Meanwhile, he’s steady as a rock. For all of Gingrich’s and Romney’s vaunted debating skills, both of them have put forth at least two real clunkers of debate performances. Santorum hasn’t had a single bad debate or a single major stumble, and his reviews have become only more favorable with each contest. In a race where the economic lay of the land disfavors the incumbent, flash matters less than solidity in a challenger. It probably won’t require some sort of game-changing debate performance for a Republican to defeat Obama — but a game-changing gaffe or embarrassment could well lose it. Of all the Republican candidates, Santorum has shown himself the least prone to such gaffes…

It’s also hard to find a major national conservative leader who thinks poorly of Santorum. (Gingrich is just the opposite.) While they haven’t endorsed, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, William Bennett, and NR’s own Rich Lowry and Kathryn Lopez are among the many who have had plenty of kind things to say about him. He could unify the Right, whereas the viciously bitter fights between Romney and Gingrich make it very clear that large numbers of Republican activists feel too passionately against one of the other two to lend any real assistance if their disfavored candidate gets the nomination.