Santorum was doing pretty damn good in the republican primaries until the GOP establishment squashed him when he became a threat to the preselected annointed one, Mitt Romney
Go back and look at recent histroy
2% would not have been the margin. Obama would have won by 7-10%.
He, Rick Santorum, lost because the voice of GOP primary voters was cast, and it wasn’t for him by majority, it ended up going to Romney instead.
As for Nationally, who are you thinking, Gingrich? Santorum? Cain? All of these people had either such poor organizational skills, poor appeal to women, or stupid abortion/rape rants that they would lose more handily than Romney did. The problem is an increasingly taker electorate, combined, with a “Howard Stern” electorate.