Skip to comments.Santorum might drop out rather than lose Pennsylvania primary (Losing would end political career)
Posted on 04/04/2012 10:44:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The possibility of a loss in his home state of Pennsylvania might force Rick Santorum to drop out of the Republican primary sooner than hed planned, say GOP strategists.
Santorum is notoriously strong-willed, and those close to him say that party elders will not be able to convince him to exit the race if he thinks he has a shot at the Republican nomination.
But one of Santorums close friends told The Hill that while the former Pennsylvania senator remains confident about winning his home state and using that to build May momentum, if that confidence falters, he might exit the race. Pennsylvania state Sen. Jake Corman (R), a longtime friend of Santorum and his family, said if it appeared Santorum wasnt going to win the state, the former senator could drop his campaign. Hes a realist; he doesnt have his head in the clouds, Corman told The Hill. As long as he sees a pathway to the nomination hes going to stay in it, but he wont stay in it to prove a point. If he gets to the point where he doesnt think hell be the nominee, hell get out.
Santorum is running second in the delegate count to rival Mitt Romney, and the party establishment is increasing pressure on the former senator to exit the race and clear a path for the former Massachusetts governor.
And while he led Romney by six points in a Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania voters out Tuesday, that was before Romneys win in Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Its also a decline for the former senator, who led Romney by double digits earlier this month.
Many Republican strategists argue that Santorum has resurrected his political career after a bad 2006 Senate loss with his surprisingly strong presidential campaign but that another loss in his home state could undo all that work, leading to predictions that if he thinks he could lose Pennsylvania, he might bow out.
If he loses Pennsylvania twice, thats going to really hobble him in the future. Thatd be very hard to live down, said Kirsten Fedewa, Mike Huckabees 2008 communications director.
Fedewa speculated that Santorum may be encountering what Huckabee faced near the end of his campaign.
Theres a point on the campaign trail where you start seeing diminishing returns, thinner crowds, youre not getting the big boost on your website fundraising, the enthusiasm factor is dying down, she said. Hes going to be feeling it on the stump and seeing the impact on his campaign. Hes an anti-establishment candidate, so what the establishment does or doesn't do isnt going to persuade him but when he sees the intensity factor waning, thats going to weigh heavily.
Santorum is campaigning hard in his home state. The last two primary nights hes held his post-election rallies in Pennsylvania. Hes scheduled to spend Wednesday campaigning there.
The former senator has insisted hell stay in the race through the April 24 primaries that include Pennsylvania as well as a number of states friendly to Romney: New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware, and fight on through May, when the map includes a number of states where Santorum could be in good shape.
But Romney is not going to cede Pennsylvania. His campaign sent full-time staffers to the state last week and he will stump there Wednesday. A super-PAC that backs him has made inquiries about the costs of television buys in the state and has indicated it will make a large buy there soon, according to local sources.
Romney also has the endorsement of four Pennsylvania lawmakers one more than Santorums three, according to The Hills tally.
On top of that, Santorums fundraising might have slowed to a trickle as his star has faded and if he continues his campaign, there could be severe backlash from establishment Republicans that might limit his future role in the party.
The biggest problem for Santorum is theres a three-week lull, no way to break the media narrative that Romney has this sewn up and a continued race will only hurt the nominee, Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak told The Hill on Monday. Santorums desperately trying to survive until May when does the pressure become too much?
PoliticsPA managing editor Keegan Gibson said many of the attacks Romney has leveled against Santorum have even more resonance in Pennsylvania: his endorsement of centrist former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) over now-Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in their 2004 primary and his move from Pennsylvania to the Washington, D.C., suburbs with his family. Santorums going Washington was a major attack line from Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) when he beat Santorum in 2006.
Another factor: Some of Toomeys Tea Party backers remain angry at Santorum for his 2004 endorsement of Specter. Toomey himself has not endorsed Santorum, but recently praised Romney as a conservative who will govern as a conservative.
At a recent conservative confab in the state, Santorum was received politely but not raucously, and failed to garner a majority of the conferences straw poll vote.
Former Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.), a Romney backer who managed Santorums first House race in 1990, called the results stunning.
Hes done nothing to repair the damage that was created in the lead-up to 2006, and a lot of it was self-inflicted, said English, who praised Santorum for his strong campaign but warned that if he continued to run the GOP establishment might blackball him in the future, which could severely limit his influence within the party.
I supported Rick Santorum every time he ran for office and was thrilled he did as well as he did
but Rick Santorum has already effectively lost the nomination, he said. The question becomes, does he have any role in the future of the party?
Romney did much the same as Santorum did. Changed his views later, after they fully realized the impact of their position.
You can hardly condemn Romney for something that you should rightly also condemn Santorum for, but give a free pass to Santorum on the interim.
Do for what ? Having 2 radical leftist Democrats in a November runoff ?
Funny way to show it since they seem to despise each other.
What’s in it for Romney?
I am perplexed, bewildered and discouraged by a lot of comments I see on here lately.
All I’m doing now is praying that Romney will be able to beat Obama and be a good president. Or at least a decent one.
“Romney did much the same as Santorum did. Changed his views later, after they fully realized the impact of their position.”
~ ~ ~
You’ve said this before but it doesn’t hold water. Everyone
sees Santorum’s change, his vote for life. Look at the size
of his family. The man follows God totally, he rejects
Romney, no, it’s all words. At present, his signing Romneycare which contains abortion, that’s his legislative record.
Romney is a “con”, a habitual liar. He thinks no one realizes.
You can change, be for life, follow God P.F.
I am sorry, you gotta change sister.
God can’t answer your prayer. Romney belongs to a sect
who rejects the basic tenants of Christianity.
NOTE: Read this article if you dare, Santorum was into it more than you care to admit;http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/10549-santorum-voted-to-subsidize-abortion-planned-parenthood
As far as Romney changing his position, This from a recent article on the subject;
Although pro-life advocates are normally jubilant over abortion advocates converting to the pro-life position, Romneys shift is seen by some pro-life advocates as political in nature occurring around the time he started moving nationally towards a presidential run.
Depending on whether pro-life voters accept the change in position or see it skeptically, Romney has either remained committed to his pro-life views or has used the issue to get in good stead with pro-life voters.
Following the shift, Romney did veto the pro-embryonic research bill but skeptics say the legislature had the votes to override it and ultimately did so. Skeptics also point out that his state-run health care plan provides for taxpayer funded abortions, but those who say Romney is now genuinely pro-life point out that a state Supreme Court decision forced their inclusion over anyones objections.
Romney spoke to pro-life advocates over the weekend at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C, and told the values voters in attendance that, Were united in our belief in the sanctity of human life. The question will be whether voters in places like Iowa and South Carolina believe him.
Stop preaching to the rest of us. Your sanctimonius hype is best kept to yourself. You only turn people away by placing yourself on that self righteous pedistal and telling the rest of us we are all wrong, when you are not even sure of what you believe yourself.
Until you are able to walk on water, or bring the dead back to life yourself, then you are no better than any one of the rest of us miserable sinners. So, thump your Bible at home or in church, or start a religious thread of your own. Right now, we are talking about politics.
Got you P.F., you can’t reply to Romney’s lying record
so you make it personal. Don’t be angry.
God has revealed His plan, do not kill, if you vote for a pro-abort, it’s your soul. You cooperated with evil.
Newt was the only real alternative to Romney, and the Establishment knew that.
Now that Romney has the nomination all but locked up, you will see Santorum fade like Huckabee did.
Despite your apparent glee at getting Romney for the nominee, I think it may be premature. A poll just out says the people don’t want Rick or Newt to drop until Romney’s over the finish line.
Have to agree with your comment. It’s quite bewildering to read some of the ideas and comments from fellow conservatives. I’ve simply been at a loss of words to say how I feel about what I see happening. It’s really quite discouraging.
BUT, I will work very hard for the down ticket races. There is actual ‘hope’ here in WA state that we may see a change in the Gov race. Which would be a first in a very long time.
Not rational? Is the GOP rational? The country clubbers? No. Down with the TEA party at any cost is their thinking. Like, Santorum being offered VP?
Romney lost a bunch of primaries in 2008 and that didn’t stop him this time. Santorum losing PA can easily be waved away as people wanting a late primary to be over. And if Romney loses the general election, the entire mindset of the voters in this primary will be called into question and won’t hold any weight. Santorum has an incredibly favorable batch of states coming up in May and THAT’S what the GOP elites are afraid of. It might not be enough to stop Romney from getting the nomination, but he could have a long series of embarrassing losses.
Trying to inject this fear of losing his home state into Santorum to cause him to drop out is just the latest establishment talking point being used to push Romney on us. FOX News was pushing that meme hardcore last night as soon as the results were in.
By the way, if Romney is so inevitable, why doesn’t he stop spending money on advertising at all from now on? His inevitability should be enough to sweep him over the finish line, right? Is he wasting precious campaign funds that can be used against Obama merely to humiliate an opponent who is going to be beaten anyway? That doesn’t seem like it’s “for the good of the party.”
Santorum already got him on that in the debate. He said every Republican knows if you don't specifically rule out abortion coverage in a bill, the courts will say it is covered. And Romney left that provision out.
Anyone who doesn't think Romney is going to be pronouncing Roe vs. Wade "the settled law of the land" as soon as the convention is over is fooling themselves.
RE: Santorum was also for abortion a few years back and voted on legislation that supported it. (When he was a Representative)
Well what to say? Reagan was pro-choice too when he was governor. In fact, he signed California’s abortion bill. People do change. It is what they do AFTER they change their stance that counts for me.
Could just as easily say "maybe not", (or may not).
We already know the liberal mass media and Republocrat Establishment have an identical an agenda.
Let me run it past some of the FReepers who might be "dense" and have not gotten it yet.
A) The US MSM overwhelming wants Barack Obama re-elected.
B) As in 2008, they want to field the poorest GOP candidate, a moderate without a strong central core, to demoralize the Conservative Base, and they want no conservative voice at the GOP convention, either in nominee, rules/planks/platform/messaging.
C) They want to create a narrative, such as "this one has the GOP nomination", or "that one might drop out", when in fact much of it is speculation and as we know, many more Americans are yet to vote to have their say, Mitt Romney does not have the nomination at this time, there are still three other active candidates on the field who can also continue to gain delegates.
D)The US MSM narrative now is the Mitt Romney will be the nominee. At the appropriate time, they will bring out the messaging on him which will cause his defeat at the hands of Barack Obama.
In all due respect, really, to engage in this discussion here on Vice Presidential candidates is an insult to the Presidential candidates still campaigning, raising money, receiving delegates (such as Santorum did in Wisconsin), etc. So I just say we shelve it for the time being. Not taking that bait anyways (and that is outside of my own opinion of Paul Ryan dropping dramatically).