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Republican primary thoughts: Was this Rick Santorum’s coming out party?

February 8, 2012

  Last night there were three contests in the Republican presidential primary–Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri–and it turned out to be a huge night for Rick Santorum. This was a devastating night for Mitt Romney and should be a huge boost for Rick Santorum heading into the next contests. The completeness of Mitt Romney’s defeat can be found in the margin by which Rick Santoum won; it is true that these were non-binding contests, but nonetheless the Mitt Romney camp has to be a little nervous this morning.

  Rick Santorum was predicted to have a good night beforehand, but nobody expected it to go this well and I think it is partly a referendum on Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as people are still looking for an alternative to Mitt Romney and are tiring of the bickering between he and Newt Gingrich.

    The closest contest was in Colorado, where Rick Santorum defeated Mitt Romney by six points, but this was the one state last night that Mitt Romney  was expected to win and he didn’t. Missouri handed Mitt Romney a healthy defeat; Rick Santorum won by thirty points, 55%-25%. But the biggest loss of the night for Mitt Romney was in Minnesota where he finished a distant third with only 17% of the vote, while Rick Santorum gathered 45% and Ron Paul hauled in 27%.

  So the questions are, can Rick Santorum capitalize on this huge night and does he now have momentum which could carry him into Super Tuesday? He still has two problems–and they are major problems–money and organization. The money problem could be cured with a night such as he had last night; he should expect to see donations start coming in, especially if he receives a bump in the polls. The organization problem is not so easily fixed at this point; although he might start to see more people volunteer to help him, he still isn’t on the ballot in several states and it goes without saying that this is a major setback for him.

  Besides people tiring of the Romney/Gingrich spat, Romney’s feeling that he is entitled to be the nominee, and Gingrich’s oft-times nastiness, there may be one other issue at play here in Rick Santorum’s victory last night. Last week the Obama regime announced it would force religious institutions which provided their workers with health insurance to comply with Obamacare and offer plans which included funding for contraception and abortion. This has riled many Christian denominations, none more so than the Catholic church, and Rick Santorum just happens to be a devout Catholic so this issue is personal to him and fits right in his wheelhouse, and could have given him a boost last night and heading forward.

  Popular thought with the pundits after Florida was that this race was shaping up nicely for Mitt Romney as all the states could be friendly ground, while being trouble for Newt Gingrich, but they didn’t count on Rick Santorum’s rise, after his big win in Nevada Mitt Romney stumbled in these three states last night and if Rick Santorum can make any hay on Super Tuesday Mitt Romney could be in the fight for his political life.

  Mitt Romney’s inevitability took a hit last night and you can rest assured that the attack ads are going to be focused on Rick Santorum next.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. MTBirkmire permalink
    February 8, 2012 10:45 am

    I will be thrilled to vote for Rick Santorum, I was very pleased to hear that he took time from campaigning to be with his daughter in the hospital. What a great guy, now the left will be ripping him apart, I hope he lets them have it!


    • February 8, 2012 9:04 pm

      It won’t only be the left tearing him apart because Romney has already started. Romney actually said that Santorum wasn’t a true conservative, as if Romney is!


  2. bunkerville permalink
    February 8, 2012 10:46 am

    It was a nice surprise. It added some interest to the whole debacle. Sarah was right once again in encouraging the race to continue.


    • February 8, 2012 9:05 pm

      It sure does make things interesting moving forward! I think people are tiring of the Mitt/Newt spat and are starting to look elsewhere.


  3. Deb permalink
    February 8, 2012 11:20 am

    That’s FOUR and counting. I know that being a Christian is not popular in the media, but it seems to be a ‘solid foundation’ among the heart of the country! Who is ‘not-Mitt’? Apparently it’s NOT Newt.


    • February 8, 2012 9:07 pm

      Yep, anytime someone gets close to Mitt the media tears them apart and Santorum should be expecting this as well. Mitt has been annointed by the establishment an in the media but people are starting to wake up to this little ploy.


  4. February 8, 2012 11:41 am

    I don’t know about Santorum’s economic policies but it is time for the rich conservatives and all conservatives to get behind one candidate. As you said so well, Rick is going to need a lot of money and organization to beat Romney.
    Here’s hoping!


    • February 8, 2012 9:10 pm

      For awhile Santorum and Gingrich were splitting the conservative vote, which I found interesting because Gingrich is a big government guy and is not as conservative as he is claiming, but I think people are starting to see Gingrich as a grumpy, meanspirited person and perhaps people will peal off of him and head into the Santorum camp.


  5. William McCullough permalink
    February 8, 2012 12:00 pm

    The possibility of Santorum being the dark horse candidate may not seem probable at the moment. But given Romney’s advance coronation by the the RHINOs and Newt’s silly rants, Santorum stands out as the only one, with the exception of Ron Paul as a man who stand unflinchingly on principle rather than show boat hyperbole.

    With that said I don’t believe Paul stands a chance at nomination and I’m guessing is no favorite of most delegates. That leaves us Santorum who seems consistent in holding up our rights to unencumbered economic prosperity and religion.

    It would be a fresh breath of air to have a President who is up to the job intended by the founding fathers and not subordinate to the interest of spoilers like Soros and Buffet and a guilt ridden affectation called political correctness….WM


    • lou222 permalink
      February 8, 2012 1:01 pm

      I think that Dr. Paul is an honest person, but people don’t like his foreign policy. However, he will protect our country, HERE. He just doesn’t think we need to be spread all over the world. I know we don’t need to be in 100+ countries. How many bases do we have? 600? Why? He, at least has not back pedaled on issues, like alot of the candidates have. I do not want Romney and Gingrich, right now is not the time for him. That leaves Santorum. I don’t agree with all that he supports, but with a choice between him and Romney, Santorum has my vote. William, wanting a President doing the job intended by the founding fathers seems like an unattainable feat, doesn’t it? People like Soros and Buffet need to stay out of politics. I am tired of someone making the decision for who I will vote for. Last time I checked, we were still a free country that still can make personal decisions without being “told” what to do. That is slowly slipping away, we best put a stop to it now.


      • February 8, 2012 9:15 pm

        Paul also recently compared people who want to close the Mexian border to the Nazis while pandering to a Hispanic group, and this may be the final nail in his presidential coffin.


    • February 8, 2012 9:13 pm

      I think that Newt did himself in with his attack ad on Romney about Holocaust survivors and people who were thinking about him may now back Santorum. If this happens money should start to flow in to Santorum and he may just be the only one left who can beat Romney.


  6. Earle Andrews permalink
    February 8, 2012 12:37 pm

    Great articlle Steve , substantive content.The way all reporting should be.


  7. William McCullough permalink
    February 8, 2012 1:26 pm

    Lou – exactly my point. The Libertarian agenda with regards to foreign policy is out of step with the majority American opinion. However, I agree we don’t need bases in Europe. NATO is nothing more than a shopping list for European defense needs – at the expense of the American people.

    Germany with the most vibrant economy in Europe does not need our bases to support their economy. Air bases throughout the underbelly of Europe and in the middle are probably the only valid defense capability needed in that region which is a tinder box.

    As for Afghanistan it is a crossroads between Iran, Pakistan, China and the “Stan” countries to the north. Our presence their is a sham. The only thing we are protecting is one gang of thugs from another as well as the untold profits of the international bankers who make billions from laundering investments for the regions current despots and the drug war lords.

    One other consideration besides Pakistan is that our presence is protecting eastern China which is helping its campaign against Muslim insurgency in it’s eastern provinces.

    Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch there have been contingencies in place to neutralize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal for a number of years. Add to that India, which is militarily superior to Pakistan has it’s own contingencies in place.

    We need to get back to our immediate needs. Then maybe we can cure the ills of the rest of the world. Just my opinion….WM


  8. lou222 permalink
    February 8, 2012 2:35 pm

    Of course it is “at the expense of the American people”. I might add that we need to get the UN out of the USA and let someone else foot the bill on that, as well. Seems that “we the people” are always being taken advantage of. We do not need to be in these other countries, but there are other reasons that we are there, that are not told to the people here. We believe as we are told, we are programmed to believe, because the government would never lie to us. As you said, we need to take care of our immediate needs. When something happens here, how many countries come to OUR aid? I will tell you, very few. We have turned our backs on our allies and bent over backwards for those that make demands of us and then stab us in the back, and still we give them more. When do we learn? We can not cure the ills of the rest of the world. It has never been up to us to do that. They have their own governments and officials, but to hear our government tell it, they are like children that need to be taken care of. Many of these countries are much better off than us. That is where our money goes. It needs to stay here and take care of our own.
    OT, I guess I know that my father, who died in 1999 would be very disappointed with the administration and the road it has taken. He believed in the good of this country and it sure has taken another path. He served in WWII as a radio operator and a police officer the rest of his life. He was sure we were the greatest country on earth. Can we say that now? Not sure. He, during school had to memorize The Gettsyburg Address and just a few days before he died at almost 80, with dementia, recited it for me. I guess it meant something to him to stay locked tight in his memory to be able to do that. I hope we have that strength of character that the WWII men and women had to stand up to evil and we are looking at it now.


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