Santorum Wins/Almost Wins Iowa Caucuses

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Iowa, Republicans, Santorum

It’s Rick’s big night! The Iowa faith-based contingent really turned out this caucus for the underdog, and that should make waves in the evangelical community.

Will they support a Mormon? I think that’s a tough call right now. They definitely could, but it depends on what this group decides.

Personally, I think Santorum will be up all night waiting for the returns.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 and is filed under Iowa, Republicans, Santorum. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Santorum Wins/Almost Wins Iowa Caucuses”

  1. cranky critter Says:

    The biggest problem I have with interpretation of caucus and primary results is the practice of attributing great significance to very small differences in the preferences voters express.

    The most sane reading of the Iowa results, regardless of the exact final numbers, is that the preferences are evenly split at the top right now between Romney, Santorum and Paul. And that there’s no clear expression of a favorite. So amongst very socially conservative republicans, they’re just not particularly thrilled by any of the choices.

    This will be old news within a few days, as soon as we move on to NH, where Romney will win big. My sense is that Santorum is the last cup of Not-Romney to get taste-tested and enjoy an ephemeral bump. We’ll probably be talking about Romney as a foregone conclusion within 3 or 4 weeks. Conservatives are going to stop pining for a delicious Not-Romney. They’re poised to coalesce around Mitt because he’s a delicious Not-Obama. That’s what conservatives want more than anything, a Not-Obama.

  2. Felipe Sparks Says:

    For some reason, Santorum doesn’t have the name recognition of the other candidates. But it’s getting better. I am originally from Eastern PA. So I am familiar with Rick. He is a good alternative to Romney for those skeptical about a Mormon candidate. Personally, I find Mitt to be even-balanced with his religion. But others may worry about him pushing an agenda if in office. I hope more voters start researching Santorum a but more. They might be surprised.

  3. mdgeorge Says:

    @cc: I don’t think that saying the very socially conservative republicans aren’t thrilled with the choices. I think that the three front-runners represent the big-business, socially conservative and libertarian poles of the republican tent.

    Other than that, I think your analysis is about right. I agree that Santorum is the next cup of not-Romney, although at this point I think he may be the last cup of not-Romney, so he may consolidate the not-Romney vote. See Gingrich’s praise for him, for example. His major weakness seems to be money and institutional support, so he may be able to capitalise on his Iowa win to address his weaknesses.

    But yeah, I think Romney v. Obama is a pretty safe bet. A Romney + Not-Romney ticket would probably be the most formidable challenge to Obama.

  4. cranky critter Says:

    At a glance, three poles sounds like it’s probably one too many within a given party when it comes to forging unanimity. There’s no such thing as tripolar, right? The very inconvenient Ron Paul is perceived as vexing and inconvenient by a majority within the GOP, which is why he’s been attacked by Romney, Gingrich and everyone else for his unRepublican foreign policy stances.

    But it seems to me Paul is doing the GOP a huge favor by splitting the Not Romney vote in two. Absent Ron Paul, you would see a much more formidable rallying around a single bonafide socon. Who if nominated, would IMO be clearly unelectable. So upon examination, it sure seems like the dynamic where the libertarians and the socons cancel each other out is not a bug, but a feature.

    Although, I think one could argue that while Romney fits the big-business or pro-business or fiscon “pole,” that’s really the “mainstream electability” pole. It’s comprises all the positions socons and and libertarians agree on, and on the issues where they disagree, they adopt whichever position best matches the broader populace’s view, so long as it’s not a sine qua non of either the socons or libertarians.

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