Rick Santorum in Iowa? Call me skeptical.

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well, it was a matter of time.

The establishment witnessed the inevitable demise of Gingrich’s campaign, and have managed to scrounge up another scrub from the increasingly empty bucket of Republican candidates not named ‘Ron Paul’. Indeed, they’ve had to dig pretty deep, reaching all the way down to the washed up Jesus-freak and Bush era flashback, Rick Santorum. Surely, this will siphon votes away from Ron Paul and bring Mitt ‘Goldman Sachs’ Romney one step closer to his eventual Republican nomination. Right?

To be honest, I have no idea. Perhaps the fickle, undecided masses of the Republican party will swarm to the Santorum campaign because CNN and Fox News told them to. Who can be sure until voting wraps up tomorrow? More importantly, would a Santorum rise even affect Ron Paul’s campaign?

One thing that we can be sure of is the fact that neither the media establishment nor the Republican establishment wants a Ron Paul victory in Iowa. Rick Santorum is the newest(and probably not the last) in a long line of supposed front runners who fits two key requirements:

1) Is not named Mitt Romney.
2)Is not named Ron Paul.

It’s blatantly obvious that the Republican establishment wants Romney, but they’re having trouble finding an ‘anti-Romney’ candidate that can create a sense of competitiveness without giving any life to the Ron Paul campaign, which numerous Republicrat(yes, that was intentional) operatives find ‘dangerous’ (gasp).

But something does seem different this time around. Santorum’s rise in the polls certainly feels dubious, at best. I have trouble figuring out where in the hell he came from. By comparison, when Gingrich and Perry were anointed to the sacred ‘anti-Romney’ role, their rise(and ensuing fall) in the polls was directly correlated to their debate performances. Sure, it isn’t hard to get increased support when the entire debate is basically a conversation between two candidates, but Santorum wasn’t even given the “1 on 1” treatment that virtually every other “Anti-Romney” candidate received(the notable exception, of course, being Ron Paul).

I’m having trouble with the media’s push for Santorum. Usually, the mainstream media will grab on to someĀ scintilla of truth(a few random polls with results that confirm their bias) and run with it. The incessant promotion of one candidate turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s true, the more they shove a candidate down the voters throat, the more votes that candidate will receive. That seems to be the case with Santorum.

Despite all that, I’m not really seeing how the media can even tout Santorum with a straight face. According to Real Clear Politics, Santorum’s numbers are still way down compared to Romney and even Paul. Sure, it takes a while for the media’s promotion to take effect, but the underlying question is, what about Santorum’s numbers suggests that he is a front runner in the first place?

It’s all smoke and mirrors, and that should be obvious to anyone who is seriously paying attention. Sadly, I’m not sure what percentage of Republican voters in Iowa could be described as “paying attention”. Frankly, I’m not sure how many Americans could be described in such a way.

From the perspective of a supporter of the Campaign For Liberty, the ultimate question is as follows: Will the media blitz in favor of Rick “pork barrel” Santorum be enough to overcome the grassroots support for Ron Paul?

I say no chance. Ron Paul’s support is solid, and it seems to be steadily growing, if the Real Clear Politics average is any indicator. As Ron Paul often says, people who come to his campaign will not leave. The Rick Santorum’s of the world are numerous–we’ve already him in the form of Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and most recently, Newt Gingrich. As far as I can tell, Santorum’s rise will hurt Romney more than it helps him, and only hurt Paul in the evangelical vote(which, by the way, Ron seems to be doing pretty well with). The Santorum craze is an obvious ploy to help divide the evangelical vote and decrease Paul’s support from that base. What the Republican establishment may not yet realize, is that the evangelical vote is most likely going to make up a smaller percentage of the vote in Iowa this year. Paul is attracting the type of voter that Republicans, especially in Iowa, are not used to seeing at the ballot box. Indeed, Santorum will only gain what Romney loses, as more Republican voters search for an “anti-Romney” who won’t tell them what they don’t want to hear about the wars overseas. The Republican establishment probably realizes this, but they must believe that it’s worth the risk if it means fracturing the evangelical vote.
With any luck, they’re dead wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time, that’s for sure.

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