Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things could be worse. You could be Rick Santorum

                                                    Photo credit:AP/John Raoux

John L. Micek
, Harrisburg State House reporter for The Morning Call, asks whether Rick Santorum could benefit from Chris Christie's exit from the GOP presidential primary--a race that the New Jersey governor has dominated in recent weeks without ever formally entering.

"How many Pennsylvania GOP types might throw their support to the hometown guy now that they know that the Garden State Gov is out of the race? " he muses.

John provides an indirect answer by pointing us to The Republican no one wants to love in which Salon editor Steve Kornacki writes:
In the grand scheme of things, there’s not much surprising about the fact that Santorum is currently the preferred choice of 2 percent of likely Republican voters. From the beginning, everyone knew his campaign was a long shot. If you’d said a year ago that Santorum would enter October 2011 running dead last and barely registering in national polls, that probably would have sounded about right.
But this doesn’t do justice to Santorum’s plight. Because no one a year ago knew that the GOP race would be defined by the chaotic, unstructured and almost random volatility that we’ve seen — volatility that has allowed virtually every candidate in the race to enjoy at least a few weeks of apparent momentum in the polls. Except for Santorum. 
Why? Kornacki speculates that it may track back to the two-term U.S. Senate incumbent's crushing, 18-point loss in 1996 to Bob Casey. Or to the possibility that even Republican insiders who agree with Santorum's positions "are conditioned to view his White House campaign as the political equivalent of a midlife crisis."

Whatever the reason, Kornacki concludes:
It’s got to be maddening for Santorum. He spent two terms in the Senate and he’s nearly killing himself doing all the things a presidential candidate is supposed to do. Plus, he’s running in a Republican race that’s almost comically wide open. But his party’s voters continue to send him the same message over and over: Anyone but you.

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