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[ 48 ] February 16, 2012 |


Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum continues to ride his polling momentum into Ohio where he leads Mitt Romney by nearly two-to-one in the first Rasmussen Reports survey of Republicans in the state.

The new statewide telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters shows Santorum picking up 42% of the vote to Romney’s 24%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich draws 13% support, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 10%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

It’s Rasmussen, which means that ferreting out the intended message is as important as looking at the data, but it’s interesting that Rasmussen only has Santorum up by 3 in Michigan. Frankly, I think it’s time for Lemieux to demonstrate his confidence in Mitt Romney’s inevitably by offering to eat his Expos hat on camera if Romney loses, or some such similar gesture.


Comments (48)

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  1. Malaclypse says:

    To be fair, Scott has bet cash money. And I value my Portland Sea Dogs hat too much to risk it.

  2. Charlie Sweatpants says:

    Good news is good news, and I’ve been a longtime believer in Not Romney as the nominee, but we’re still two weeks from Michigan/Arizona and three from Ohio and company. If these poll numbers look the same at this time next week, I’ll allow my hopes to get up. For now though, I’ll just content myself with the ongoing embarrassment this primary campaign has been for Mittens.

  3. ploeg says:

    The wheels are about to fall off of the Santorumwagon.

  4. Mitt Romney is inevitable…on paper.

    That’s why you have to watch the games. Individual ability matters.

    • ploeg says:

      We’ve been running games for some time now. Romney’s ahead on delegates 123-72. And the only states that Santorum has won so far are caucus states. From the middle of next month on, they’re all going to be primary states, and that’s when all the big states come up.

      • John says:

        He also won a meaningless beauty contest primary in Missouri.

        • ploeg says:

          Yes, I forgot to mention that. Thanks! And that fact might be applicable to the caucus that actually decides the allotment of delegates (to be held on 17 March), or it might not. In any case, Santorum is behind on delegates, he needs to start winning primaries to pull ahead, and he hasn’t won a binding primary yet.

          • Robert Farley says:

            Ja. I don’t think Santorum can pull it off (Bernstein has a good post, though, about what it might look like if Santorum captured the popular vote, so to speak, but lost the delegate race to Romney), but it would certainly be bloody unpleasant for Romney if he loses Michigan and Ohio.

          • And that fact might be applicable to the caucus that actually decides the allotment of delegates (to be held on 17 March), or it might not.

            OK, just so I’m not misunderstanding:

            1. Santorum only wins caucuses!*

            2. Santorum won the Missouri primary.

            3. The above facts tell us nothing about how he will do in the Missouri caucus, or how he will do in primaries.

            Let me know if I’ve got any of that wrong.

            *I haven’t heard this one since it was Mark Penn saying it about Barack Obama.

    • strannix says:

      Individual ability matters.

      If this is an argument for Santorum … I don’t see it.

    • John says:

      Firstly, I see no evidence that Santorum has any more “individual ability” than Romney does. He’s just benefiting from the general “nobody likes Romney” sentiment.

      Secondly, it’s way too early to say that Santorum’s going to be the nominee. He has no resources!

      • Firstly, I like being able to fire people.

        I’m not concerned about the poor.

        Corporations are people, my friend.

        Second, I’ve not said that Santorum will win. I think people who are making predictions about how this race will turn out are talking through their hat, and I don’t intend to join them.

        • Pseudonym says:

          Firstly, “I like being able to fire people” is not man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.

          Secondly, what good are hats if not for talking through or eating?

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Actually, Mittens is a pretty terrible candidate on paper, would would clearly lose to a serious and well-funded campaign by a marginally competent orthodox conservative. He is overwhelmingly likely to win because he’s not facing one, and Newt (who you inexplicably considered a strong contender) meets none of the relevant crietria. Santorum, at least, is serious and a pretty orthodox winger, but whether he can raise the money remains to be seen.

      • Actually, Mittens is a pretty terrible candidate on paper

        No, he’s not. His resume, his money, and his organization should make him a fearsome opponent. It’s his performance, his personal qualities as a campaigner, that are screwing him up. If he was a terrible candidate on paper, he wouldn’t have been able to nail down so many donors and Republican elites, and make himself the “inevitable” candidate in the eyes of…well…some.

        who you inexplicably considered a strong contender

        Since I’ve explicated why Gingrich’s rise from the dead and victory in South Carolina were unsurprising to me several dozen times on this site already, it’s clearly not inexplicable.

        but whether he can raise the money remains to be seen.

        At a certain point, you’re going to have to start incorporating Citizens United and the candidates’ pet billionaires into your understanding of the role of money in this race.

        • djw says:

          No, he’s not.

          Signing an early version of a health care plan the Republican base is now obligated to consider pure evil is part of the “on paper” evaluation or Romney, as are his loud and clear declarations about how pro-choice he is.

          • John McCain won the 2008 Republican primary.

            The author of McCain-Feingold, the sponsor of comprehensive immigration reform, the guy who tore into Pat Robertson in 2000 and criticized George Bush’s handling of the war so much that they had to stage that awkward, arm-pit hug photo, won the Republican primary.

            • I would argue that the biggest reason McCain won the nomination is because no one liked Romney. If Romney were even a moderately likeable candidate, he could have stopped McCain in New Hampshire, Florida, or Super Tuesday. But McCain won all of those contests in no small part because his main competition in each was Romney.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          Why you thought that Newt’s win in South Carolina made him a viable candidate to win the nomination remains inexplicable.

      • Hogan says:

        Per TPM, the Red, White and Blue Fund just put down a major ad buy for Santorum in Michigan, to the point where he’s being outspent only 3:1 instead of 29:1. Of course, if the money came from the “aspirin between the knees” guy, it could be a wash.

      • Pseudonym says:

        One could argue that, in fact, Mittens is very likely to lose to a serious and well-funded campaign by an at-least-marginally-competent conservative. Just in the general election.

        I’m not saying I would argue that.

  5. jon says:

    Santorm Makes Mess Of Romney Polls

  6. BradP says:

    What really worries me about Santorum’s success deals with the effects it would have on voter motivation. I think there is no doubt that Obama would dominate Santorum when it came to the approval of moderates and independents.

    However, this election cycle seems to promise to be very unenthusiastic. A Santorum candidacy immediately creates a narrative where one candidate is a joke, and this only deadens any enthusiasm independents would have. Meanwhile, no group is more motivated than that weird insular conservative bloc who perpetually feels persecuted regardless of how ridiculous their position is.

    One side will sleepwalk through the election cycle, while the other will never be more convinced that an elitist government and media is out to get them.

    Shifting motivations could go a long way towards shrinking any credibility gap Santorum could suffer.

    • Marc says:

      I’d say “terrifying threat” is more likely to be the reaction of the sane than “joke”. The Obama team will just have to run ads where they let Santorum speak for himself.

      • BradP says:

        I think you pay too much attention to liberal outlets. Mainstream political discourse in this country will be far too concerned with being objective (IOW, not offensive to shitty people) to allow that sort of opinion regarding Santorum to gain traction.

        And like it or not, liberals tend to be aloof when it comes to opinions like Santorum’s. They tend denigrate and dismiss rather than engage, which I understand since Santorum seems insane to me, but it isn’t exactly the most motivating attitude to take (unless you are on the side that is getting dismissed).

  7. DrDick says:

    I think that this comes down to how badly do the Republicans want to lose the election. All the evidence indicates that, barring unforeseen events, they lose regardless. How badly depends on whether the pick Romney, who could make it close,or go with the notRomenys, who get slaughtered. There is a perverse part of me that hopes Santorum gets nominated, as he will be like a lamb to slaughter. The “base” (boy are they well named) seems to be going for ideological purity (i.e., insane and stupid) over can possibly get elected in a national election.

  8. […] Santorum leading in Ohio. Obama leading […]

  9. shah8 says:

    Is anyone thinking of the downticket consequences of a Santorum run?

  10. […] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Since I’ve been baited, I suppose I should point out that Santorum is almost certainly not going to win the Republican […]

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