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article imageOp-Ed: Santorum Surge Stains Romney's Cloak of Inevitability

By Bill Schmalfeldt     Feb 8, 2012 in Politics
Something funny happened on Mitt Romney's way to the acceptance speech in Tampa this coming summer. People took a look at the man, his positions, his stances, his flip flops on the issues and said, "Meh... what's that other guy's name?"
"No, not the mean old man who wants to put orphans to work scrubbing toilets on the moon. The other one.
"No, you're talking about that nice old crackpot who wants to end war and legalize drugs and sell off all government-owned land. I'm talking about that other guy. What's his name again?
"Yeah. Santorum. Sure, he's a wingnut. Of course, he wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen whippin' up a nice meatloaf for her man. But I'm a Republican. I want those things, too!"
The media will spend a better part of the next few days with a dichotomy on their hands. They will continue to say that Mitt will be the eventual nominee. But here's the scorecard after eight primaries and caucuses.
Santorum -- 4
Romney -- 3
Gingrich -- 1
Rick Santorum, the man with the name you do not want to "Google," should -- by all accounts -- be referred to as the "front runner." No delegates were awarded in yesterday's beauty contests. But how in God's name did Romney come in third in Minnesota? Their former governor Tim Pawlenty, once a presidential candidate himself, lobbied every gopher hole in the state for Romney. And he came in third. THIRD! Behind Ron Paul! Paul beat Romney by 10 percent! That means, in a state where the former governor stumped until he could stump no more, only 17% of the caucus voters went with Pawlenty's guy! And Romney beat McCain in Minnesota in 2008, winning with 41%.
Missouri, not really a surprise, except perhaps for the totality of the drubbing Romney took. No Gingrich on the ballot. Santorum got more than 57% of the vote. Only 26% of the Show Me state voters liked what Romney showed them.
The biggest news of the night? Colorado. They LOVE Mitt Romney out there in Tebow country, right? After all, he won there in 2008 with a whopping 60% of the tally?
Well, the love affair is over. Santorum's their boy now. In a major surprise, he beat Romney 40.3% to 34.9%
The next contests are in Maine, where there will be a caucus on Saturday. Then the 28th with primaries in Arizona and Michigan. Main should be a gimme for Romney. If it's not, watch out. Michigan is Romney's state of birth. His father was a popular governor there. But Romney told the auto industry to drop dead. Michigan is hardly a done deal. Arizona, with it's love of all things anti-immigrant, anti-social and anti-everything Romney once supported, may see Santorum as the candidate Jesus prefers. But they also have a significant Mormon population, so that may be a tossup.
March 3, the Republicans in Washington state decide. I wasn't aware there were Republicans west of the Idaho/Washington state line.
Then, March 6, Super Tuesday,
Alaska - Santorum
Georgia - Santorum (Sorry Mitt)
Idaho - Santorum
Massachussets - Mitt
North Dakota - Santorum
Ohio - Santorum
Tenessee - Santorum
Vermont - Mitt
Virginia - Santorum
So go ahead, media. Continue to call Romney inevitable. It seems as if Republicans have other ideas. It seems they have taken a good, close look at Mitt Romney and do not like what they see.
This could be the beginning of a Santorum surge that reaches from border to border and ends up on the nominating platform in Tampa.
And it seems like just the other day when the pundits all thought Santorum was finished -- like the guy who created the animation attached to this story.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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