President Santorum

toles01042012 President Santorum

Despite spending millions and years running for his party’s nomination during the current election cycle, Mitt Romney’s campaign fizzled in Iowa last night, like a wet fire cracker. Rick Santorum, an undistinguished former senator from PA, a back-bencher, emerged as the strongest contender to upset Romney’s run for the presidency. Santorum’s personal narrative resonates with the 99 percent unlike Romney, who was born into the1%. Santorum’s second place finish trumped Romney’s tactical victory: Kernstown.

But last night’s victory could prove pyrrhic – for it underlines Romney’s problem with conservatives. An estimated two thirds of caucus-goers were self-described Tea Party supporters. Bearing that in mind, consider the following facts about Romney’s “win”:
- He came within eight votes of being beaten by Rick Santorum, a candidate who barely registers in the national polls
- He actually received 6 fewer votes than he did in 2008 (when he lost the caucus to a former preacher)
- He won only 17 counties out of a possible 99. Santorum took 63
- He spent roughly $113 per vote. Santorum spent only $1.65
- 75 percent of the caucus voted against the winner

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100127212/romneys-tainted-iowa-win-suggests-the-republican-race-might-run-longer-than-expected/

110223 rick santorum ap 328 President Santorum

Ron Paul’s candidacy is more movement than a viable campaign. Rick Perry flamed out weeks ago.

Michelle Bachmann is in a tail spin while Huntsman has never been a factor. His candidacy could die in New Hampshire where he has planted his flag. Newt Gingrich will certainly continue the contest and pour vitriol upon Romney, telling the truth about Romney’s record, weakening his presidential bid. This perfect storm may kill Romney in the South as Santorum glides along because he is certain to pick up support: money and votes.

iowa poll President Santorum

Just a couple of weeks ago, Santorum was regarded by the punditry as a non-factor due to his poll numbers. Today, he’s the latest and last flavor of the month. Baptist distaste for Romney’s Mormonism, his deserved persona as a flip-flopper, and specious conservative credentials will not translate into strong support in the South. Santorum will be able to position himself as the Romney anti-dote; unlike Gingrich, Santorum will be attractive to independents and Reagan Democrats. He will be perceived as electable, the O’drama anti-dote.

“Which means what we have now is a two-candidate race for the nomination, with a solid leader in Mitt Romney and one remaining sort-of-viable long-shot, Rick Santorum.“


www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/iowa-winnows-the-field/2012/01/03/gIQA1dpVZP_blog.html

Iowa caucuses leave two key questions unanswered

By Dan Balz, Published: January 3 | Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 12:14 AM

DES MOINES — Through most of the past year, the two main questions about the Republican nomination campaign were who would emerge as the most viable challenger to Mitt Romney and whether Republicans could learn to love the former Massachusetts governor. With the results from Iowa’s caucuses now tallied, those questions still have no answers.

The close finish here among Romney, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) could be a blessing for the former governor. Although Santorum and Paul proved the doubters wrong with their strong showings Tuesday, neither appears to have the capability yet to go the distance in a long nomination contest.

The candidates who many GOP strategists once believed might be able to give Romney a run — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) — badly trailed the leaders. Romney advisers have been saying privately over the past few days that any outcome putting Gingrich and Perry in the lower half of the field would be ideal, no matter the order of finish among the top three.

But Romney’s lackluster percentage underscored the absence of enthusiasm among many Republicans for the candidate long seen as the party’s likeliest nominee. Despite being the nominal front-runner for the past year and judged overwhelmingly by Iowa Republicans as having the best chance of defeating President Obama in November, Romney did no better Tuesday than he did four years ago.

The results did little to damage Romney’s prospects of winning the nomination, though. He is well-funded, and he has a strong campaign team, a sharp focus on Obama and the economy, and a willingness to go after anyone he sees as a threat.

Gingrich and Perry both felt the power of his political machinery. Santorum, if he is judged to be a true threat, will soon feel it too, whether from Romney’s campaign directly or from the “super PAC” that is backing his candidacy and that poured millions into attacks against Gingrich.

Santorum’s showing in Iowa was impressive, but it is important to note that he managed to avoid being attacked by any of his rivals, which will not be the case going forward.

Romney will arrive in New Hampshire on Wednesday morning as the prohibitive favorite to win its primary next Tuesday. If he can come close to the margin he has enjoyed in the most recent polls there, he will have a clean victory. But because presidential candidates from Massachusetts are expected to do well in the Granite State, the value of a Romney victory would be limited.

Instead, the next real battleground will be South Carolina, whose Jan. 21 primary now shapes up as a major test for all the candidates, followed by Florida on Jan. 31. Romney did poorly in South Carolina four years ago and, in a state with a reputation for rough-and-tumble Republican politics, his rivals will be lying in wait for him.

Santorum can claim that he is the conservative alternative to Romney, given that his under-funded and hugely underestimated campaign surprised nearly everyone on Tuesday. He closed out his campaign in Iowa by asking voters to ignore the political pundits who said he had no chance and to do what Iowans have long done — be the first to tell the rest of the country what to think about presidential candidates.

Santorum’s best hope in South Carolina is for the other candidates to fade quickly, leaving him a clear opportunity to take on Romney directly. A crowded field in that state dividing up the most conservative portion of the electorate would only be another bit of good luck for Romney.

Paul doubled his strength in Iowa, compared with four years ago, with a tea party message of shrinking government and radically cutting spending. Some Republican leaders call him a fringe candidate, but he is now a force that the party may not be able to ignore. Though he espouses views outside the GOP mainstream on foreign policy and some domestic issues, he showed the power of that message Tuesday by bringing independents into the caucuses and demonstrating strong support from young voters.

Paul’s strength among independents in Iowa raises a cautionary flag for Romney in New Hampshire, where independents often play a more significant role than in Iowa. A surge of independents for Paul could hold down Romney’s margin and make his expected victory look less handsome.

Santorum, too, has vowed to campaign hard in New Hampshire. He has spent considerable time there, as he did in Iowa. His diligence paid huge dividends on Tuesday, but he will need all the help he can get to translate that into a strong showing against Romney a week from now.

New Hampshire also will be decisive for former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr., who skipped Iowa to concentrate his efforts there. He also is counting on independent voters, though perhaps not of the same philosophical views as Paul’s libertarian followers.

Iowa’s role in past campaigns has not been to project the eventual nominee. Instead, the Hawkeye State has helped to winnow the field. But Tuesday’s results provide an incentive to most of the candidates to keep going.

The top three finishers can claim one form of victory or another, but even two of those who placed out of the money — Gingrich and Perry — could find reasons to keep their hopes alive. Gingrich said he will keep going, but Perry said in his concession speech that he will return to Texas to reassess his candidacy.

“With the voters’ decision tonight, I’ve decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race,” he said.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who won the Iowa straw poll in August but was in single digits Tuesday, may also have to rethink the viability of her candidacy.

Even before Iowa’s results were tabulated Tuesday night, the state of play in the next three states to vote was anything but clear. Romney has held a strong and steady lead in New Hampshire, which his campaign has long seen as his place to rebound from any disappointment in Iowa. Paul has been running second there.

South Carolina has held the decisive primary in Republican presidential races dating back three decades, but the terrain there is likely to change quickly on the basis of Iowa’s results. The most recent polls put Gingrich at the top of the field, followed by Romney. But those polls were taken before the former speaker began to plummet nationally.

Romney has looked stronger in South Carolina in this campaign, but the state still presents a serious challenge, particularly if one candidate begins to consolidate the conservative vote there.

Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign began airing a television ad Tuesday in Florida. It was a sign of both the significance his team places on the Sunshine State and its determination to use its resources to gain an early edge on whoever Romney’s principal challenger is by the primary at the end of the month.

Whether the nomination contest will end quickly or drag on was unanswered by Iowa. Romney’s advisers clearly believe they are in a strong position now to win. But questions about their candidate’s ability to rally the party will be left to voters in other states to answer.

cbl55
1:51 AM EST
The real story of this caucus is not who’s up, who’s down and who’s tied. This is another example of the Post’s fascination with the most superficial of outcomes (the caucus doesn’t even determine delegates – but you wouldn’t know that by reading Balz.) The larger story is how many people participated – about 120,000. In 2008, the Republican caucus attracted about 190,000 – a record turnout for several decades. This suggests that the GOP is mostly smoke and no fire. But it also counsels the party to seek moderates, not loonies frothing at the mouth. Romney’s SOLE attribute here is that he’s not crazy and not a ‘bomb thrower’ to paraphrase Papa Bush. If I were the GOP, I’d start reconciling myself to that fact – or face marginalization come November.

merganser
1:14 AM EST
The true verdict is that once again the majority that is moderate America is the big loser. Romney is a phony, plain and simple, who will say whatever it takes to win, and then who knows what we will have. Santorum, I give him credit for being honest and decent, but his reactionary social policies would set this country back 50 years. Paul is far too strident and cannot keep from running with truly radical economic ideas that would set this country back 150 years.
So, that leaves Obama. Yet, Romney and Santorum are right in one respect, he has been a fiscal disaster and does want this country to become like a western European state where government is far too involved in its citizens’ lives.
Moderate Majority loses yet again.

Samster2
1:42 AM EST
You are grossly incorrect. Obama has not been a fiscal disaster. If there is a fiscal disaster at all (It isn’t a disaster at all and has nothing to do with our economic downturn) it occurred because of Bush tax cuts and spending on disastrous Bush neocon wars. Obama’s health care policy has gone a long way toward averting a real and predictable disaster that would occur as an increasing fraction of US GDP is spent on health care. The best policy would have been single payer health insurance.

JohnHC
1:00 AM EST
As it has all along, the Republican field continues to look weak and silly taken altogether or as individuals.

reporter1
2:12 AM EST
Only a Republican candidate could declare victory after 75 percent of the voters chose someone else.

kdawgSW
1/3/2012 11:47 PM EST
So Ron Paul is doing well. He’s the most consistent of all candidates. He’s rock solid on his convictions and who he is. So all I have to do is ignore how ineffective he is. Of 260 bills Paul has proposed, only 4 have even come to a vote. Only one was ever adopted. But, he’s got his convictions! Just forget the fact that he’s 99.7% ineffective.
Sorry, I will take a pragmatic political problem solver over the man willing to die on his own sword!

DCSage11
1/3/2012 11:10 PM EST
The Mormon’s real strategy was to go to the Bush clan and ask for their blessing. The Bush clan are kingmakers in the do-nothing party of no, and any blessing from the mob will include the Bushes attack dog for life Karl Rove and his super PAC. The primaries are a side show.
The primaries are already decided by the the Bush clan and they have already unleased their bird dog, Karl Rove on millionaire lobbyist Newt Gingrich with attack ads in Iowa that would better fit in a sewer. The Bushes don’t give a hoot about the rubes voting in primaries, they are the gangsters and they will decide who wins the nomination of the do-nothing party of no.

kdawgSW
1/3/2012 10:57 PM EST
Evangelicals aren’t merely interested in moral character. They are really only willing to look at Evangelical moral character. Romney has moral character. The sad reality is that the Evangelicals, as a group, are less inclusive than the Mormons. There is no legitimate reason to not vote Romney except his religion. He’s the most likely candidate to beat Obama. What other reason could there be?

jhoward3431
1/3/2012 10:59 PM EST
If you remember how republicans skewered Kery for flip flopping, they may have the same issue with Romney.

He was fer it before he were agin it

kdawgSW
1/3/2012 11:06 PM EST
Call me ignorant, but I just view his flip-flopping as grasping for and ultra-right wing conservative base. If one investigates how he makes decisions, he’s a hard core pragmatist. Pragmatists, by their very nature flip-flop, because times changes and the specifics of a given situation change. If the Reps are serious about beating Obama, the Reps need a hard core centrist to win. Of course, the Reps can wait five more years and just produce theatre for this election.

Samster2
1/3/2012 10:49 PM EST
WaPo wrote: “Will Romney’s strategy pay off?”

You mean flip-flopping?

Looks like Iowa wants the crazy religious zealot anyhow. ROFLMAO.

All aboard the GOP clown-car. It’s Santorum’s turn behind the wheel. Over the cliff you go.

xclntcat
1/3/2012 6:40 PM EST
The spotlight is on Romney? Well to date, none of the clowns in the clown care fare very well under the spotlight.

LETFREEDOMRING2
1/3/2012 6:17 PM EST
Obama hates rich folks when he is in Washington but loves them so much he pays fifty grand a week to be with them in Honolulu and Martha’s Vineyard.
Hates Chicago cause it’s cold and its damp, that why Obama is a scamp.

WendilynnK
1/3/2012 11:23 PM EST
oh good grief… what are you people smoking? Can’t you afford the good stuff at least?

The fact that you cannot see that both parties are the same thing is beyond me. They both do the same exact things and then point the finger at the other side and pretend they don’t also do it. They are both the party of big business, this has been evident for years.


www.washingtonpost.com/politics/its-caucus-day-and-the-spotlight-is-on-mitt-romney/2012/01/03/gIQAfkudYP_story.html

Alexis de Tocqueville observed:

“I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.”

http://napoleonlive.info/politics/mitt-romney-bain-capital-2012-election/

President Santorum

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About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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