of social conservatism is going to play well in a general.

How did Bush, and Santorum’s, social conservativism play in the 2004 presidential election?

How did McCain, and Romney’s, me-too liberalism lite play in the 2008 presidential election?

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Santorum is custom built for indies! hehehehehe…that’s the best laugh I’ve had all day.

oh…you’re serious

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Compared to the somewhat detached and aristocratic Romney, Santorum is an impulsive, passionate, and essentially undisciplined candidate.

And when was the last time the less passionate candidate won a general election? 1972?

Running the Republican version of the Kerry campaign in 2004 is not a recipe for success…

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

How does Santy articulate conservatism? through earmarks?

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM

That would beat hearing him try to talk.

NoDonkey on February 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

The next time one of the media or other whiners complain about Santorum bringing RELIGION into politics…..

Check out REVEREND OBAMA and his “CONGREGATION CAPTAINS” in black churches.

HELLO?

PappyD61 on February 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Obo obviously gets a pass…everyone knows he’s not religious

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Santorum is custom built for indies! hehehehehe…that’s the best laugh I’ve had all day.

Bush 43 ran the same campaign, essentially, in 2004. So laugh all you want.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Approval at 45%, Lowest in Month — Falls Behind Romney, Paul…

Romney 45% Obama 43%…
Paul 43% Obama 41%
Obama 45% Santorum 43%
Obama 49% Gingrich 39%…

mountainaires on February 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM

you’re deluding yourself 18-1

indies like sex, they might even like SATAN! (and algae)

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

why not go with Newt then? I could listen to him say fundamental all night long baby!

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Of the remaining candidates he is my #1 choice.

Doomberg on February 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

of the remaining candidates my choice is bombastic Newtastic!

if I had my way – tuna on rye with sweet relish…and they can both beat Obama.

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Santorum reads the Bible and loves babies. He can’t win.

flyfisher on February 27, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Sad, isn’t it?

fight like a girl on February 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Is there a “razzie” equivalent for blog comments?

lynncgb on February 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Gallup Tracking Poll

Romney Beats Obama.

Romney Overtakes Santorum Nationally: 31-29%

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/212619-romney-leads-obama-in-gallup-poll

mountainaires on February 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I’d be remiss not to mention Santy’s wife used to love killing babies

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM

of the remaining candidates my choice is bombastic Newtastic!

if I had my way – tuna on rye with sweet relish…and they can both beat Obama.

DHChron on February 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I’ll have what he’s having…only make mine a double….

lynncgb on February 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Check out this blog post from a reputable SE Florida tax and estate planning law firm. Note some of the tax increases from Obamacare.

http://rubinontax.blogspot.com/2012/02/do-you-realize-how-much-federal-taxes.html

BuckeyeSam on February 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

If Obamacare is a drag, so too is Romneycare, the father. Willard is unelectable, folks. The usual suspects will always vote for Obama, and so too will a majority of the so called indies who are liberals too cowardly to identify themselves as such. Willard will not get the base, and he will lose.

they lie on February 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM

You got that right!

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Bush 43 ran the same campaign, essentially, in 2004. So laugh all you want.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

President Bush ran as a compassionate conservative and he did it without placing enormous emphasis on his pro-life bona fides or his views on gay marriage, which is not at all what Santorum is doing. Most importantly, President Bush did not push social conservative issues to the forefront during a period of economic uncertainty and decline, or even once mention the big flaming non-issue of contraceptives, which is precisely what Santorum is doing.

So no, Santorum is emphatically not running the same campaign as Bush 43. Get it straight.

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 11:14 AM

When asked for his response to the latest Rasmussen and Gallup Tracking Polls, Snatorum allegedly said,

“THAT JUST MAKES ME WANT TO THROW UP!”

Santorum really, really just wants to THROW UP!!!

RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Approval at 45%, Lowest in Month—President Falls Behind Romney and Paul…

Romney 45% Obama 43%…
Paul 43% Obama 41%

He still beats Santorum and Gingrich:

Obama 45% Santorum 43%
Obama 49% Gingrich 39%

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/pol

Gallup Tracking Poll:

Romney 31% of likely GOP voters; Santorum 29%; Gingrich 15%

Romney overtakes Santo in National Tracking Poll & Romney beats Obama by 4%

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/212619-r

mountainaires on February 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Want to know why romneycare is dead in the water as a candidate. Probably 70% of the electorite don’t realize that Romneycare enacted the largest mandate in massachusetts history. Once they do know it his base support will free fall. Now he might skate in the nominating process because turnout is horrid, butin the general he’ll get exposed by the media.

By the way, ever wonder why no pollster does a poll to inform the electorite if they are aware that romneycare enacted a huge mandate. Don’t bother wondering, it’s all been setup for romneycare to get the nomination.

Then we’ll lose the general and be stuck with obama another 4 years. This will then make 28 years (reagan) that a conservative would not have been the GOP nominee. This is a direct result of the Bush family, who have single handedly destroyed the conservative movement!

Danielvito on February 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Left-leaning Gallup shows Obama at 44%.

Let’s call Obama’s signature monstrosity what it is: Obamacide.

jqc1970 on February 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Because once people get to know Santorum, their opinion of him goes down very quickly.

joana on February 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM

People know Mitt very well now, and a majority of GOP voters can’t stand him, either.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

a liberal outlet exposes Ron Paul in the tank for romneycare

ThinkProgress reviewed the 20 Republican presidential debates and found that Ron Paul has not once attacked Mitt Romney.

While Paul has ripped the other presidential contenders 39 times, he has never harshly criticized Romney or singled him out in any way for criticism. It’s particularly striking given that Paul and Romney “do not agree on virtually any policy positions.”

We are watching, a liberal republican Romneycare backed by the GOP establishment buy & steal our presidential election.

Danielvito on February 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

He’s not as well-known, not as organized, and not as well-funded as Romney.

In Romney’s case, being well-known seems to be a bug, not a feature.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Romney’s campaign strategy has employed a largely defensive game, focusing on not making any unforced errors or showstopping gaffes

Romney’s committed plenty of gaffes.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

– Mitt Romney, quoted by CBS News, when asked whether or not he follows NASCAR.

Can this stiff be more out of touch!

Danielvito on February 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

In the poll, Obama lags the two leading Republican rivals in the 12 states likely to determine the outcome of a close race in November:

WooHoo!

freedomfirst on February 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM

It’s these kinds of polls, ones that measure swing states, that will be far better indicators of how the general campaign will play out. The ones that measure nation-wide percentages are basically meaningless because the Presidential race is essentially 51 different contests. Obama could win every single vote in California, New York, & Massachusetts (or all of the deep blue state) yet he wouldn’t be any closer to winning the election. The swing states are the ones that will decide it and I think he’s going to have a lot of trouble in those states.

Bitter Clinger on February 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Of the remaining candidates he is my #1 choice.

Doomberg on February 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I wish Newt had stayed positive in FL.

Mitt will be exactly like McCain in 2008–he’ll pull his punches on Obama. And if he does throw some, they’ll be so awkward that the media will ridicule him as an elitist racist. Newt would be like Rocky Balboa, relentlessly going after Apollo Creed’s body, exposing Obama for the showboat that he is.

Santorum won’t get a word in edgewise over the contraception din.

Newt and infidelities? In the past 80 years, one Dem (FDR) and one GOP (Ike) probably had one discreet affair going on while in the WH. They cancel each other out. JFK, we now know, was a trash d*ck who even passed around a 19-year-old intern. Clinton was a serial offender before entering the WH, even using AR law enforcement for those shenanigans. Once in the WH, he assaulted one woman, took up with an intern, and who knows what else. In contrast, Newt’s on his third wife. He’s had a faith reawakening, and he seems serious about it. This isn’t Clinton running to prayer breakfasts to cry in the laps of black pastors after Monica blew up.

Go, Newt.

BuckeyeSam on February 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Obama’s economy is going to kill him. Only 1 person can save him, and that is Romney who Obama can use as a 1% boogeyman.

angryed on February 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Obama is seriously damaged goods. So, who are we prepared to nominate against a far left-statist? A center-left statist. Friggin’ wonderful.

besser tot als rot on February 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Romney will beat Obama. At this point I’m not convinced Santorum wouldn’t beat him either.

therightwinger on February 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Santy we hardly knew ye!

Bradky on February 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

The ones that measure nation-wide percentages are basically meaningless because the Presidential race is essentially 51 different contests

You mean 57 different contests, right?

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

BTW: when does Obama cave in to Catholics on the contraception mandate?

They’re probably now polling whether they can buy some women voters by issuing a new mandate that manicures and pedicures are healthcare that must be covered under all plans, not subject to co-pays or deductibles.

BuckeyeSam on February 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

People know Mitt very well now, and a majority of GOP voters can’t stand him, either.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I’m not sure that’s true for GOP voters, but I suspect it is true for the GOP donors and volunteers. And it may become true once Romney doesn’t have a 10:1 (or whatever it is) money and advertisement advantage over his opponent (i.e., if he makes it to the general against Obama).

besser tot als rot on February 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM

mountainaires on February 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Are you practicing for a career in public relations?

NotCoach on February 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I put nothing past the malevolent incompetence of this administration, but the one thing they are good at is winning elections for Obama.
ebrown2 on February 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I disagree with that narrative and am surprised at how pervasive it is.

Last presidential election, democrats had a sweet teleprompter talking, transparency promising, blank slate of a candidate, who hadn’t actually run anything but his mouth, and who benefited from an incumbent Bush with a 29% national approval rating, a perfectly timed pre election September economic collapse, and a foaming at the mouth obsessive media contagion Obama fan base.

This election…not so much….

Obama dragged his party out of the majority in the House of Representatives by historical margins, and nearly lost the Senate for them. Worst national Democratic legislative losses since 1928, thanks to Obama’s policies. A few months ago, his own Dems who are running for re election didn’t want to be seen within miles of him.

Unfortunately for Obama’s team, Obama with a record is now their candidate.

Cavalry on February 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Romney will beat Obama. At this point I’m not convinced Santorum wouldn’t beat him either.

therightwinger on February 27, 2012 at 11:28 AM

The base is going to stay home, rather than volunteer or vote, and keep their money in their pockets, rather than contribute to Romney (or the RNC or any GOP member that may ultimately give money to Romney, in my case). Romney is trying to win with independents while alienating his based. Good luck with that.

The only hope that Romney has is that Obama continues to look more and more like Hugo Chavez.

besser tot als rot on February 27, 2012 at 11:35 AM

President Bush ran as a compassionate conservative and he did it without placing enormous emphasis on his pro-life bona fides or his views on gay marriage

Bush ran as a strong national and social conservative promising to win the WoT and appoint conservative judges combined with a purposely unclear financial side.

This is traditionally the way conservatives win presidential elections. Santorum has taken a slightly strong stance on both the social and fin con side then Bush 43 did, but it looks like he is putting it together in a solid format to contrast with, and then beat, Obama.

Romney? He’s running as an echo to Obama which will only get worse if he makes it to the general election. It will be a replay of 2008, and it will end with the same result.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

– Mitt Romney, quoted by CBS News, when asked whether or not he follows NASCAR.

Can this stiff be more out of touch!

Danielvito on February 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

And people say that ØbozØ is out of touch.
geesh

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The base is going to stay home, rather than volunteer or vote, and keep their money in their pockets, rather than contribute to Romney

Well, if that is so, then the base is stupid, although I disagree that this is what will necessarily happen. A lot of Hillary supporters swore they would never ever support Obama (PUMAs), but, in the final analysis, they came out to vote for him. It’s too early to say what will happen. Plus, Romney is not at all umpopular with people who are not political junkies – most see him as a very presidential looking guy and know him as the guy who saved the Olympics. I realize that that cuts no ice with the conservative base, but it’s better than being known to the general public as the guy who wants to outlaw birth control.

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

If Obamacare is a drag, so too is Romneycare, the father. Willard is unelectable, folks. The usual suspects will always vote for Obama, and so too will a majority of the so called indies who are liberals too cowardly to identify themselves as such. Willard will not get the base, and he will lose.

Well said. Given a choice between a Dem-lite and a Dem, Romney will lose to Obama.

If you want to win the presidency as a Republican you have to show the contrasts between you and the Democrat.

We ran a Romney style campaign in 2008, 1996, and 1992.

We ran a Newt/Santorum style campaign in 2004, 1988, 1984, 1980.

So why on earth would we want to replay 2008 with Romney?

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I put nothing past the malevolent incompetence of this administration, but the one thing they are good at is winning elections for Obama.
ebrown2 on February 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I disagree with that narrative and am surprised at how pervasive it is.

Last presidential election, democrats had a sweet teleprompter talking, transparency promising, blank slate of a candidate, who hadn’t actually run anything but his mouth, and who benefited from an incumbent Bush with a 29% national approval rating, a perfectly timed pre election September economic collapse, and a foaming at the mouth obsessive media contagion Obama fan base.

This election…not so much….

Obama dragged his party out of the majority in the House of Representatives by historical margins, and nearly lost the Senate for them. Worst national Democratic legislative losses since 1928, thanks to Obama’s policies. A few months ago, his own Dems who are running for re election didn’t want to be seen within miles of him.

Unfortunately for Obama’s team, Obama with a record is now their candidate.

Cavalry on February 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Note that I said “for OBAMA,” not “for the Democratic Party.”
Bush had a low re-election margin in 2004 because he had the party help the R congress. Barry doesn’t care about the Dems.

ebrown2 on February 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

“Romney’s campaign strategy has employed a largely defensive game, focusing on not making any unforced errors or showstopping gaffes”

Romney’s committed plenty of gaffes.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I didn’t say Mitt ‘I don’t care about poor people’ Romney hasn’t made blunders and gaffes. I said he and his team consciously strive to avoid them. It’s about focus, preparation, and discipline. It isn’t necessary that Romney play the perfect no-blunder game. It’s only necessary he plays a better game (and makes fewer outright errors) than his primary opponents.

Remember Bachmann and her Gardasil gaffe? Remember just about every Perry appearance on the debate stage? How about Newt’s desperate class war strategy and his whiny response to the negative ads aimed his way?

Romney’s no-blunder strategy will probably work in the primaries against Santorum. However, if Romney wins the GOP nomination he won’t be able to rely on such a strategy against President Obama because the MSM will conspire to hide or obfuscate any errors or blunders the President might make. As I see it, the only way to beat President Obama and the Chicago Machine would be to beat them at their own game: attack, take chances, get vicious and personal–and do it all through surrogates, as Obama does.

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Well there goes Willard electability argument

liberal4life on February 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

If Obamacare is a drag, so too is Romneycare, the father. Willard is unelectable, folks. The usual suspects will always vote for Obama, and so too will a majority of the so called indies who are liberals too cowardly to identify themselves as such. Willard will not get the base, and he will lose.

Well said. Given a choice between a Dem-lite and a Dem, Romney will lose to Obama.

If you want to win the presidency as a Republican you have to show the contrasts between you and the Democrat.

We ran a Romney style campaign in 2008, 1996, and 1992.

We ran a Newt/Santorum style campaign in 2004, 1988, 1984, 1980.

So why on earth would we want to replay 2008 with Romney?

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Because heeeeessssss sooooooooo dreeaaaaaaammmmyyyyy! (rolls eyes)

ebrown2 on February 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I realize that that cuts no ice with the conservative base, but it’s better than being known to the general public as the guy who wants to outlaw birth control.

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Link?

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

And people say that ØbozØ is out of touch.

The Democrats have been preparing to run against Romney since 2010.

If he is our nominee he will be viewed as the epitome of an uncaring 1%er by the time the state media is done with him.

Essentially it will be two big government technocrats only one will be talking about how much he cares and the other talking about how firing is good for the economy.

It won’t be fair, but let’s face facts, there is a reason the Left wants Romney as the Republican nominee.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

As I see it, the only way to beat President Obama and the Chicago Machine would be to beat them at their own game: attack, take chances, get vicious and personal–and do it all through surrogates, as Obama does.

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I agree with this to a point. But the candidate to strains too much to appear above the fray will also look like a either a mannered phony or a feckless wimp.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

If he is our nominee he will be viewed as the epitome of an uncaring 1%er by the time the state media is done with him.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

By the Communist Party and the OWS crowd.

Since when we shouldn’t nominate a successful professional because the far-left hates success?

joana on February 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

How did Bush, and Santorum’s, social conservativism play in the 2004 presidential election?

How did McCain, and Romney’s, me-too liberalism lite play in the 2008 presidential election?

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Apples and oranges. Bush didn’t place the same emphasis on social issues nor talk about them the same way. Again, it’s not that Santy is a social con…it’s his particular brand of it.

And what Republican would’ve won in ’08?

changer1701 on February 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

This is traditionally the way conservatives win presidential elections. Santorum has taken a slightly strong stance on both the social and fin con side then Bush 43 did, but it looks like he is putting it together in a solid format to contrast with, and then beat, Obama.

Romney? He’s running as an echo to Obama which will only get worse if he makes it to the general election. It will be a replay of 2008, and it will end with the same result.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

“Santorum has taken a slightly strong[er] stance on both the social and fin con side then Bush 43 did…”

I’m sorry: a slightly stronger stance? And no, Santorum’s method–if he has a method–is not based on anything Bush 43 did or didn’t do. Santorum is the King of Social Conservatives and his stress on these issues in the middle of economic disaster is a recipe for disaster.

And no, conservatives don’t traditionally win elections by attempting to ride socially conservative issues into the White House. Reagan asked, ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’ He didn’t ask, ‘Don’t you think contraceptives are a bad thing?’

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Link?

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

There are tons of them. Of course, they twist his words and dishonestly protray his position, but the bottom line is that the average voter, who is not paying that much attention, has been led to believe that Santorum will make contraception illegal. And he has allowed this meme to grow and control his image by not having the discipline to avoid being drawn into arguments about it.

I don’t want to link to HuffPo or Salon or TPM, but all you have to do is a search for “Santorum outlaw birth control” and you’ll find ‘em.

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

As I see it, the only way to beat President Obama and the Chicago Machine would be to beat them at their own game: attack, take chances, get vicious and personal–and do it all through surrogates, as Obama does.

The Republican nominee won’t be able to mimic the left though. The candidate won’t be able to do to Obama what Romney did to Newt since neither Romney nor Santorum will have the money, and the State Media will not play along.

The Republican candidate has to be able to contrast himself with Obama on both policy and world view while keeping things positive, and use engaged conservative activitsts to help out.

Romney has never shown the ability to do any of these things. The strategy that has mostly worked for him so far will fail in the general election

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Well, if that is so, then the base is stupid, although I disagree that this is what will necessarily happen. A lot of Hillary supporters swore they would never ever support Obama (PUMAs), but, in the final analysis, they came out to vote for him. It’s too early to say what will happen. Plus, Romney is not at all umpopular with people who are not political junkies – most see him as a very presidential looking guy and know him as the guy who saved the Olympics. I realize that that cuts no ice with the conservative base, but it’s better than being known to the general public as the guy who wants to outlaw birth control.

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Sadly, this is very true of some voters. Vote on how a guy looks rather than what he stands for or what he has to say. Style over substance.

Bitter Clinger on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Obama support at it’s lowest when polled against Paul

Rasmussen: Paul 43% Obama 41%

Obama has more support when polled against Romney, Santorum or Gingrich:
Romney 45% Obama 43%
Obama 45% Santorum 43%
Obama 49% Gingrich 39%…

dom89031 on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Either Santorum or Romney, as severely flawed as they both are, would be vastly preferable to the communist tyrant we have now, but neither appears to have good political instincts — one is all too willing to take the bait on loaded, leading questions on the Sunday talk shows; and the other showing almost daily how painfully out of touch he is with the electorate with his tone-deaf patrician comments.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I’m sorry: a slightly stronger stance?

Bush 43, and 41 (at least in 88), and Reagan all ran on a pro-life platform and with Bush 43, anti-”gay marriage” as well.

McCain was foolish not to hit Obama on his abortion extremism, or force him to commit to a position on “gay marriage”.

Romney will make the same mistake because based on his record has no choice but to do so.

And this is actually a broad issue with Romney. He has sided with Obama on every issue of any import, at least at one point in his career, leaving him almost nothing to argue with Obama over.

Santorum, on the other hand, will be able to use his own positions to contrast himself with Obama. And given a choice between someone running as a credible conservative and a liberal, the public will always vote for the conservative (at least since 1964).

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Hell, I don’t need to search for anything; I’ve heard it from people I know in 3D. Mostly, I hear it from women. People honestly believe Santorum would urge Congress to outlaw access to contraceptives.

Not that he would, but I can’t support (in the primary-the general is something else altogether) someone who plays such a strong soc con car, inadvertently or deliberately.

Sorry, socons, I’m voting for Newt in the primary. In the general I’ll be voting for the elephant-shaped ham sandwich (ABO).

It’s my observation that society hates perfection. There’s a reason the saintly have been made into martyrs. The sinless make people feel inadequate and guilty and those that feel guilty lash out against the objects of their shame. Sad, but true. The indies will not vote for Santorum.

I have doubts as to whether they’ll vote for any of our candidates, but about Santorum I have no doubt whatsoever.

totherightofthem on February 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

soc con card not car. *sigh*

totherightofthem on February 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Since when we shouldn’t nominate a successful professional because the far-left hates success?
joana on February 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I can’t recall the last time Democrats haven’t attacked any Republican candidate as having too much success/money.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

By the Communist Party and the OWS crowd.

And the State Media. The State Media will tar either Romney or Santorum.

The thing is demonizing someone for being a conservative Catholic isn’t going to gain much traction, any more then demonizing Bush for being an evangelical worked.

But with Romney they’ve got a narrative they’ve been working on since 2010. And Romney hasn’t helped himself with his continual gaffes in this area.

And he is also open to the same sort of religious castigation as Santorum. The only difference is that the public understands Catholicism. With Mormonism, the State Media will control the narrative completely – painting Romney as a weirdo who hates black people.

None of this is to say it is fair. Romney is no more a “1%er” then Obama – culturally they are in the same class. And I am not worried about either Romney or Santorum’s religion. But the State Media is not going to be fair by any stretch.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I agree with this to a point. But the candidate to strains too much to appear above the fray will also look like a either a mannered phony or a feckless wimp.

Right Mover on February 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I dunno. No one doubts it was Obama and his people who orchestrated the disqualification of all of his opponents–Democrat, Republican, and third party–when he ran for state office. No one doubts it was he and his people who managed to unseal the sealed divorce records of Jack and Jeri Ryan and release those incriminating records to the press, thus paving the way for his hold on the US Senate seat that led to the presidency. Or the silencing of Tony Rezko, the Chicago political fixer. Or the sudden decision of Mayor Daley to not seek reelection. And so on. Yet somehow President Obama somehow doesn’t seem directly associated with any of these things.

In one-on-one debate and other means of national discourse, the eventual GOP nominee very needs to be presidential and above the fray. His attack dogs, on the other hand, need to be as vicious as they need to be: all that is legal is allowable. Senator McCain’s mistake in the last election was attempting to fight by Marquis de Queensbury rules. Meanwhile, the boys from Chicago were taking the good Marquis out back, beating him with lead pipes, and shoving his body in a trunk for later disposal.

No more nice, please.

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Bush 43, and 41 (at least in 88), and Reagan all ran on a pro-life platform and with Bush 43, anti-”gay marriage” as well.
McCain was foolish not to hit Obama on his abortion extremism, or force him to commit to a position on “gay marriage”.
18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I believe that’s a bit of revisionism; Reagan & the Bushes did not run as the moral crusader candidates.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM

“Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

– Mitt Romney, quoted by CBS News, when asked whether or not he follows NASCAR.

Can this stiff be more out of touch!

Danielvito on February 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Are you kidding me? He really said that?

Ugggh!

He has been running for President for 2 cycles now, at least 5 years, and he doesn’t know that is a terrible answer?

Wait until he gets the nomination and the media starts going after him.

You will notice that Santorum is put on the hotseat all the time and he has very few gaffes and maintains his composure. Rare for a Republican.

If Romney’s money knocks out Santorum, as his money and the liberal media knocked out all our other conservatives, then we deserve Obama.

Because I have very little faith in Romney. Same as Dole and McCain and we will have the same results. The media knows that.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.

We need to wake up. Santorum does not bring up religion and social issues. He has a great blue collar politics message for Independents and REagan Dems and swing states. They don’t care about social issues either way. He handles the media and attacks very well and is capable and intelligent and well spoken and much more likable than Romney.

Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I believe that’s a bit of revisionism; Reagan & the Bushes did not run as the moral crusader candidates.

With regard to the freedom of the individual for choice with regard to abortion, there’s one individual who’s not being considered at all. That’s the one who is being aborted. And I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.–Ronal Reagan

* Anderson-Reagan Presidential Debate (21 September 1980)

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Santorum does not bring up religion and social issues.
Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I think you’d have a hard time selling that; just yesterday he went on about how reading JFK’s religious views makes him want to hurl.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Santorum does not bring up religion and social issues.
Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I think you’d have a hard time selling that; just yesterday he went on about how reading JFK’s religious views makes him want to hurl.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

You proved my point. He didn’t bring it up.

He was talking economics and jobs.

The interviewers bring it up. He handles it all well and always has good and reasonable answers when they do.

Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Oh, and to continue on, Reagan actually wrote a book, published in 1983 about his opposition to abortion.

http://www.amazon.com/Abortion-Conscience-Nation-New-issue/dp/0964112531

I believe the only book published by a sitting president.

18-1 on February 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

He [Santorum] handles the media and attacks very well and is capable and intelligent and well spoken and much more likable than Romney.

Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

What’s life like in your universe? In this universe, where I live, Rick Santorum is a thin-skinned, whiny, self-righteous, insufferable prig. Is Joe Biden smart in your universe? Up down, down up? Does gravity work? Did the Cubs win the Series?

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM

There are tons of them. Of course, they twist his words and dishonestly protray his position, but the bottom line is that the average voter, who is not paying that much attention, has been led to believe that Santorum will make contraception illegal. And he has allowed this meme to grow and control his image by not having the discipline to avoid being drawn into arguments about it.

I don’t want to link to HuffPo or Salon or TPM, but all you have to do is a search for “Santorum outlaw birth control” and you’ll find ‘em.

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM

My point. Perpetuated by even Republicans through repetition. And we’re not in the mood to set the record straight except for our guy.

hawkdriver on February 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Any day now, I figure Romney will provoke Santorum in some way–probably through a surrogate–causing Santorum to give way to impulse, react unthinkingly, say something reckless and irrevocable, and lose.

That’s already happened. Romney hit him in the last debate with his support of unions and Arlen Specter, and Santorum outed himself as a team player with less courage than he claims, rather than a team captain. He then proceeded to stray off into sectarian theology, which is odious to many, and contraception, which hasn’t been an issue, and even further off into the weeds trying to link Romney with the “Occupy” movement and wild accusations of collusion with Ron Paul. He’s toast– the polls and pundits just haven’t all quite caught up to it yet.

Confutus on February 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Santorum does not bring up religion and social issues.
Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I think you’d have a hard time selling that; just yesterday he went on about how reading JFK’s religious views makes him want to hurl.
whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

You proved my point. He didn’t bring it up.
He was talking economics and jobs.
The interviewers bring it up. He handles it all well and always has good and reasonable answers when they do.
Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM

He certainly seems capable of going off on the “Satan’s coming after the USA” without any encouragement.
But even if it were a case of being baited, it’s not a good sign when a person takes it hook line and sinker & goes with it.
And I’m not sure that voters exactly view “JFK makes me wanna barf” as all that good and reasonable – or very Presidential. If you look at Santorum’s numbers you can see the slide as such things have their cumulative effect.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

We need to wake up. Santorum does not bring up religion and social issues. He has a great blue collar politics message for Independents and REagan Dems and swing states. They don’t care about social issues either way. He handles the media and attacks very well and is capable and intelligent and well spoken and much more likable than Romney.

Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

What’s life like in your universe? In this universe, where I live, Rick Santorum is a thin-skinned, whiny, self-righteous, insufferable prig. Is Joe Biden smart in your universe? Up down, down up? Does gravity work? Did the Cubs win the Series?

troyriser_gopftw on February 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM

My universe over here in NJ is the world of Independents and Reagan Dems who voted for Obama last time. They are my family members, friends and neighbors here in NJ.

These people don’t like a candidate who brings up social issues all the time (which Santorum doesn’t do) and get sick of the media bringing it up all the time with a candidate (which they do)and they poll more liberal on social issues than we conservatives do.

But in the end, THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES EITHER WAY. They care about and vote pocketbook issues over social issues way every time.

they don’t like Obama now because of the economy and jobs. They also want to like their President. Romney is boring and will be portrayed as the Wall Street type who is responsible for our problems. Santorum is that likable (not obnoxious type) and intelligent nerd from high school who helps you with your homework.

General election voters care about likability. Romney doesn’t do it.

Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Oh..the really reckless and irrevocable one is his claim that JFK’s religious liberty speech made him want to hurl. On reading the quote, I think JFK went a little too far…after all, peoples are both citizens and churchgoers and their opinions can’t always be cleanly separated, but politically, to say that the concept of separation of church and state makes him want to vomit is a self-inflicted mortal wound.

Confutus on February 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM

You proved my point. He didn’t bring it up.
He was talking economics and jobs.
The interviewers bring it up. He handles it all well and always has good and reasonable answers when they do.
Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM

He certainly seems capable of going off on the “Satan’s coming after the USA” without any encouragement.
But even if it were a case of being baited, it’s not a good sign when a person takes it hook line and sinker & goes with it.
And I’m not sure that voters exactly view “JFK makes me wanna barf” as all that good and reasonable – or very Presidential. If you look at Santorum’s numbers you can see the slide as such things have their cumulative effect.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Again, they dragged something from 4 years ago up. He didn’t talk about Satan this year. And most voters (conservative and Independents) will agree with what he said about evil and this country in a religious setting, not a campaign.

He doesn’t go after the bait. He explains himself well and moves on.

Some of the things JFK said in that election made me want to vomit too. Some of it was OK. But JFK went too far in saying that religion has to stay completely away from politics.

Santorum sounded fine to me yesterday. Voters won’t think him unPresidential. Actually, he comes off as classy, reasonable, capable and intelligent and well spoken and nice – Presidential.

but I agree that Romney’s money and the liberal media attacks have taken their toll right now in the primary. In the general, people will want to move on and won’t pay attention to old news.

Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 1:33 PM

That’s already happened. Romney hit him in the last debate with his support of unions and Arlen Specter, and Santorum outed himself as a team player with less courage than he claims, rather than a team captain. He then proceeded to stray off into sectarian theology, which is odious to many, and contraception, which hasn’t been an issue, and even further off into the weeds trying to link Romney with the “Occupy” movement and wild accusations of collusion with Ron Paul. He’s toast– the polls and pundits just haven’t all quite caught up to it yet.

Confutus on February 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM

An excellent point. Santorum did not have to answer Romney’s accusations the way that he did. For example, with the Arlen Specter endorsement, he could have simply brushed it off as ridiculous and irrelevant…as it happened, he accepted Romney’s premise and then went on to relate a conversation with Specter, that Specter denied the next day. He does not seem to understand the first rule of holes, and he kept digging every time.

Priscilla on February 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

He didn’t talk about Satan this year.

Ah, but it’s just one piece in the ongoing puzzle. It’s part of the context that he keeps playing into

Some of the things JFK said in that election made me want to vomit too. Some of it was OK. But JFK went too far in saying that religion has to stay completely away from politics.
Santorum sounded fine to me yesterday. Voters won’t think him unPresidential. Actually, he comes off as classy, reasonable, capable and intelligent and well spoken and nice – Presidential.

Eh. If you’re solidly in his corner it naturally would sound good to you. But going after dead presidents, especially one who has been idolized and who’s murder we’ll be observing on it’s 50th anniversary next year, just wasn’t a bright move. There’s just not a whole lot of JFK hatred left in the country that will result in huge voter affirmation by way of votes. The “makes me wanna throw up” shtick is just embarrassing. Sounds more like a line you’d expect to hear in some teen movie.

but I agree that Romney’s money and the liberal media attacks have taken their toll right now in the primary. In the general, people will want to move on and won’t pay attention to old news.
Elisa on February 27, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Not really – in a general election, the raps against the candidates are always recycled. Santorum, though he likely won’t get that far, will have to keep addressing these issues over and over again. Just as Romney expects Newt’s class-war/anti-free enterprise OWS-inspired attacks would be recycled against him in a general election.

whatcat on February 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

and the Mitts still think that Santorum is unelectable. Hahahaha.

Decoski on February 28, 2012 at 1:42 AM

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