Skip to comments.Numbers Suggest Santorum Could Be Romney's Worst Nightmare
Posted on 02/17/2012 5:48:02 AM PST by Kaslin
In a campaign defined by Republican reluctance to embrace Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum has emerged as the latest not-Romney candidate to surge ahead. While it's impossible to predict what will happen in this volatile election season, the data suggests that Santorum might be more of a challenge for Romney than earlier flavors of the month.
The latest Rasmussen Reports poll of the GOP race shows that Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney by 12 points, 39 percent to 27 percent. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are far behind. In and of itself, that's nothing new. The man from Massachusetts has at times trailed Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich in the polls.
What is new are the numbers from a head-to-head matchup with no other candidates in the race. Santorum leads Romney 55 percent to 34 percent. None of the earlier Romney alternatives could manage better than a toss-up in such a contest.
Those numbers show that Santorum picks up 16 points when other candidates drop out. Romney adds just 7 to his column. Santorum makes huge gains among conservative voters when others drop out of the race. Among non-conservatives, Santorum and Romney gain roughly equal amounts. For the first time, the numbers show that if one of Romney's challengers drops out, the other challenger will overwhelmingly benefit. Gingrich supporters, by a three-to-one margin, would vote for Santorum over Romney if that was the final choice.
Both Romney and Santorum are well-liked by Republican Primary voters, but Santorum has a slight advantage on this pointm as well. Seventy-five percent offer a favorable opinion of Santorum, while 66 percent say the same of Romney.
There is a huge passion gap favoring Santorum, though. Forty percent of Republican primary voters have a very favorable opinion of Santorum. Just 18 percent are that enthusiastic about Romney.
The one thing keeping Romney afloat is that he is still perceived as the strongest general election candidate. For some Republicans, that's enough. But to survive the Santorum challenge, Romney needs to give primary voters something more, something positive. GOP voters want a reason to vote for him beyond the fact that he has the most money and the best organization.
Team Romney needs to acknowledge that Republican voters are not only strongly opposed to President Obama's agenda but that they don't think much of Washington Republicans, either. They want a president who would shake up the good old boys network in Washington rather than join it. To date, Romney's attitude signals that he'd be more comfortable leading the club than challenging it.
Santorum has a very different challenge. First, he must survive the onslaught of ads coming from the Romney campaign. Then, he must convince Republican voters that he can win the general election in November. Electability is still the most important factor for Republican voters. If Santorum can neutralize the electability argument, he could become Romney's worst nightmare.
The next primary competitions are slated for Feb. 28 in Arizona and Michigan. If Romney wins both states, the race will probably be over. However, if Santorum can pull off a victory that day, he will be far more than the latest flavor of the month.
Woohoo, it’s Psycho again! Apt name.
“The biggest problem you have in selling your hero is, the fact that he will lose to Obama.”
Nope, that is sheerest unfounded supposition on your part.
“You better get busy and do some research on your own. Take an inside look at what the other side has already planned for Santorum.”
As usual, the “other side” will pull out all stops on the negative advertising, just like Romney is. So? Rick Santorum has less baggage than 0bamney or Gingrich. Plus, he is a true conservative that provides a clear contrast with 0bama.
Further, given the horrible job 0 has done across the board, Santorum will have a boatload of ammo to send the other way.
“You think that it was rough for Newt? You ain’t seen nuthin yet!”
Newt has no chance in the general. His negatives are through the roof, and that’s before the barrage of Dem attack ads. I hope he drops out soon, that will put Santorum over the top in a big way. Unless he’s a complete hypocrite he’ll do it, but I don’t have much faith that he will, truthfully.
Your words are exactly how Romney ads portray Santorum.
80% ACU rating for Santorum; 88% for Gingrich.
Santorum LEADS Romney.
There are CONSERVATIVE REASONS for everything Santorum did, and there are LIBERAL REASONS for everything Romney did.
Looks to me that Obama has done almost everything he wanted to do.
Santorum should just run 5 second ads after each Romney attack ad with My Cousin Vinny saying Everything that guy just said is bull$#!+
That made me laugh out loud. It would be the most effective ad campaign of all time!
The only way Rick loses to Obama is if conservatives fail to unite and fight for him.
Excellent post that sums it up.
Short and sweet.
Pennsylvania is our 6th most populous state with a couple of huge DEMOCRATIC historic metropolitan areas.
Anyone who thinks Santorum accidentally won those twice in state-wide senatorial campaigns is dreaming. AND, he was still a totally pro-life Catholic. (I believe Catholic voters, even if they don’t follow the birth control teachings of their church, have a soft spot in their hearts for those who do, and they give them a pass. They understand)
Santorum won in a state with pushing 13 million voters, major LameStream Media outlets, huge union forces, and a long tradition as a democrat stronghold.
He didn’t succeed because he couldn’t control himself or his campaign. I’d say it was just the opposite.
And then he managed to maintain a conservative voting record and get re-elected.
Can you imagine a conservative senator with an 80% conservative record even making it through the primary in California or New York?!! Well, this guy pulled it off.
Santorum is no dummy. There’s something clicking with him upstairs.
Only a million votes have been cast to date and barely 100 out of over 1,100 have been awarded to any one candidate. But “It's ALL OVER NOW!” “President” Santorum won, Newt is “Dead-Man-walking”..........
(Keep repeating that to yourself in the mirror.)
Newt, however, is the man for America. Slick rick can't hold a candle to Newt's accomplishments and knowledge of how to get things done. Newt is the visionary and has already proven himself.
Santorum has the Obamatrons wetting themselves....
Obama Campaign Weighs Santorum
They were counting on Romney being the nominee so they could suppress GOP turnout and hand the election to O-Jackass who gives us 4 more years of destruction and slavery.
Newt is the man for America. Only those who are drawn to LIARS support slick rick and mitt the moron.
You have the same mindset as those of race. Forget their qualifications, he's catholic, he's Italian, let's vote for him. You are the type who is bringing down America! You'll never be able to wash off that stain!
Then he looses, I don’t vote or fight for liars. Barry will eat him up and spit him out and that’s when he really gets vetted.
His supporters are. Who needs the commies to bring us down, Americans are doing it.
See post #28.
Those who attack Gingrich OR Santorum are doing Romney’s work.
What I can’t figure out is if it’s accidental or intentional.
I like Santorum, and truly believe he is a decent man. My only big issue with him is that he does not seem to demonstrate that he has any real leadership abilities at all.
We need a conservative president who will march into the White House and not play along with the GOG establishment there.
He has simply not demonstrated to me that he is that kind of a guy. He doesn't strike me as a man with a real plan.
I'd like to see him publish real step-by-step plans about resolving the issue we have, instead of simply stating he is not like Obama, Newt or Romney. When he does, he will easily beat Obama if he were to get the nomination.
For now, I am sticking it out with Newt, until it becomes obvious that he cannot win the nomination. I am not sure of that, yet. Things change from week to week, it seems.
Gingrich didn’t respond well to the Rombo machine guns...So far, Santorum is doing a much better job.
Romney campaign doesn’t know what to do. The character assassination which they deemed successful against Gingrich in Fla. is no longer working for them.
Could it be that voters are turned off to Saul Alinsky type negative attacks from the Karl Rove playbook for RINO type Mittens victories?
Speaking of, Tokyo looked like he forgot to take his Metamucil last night on Fox. He’s worried ..
Would you not love to be a fly on the wall in Coulter’s bedroom if Rick wins Michigan on the 28th? Batton the hatches and watch for flying remotes and champagne glasses.
Then WAKE UP because slick Rick HAS attacked Newt! He's a POS and IS working for mitt!