Skip to comments.Is Rick Santorum the logical conservative alternative? (To Mitt Romney)
Posted on 02/01/2012 3:16:59 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Last night, a number of people on Twitter pointed out that Mitt Romney didn’t get a majority of the Florida primary vote and claimed that combining the percentages of all other competitors showed that he could still be stopped. I pointed out earlier that this assumes everyone wouldn’t vote for Romney as a second choice, which polling shows to be false (he was second among second choices in Florida), but let’s put that aside for a moment. To whom should conservatives look as the consolidation candidate? After watching Newt Gingrich lose two debates and suffer a steep reversal of fortunes in Florida, some look to Rick Santorum, such as Andrew Malcolm, who wonders if Gingrich has worn out his welcome:
In an amazingly graceless non-concession concession speech after not phoning the victor out of common competitive courtesy, Gingrich chose to talk not about minor matters such as how he proposes to win the Nov. 6 national general election against $1 billion.
No. Instead, Gingrich described in great detail what all he is already planning to do and sign during his first day in the Oval Office, in between taking the presidential oath and numerous inaugural parties.
After a humiliating defeat, Gingrich spoke of a two-man race, assuming his own GOP nomination and general election victories. Big ideas? Try loony ideas. The guy is living in a parallel universe.
Now, Gingrich takes his campaign to Nevada, the state with the most foreclosures in the nation, where he has three days to explain what he did for that $1.6 million that mortgage giant Freddie Mac paid him.
Jeffrey Anderson at The Weekly Standard looks at the numbers ahead:
In Missouri, where the next Republican primary will take place (next Tuesday), a new poll by PPP shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by 11 percentage points 45 to 34 percent while Ron Paul has 13 percent support. Newt Gingrich isnt on the ballot in Missouri, so the Show Me State offers a prime opening for Santorum to build on his earlier victory in neighboring Iowa.
Perhaps even more encouraging for Santorum are the candidates respective favorability ratings among prospective primary voters in the state. Santorums net favorability rating is +42 percent (63 percent favorable to 21 percent unfavorable), compared to +10 percent for Romney (46 percent favorable to 36 percent unfavorable). (Pauls net favorability rating is minus-29 percent 28 percent favorable to 57 percent unfavorable.)
Those aren’t the only numbers that suggest that Santorum could stand up better to Romney than Gingrich. PPP polling in key upcoming states show that Santorum challenges Romney more strongly in Ohio as well as Missouri:
Rick Santorum is leading the way for next week’s ‘beauty contest’ primary in Missouri with 45% to 34% for Romney, and 13% for Ron Paul. Newt Gingrich is not on the ballot for that, but he will be in the picture for Missouri’s caucus and leads the way for that with 30% to 28% for Santorum, 24% for Romney, and 11% for Paul.
In Ohio Gingrich is at 26% to 25% for Romney, 22% for Santorum, and 11% for Paul.
What might be most interesting in both states is what happens in a head to head between Romney and either Gingrich or Santorum:
-In Missouri Santorum leads Romney 50-37 and in Ohio Santorum leads 45-38.
-In Missouri Gingrich leads Romney 43-42 and in Ohio Gingrich leads 42-39.
Two takeaways from those numbers: if this ever came down to Romney, Paul, and just one out of Gingrich and Santorum, Romney would be in a lot of trouble. And he’d be in more trouble if the single conservative alternative ended up being Santorum.
It’s not just the numbers, either. The debates in Florida last week showed that Gingrich’s claim to mastery of the format simply don’t hold up. He lost both of those debates, and spent the rest of the week attacking Romney on religious freedom and proposing a lunar base that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars in an era where Republicans are arguing for reduced spending. If Gingrich was actually making the conservative case against Romney, I could see Sarah Palin’s point, but he’s not. He’s making a case for “big ideas” that involve a huge amount of spending, attacking Romney on any basis that happens to be handy, and he’s attacking the media.
The candidate actually making the conservative case on the campaign trail is Rick Santorum. Santorum scored points off of Romney in both Florida debates, especially the last one, because Santorum hasn’t ever backed an individual mandate as a health-care solution and doesn’t have to defend that position. He’s never backed TARP, either. That doesn’t make Santorum a perfect conservative candidate, but he seems to be the only one who’s focusing on the actual conservative agenda. Even if the motivation is to back a conservative alternative to Romney to “sharpen his steel” and force him to follow the conservative agenda, it’s Santorum who is most effective at making that the agenda.
Plus, there is one more thing to consider, and that is the quality of leadership. Both of the frontrunners and their allies have engaged in disappointing attacks on free market enterprise in an attempt to exploit each others’ weaknesses, but Santorum has refrained from doing so, even though he has specifically targeted blue-collar voters who might respond to those attacks. Santorum has maintained a high level of integrity in his campaigning, and that’s something to consider when choosing the man who will represent the party in the 2012 elections.
Santorum also has a new ad out today, “Deal,” which targets Gingrich. It’s running in Nevada and Colorado this week:
It would help your case a lot more if we could just ignore facts like the conservative record of Newt Gingrich.
Rick’s been good on the social issues. He’s a disaster on everything else more or less. Google “50 Things You Don’t Know About Rick Santorum.”
Its what he put out in his 2006 election to prove to moderates and liberals in PA that he’s one of them. Pretty darned convincing too.
Anyone who links Charlie Zahm’s “Minstrel Boy” on their homepage can’t be all bad...
Somebody earlier today suggested I tend to focus more on what candidates are saying they will do, than on what they were like in the past. This might be true.
I certainly don’t dismiss the past, but I would say that if one candidate was always good before, and now says they will do something bad, I’ll probably believe them. If a candidate was bad before, but says they see the light, I might also believe them. But I can’t imagine specifically deciding that a candidate who says they oppose my position on an issue is actually lying to me about it.
I also tend to focus more on what happened in this century. People change. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t dismiss Gingrich’s infidelity, which happened at the same time he was getting those 100% conservative rankings. If we are supposed to accept that he’s a different person now, it seems inconsistant to argue that he’s conservative now because he was conservative then.
In that case, I'm sure you and Schumer are happy with the results of that 2006 election. Schumer deliberately targeted Santorum and while I can't find the verbatim quote at my fingertips, he said something to the effect that even if the dems had taken back the senate, he would have still regarded it as something of a loss had they not elimated Santorum.
IMHO, I would judge a conservative's credentials more by their loudest enemies than by an ill-considered campaign brochure. You're free to do otherwise.
Charlie’s a good PA boy...kind of like Rick ;^)
That’s some drum!
Love that song!
...all the bitterness of man must cease
and every battle must be ended.
You’re kind of whiney to be a man. Are you a female, a child or both?
I’m talking about right now in the primary race...not 15 years ago. And yes, I’ve been on the scene politically going back to Nixon.
This is where it gets difficult, so I will write slowly so you can understand ,because clearly to this point I have whooshed this right over your little head.
Rick S is running as “the one true conservative” and bragging that he always “takes the slings and arrows” and that in his 06 election - he says over and over and over and over and over and over and over again - that he at least lost standing up for principles.
That is all bullish-t. He lost trying like heck to be loved by the liberals and the moderates.
Every grown up supporting Newt is doing so eyes wide open with the pro’s and the con’s. Many children supporting Rick think he is something that he most certainly is not.
ROTFLMAO...Why do so many Newtopians decry Santorum as bitter, angry, spiteful, mean etc. while themselves reveling in those very same characteristics? Take a look in the mirror. You're rolling in the very same mud you sling.
The Mitwitts at Hot Air are pushing Santorum because they know he will continue to split the conservative vote, thereby helping their precious Romney.
I don’t think you have succeeded in making a concise, declarative statement. If I’m wrong, please oblige me.
Regarding what you did say—your premise is flawed. It seems you think that the only way to believe him now is if he were perfect then.
Nobody is perfect, ever. So Gingrich was a conservative bulldog then, but unfaithful to his wife. It doesn’t mean he didn’t truly believe in conservatism then, or now.
I say this: just watch his speeches from the past few weeks, and take it all in. Integrate the facts with your gut feeling.
Are you dumb or just playing dumb? Because your responses here are dumb.
Newtonians never claim we are pure. We never claim our guy is pure. We never claim to even be nice. We just claim to be competent.
Rick’s entire campaign is based on wind driven snow purity and its all bullish-t - so yes - we are sick and tired of Mr. Sanctimony. And his fans.
Because bullish-t purity is the most obnoxious trait one can have and your boy has it in spades.
If he ever cracks 15%, he will get his attacks and his campaign will last about 30 minutes longer.
Someonew has given you bad information, FRiend. Sntorum’s voting record is LESS conservative than Gingrich’s, In 1994 for example, Newt had a 100% ACU score, compared to Santorum’s 94%. Even Ron Paul had a higher score (88%) than Santorum that year, LOL.
Of course, anybody who supports Santorum must be dumb. Makes me wonder why Newt and his supporters so badly want us on their side...
"Newtonians never claim we are pure. We never claim our guy is pure."
Well, there are simply some sales that just can't be made.
"We never claim to even be nice."
So much for the "Reagan Mantle" ya'll keep talking about.
"We just claim to be competent."
I've never said otherwise.
"Ricks entire campaign is based on wind driven snow purity and its all bullish-t - "
Rick's advocacy of life is not only moral, it's based deeply in natural law and in our founding documents. The two are hardly exclusive. Purity in that regard is something all the candidates should be striving to achieve.
"...so yes - we are sick and tired of Mr. Sanctimony. And his fans...Because bullish-t purity is the most obnoxious trait one can have and your boy has it in spades."
Newt was once regarded by many of his opponents as being sanctimonious and self-righteous. He just had a little trouble waling the walk.
"If he ever cracks 15%, he will get his attacks and his campaign will last about 30 minutes longer."
Again, if he's so insignificant why does he exorcise you so?
Another question is why do people, who are supposedly trying to convince you to vote for your guy, insult you while doing it? I dont see how that strategy works.
That’s cherry-picking certain years. Here’s the best way to compare if you are using ACU as a ruler:
Santorum: Lifetime ACU rating 88
Ron Paul: Lifetime ACU rating 82
Gingrich: Lifetime ACU rating 90
Joe Scarborough: Lifetime ACU rating 95
“Unlike Newt, Rick didnt make his campaign about bashing capitalism and pandering to Hispanics by talking about inhumane immigration policy. He doesnt have divorces and affairs to deal with and he didnt work for Freddie Mac. So I can see why many conservatives would go for Rick over Newt.”
Well said. Further, people seem to be ignoring the fact that most likely we’ll have a Republican majority in the House and Senate, and that provides a check on any egregious behavior by the President.
I expect conservatives and the Tea Party will provide plenty of feedback as well.
In my view, Gingrich is a no-go in the general. I say this despite loving his stance on space exploration, which I hope the next President will mostly adopt anyhow. It is based on the idea of free enterprise driving our space program rather than government bureaucracy.
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