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Santorum Capitalizes on Tuesday Victories

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Once again, the pundits are shocked, and Romney’s inevitability has again been put on hold.   Rick Santorum won three states on Tuesday, and it appears that his campaign has had an influx of cash as well.  More on the influx of cash from The Blaze…

His three wins yesterday were bound to give his fundraising numbers a boost today — but Rick Santorum says a steady stream of dollars started to pour in even before his polling numbers began to rise.

“We’ve had a great 24 hours,” Santorum told CBS News in an interview. “My guess is we’ve raised—I haven’t heard exactly, but my guess is we’re in around a half-million dollars since [Tuesday] morning. So we’ve had a good day and we’ve had a good couple of weeks, you know, finishing in the teens in Nevada and Florida and yet, our fundraising was increasing as our numbers were not in those two states.

“And I think that gave us the impression that we could do well on Tuesday and we put a lot of time and energy into those three states. I’m not lying about that. We rolled the dice last night and obviously it paid off.”

Perhaps donors sensed the impending victories in the middle of the country.

Rick Santorum’s Super PAC — the Red, White and Blue Fund — had a good day, too:

“We’ve been working at a speed faster than any other day the super PAC has seen in this election season,” Stuart Roy, a political advisor to the Red White and Blue Fund, wrote in an email to the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau. “We haven’t made a single fundraising call today because potential donors have been the ones calling us.” …

Roy said the incoming resources would allow the super PAC to do voter advocacy and polling in states it had not originally planned to target.

“The final decisions haven’t yet been made on television ad placement but we are taking a hard look at states that may have previously been viewed as completely uphill…both ways,” Roy wrote. “For instance, a couple of the Southern states are in play since [Mitt] Romney’s Northeastern politics don’t play well there.  And although [Newt] Gingrich may look a bit like Paula Deen, politically he’s no Southerner.”

My take?  People have been looking for the anti-Romney.  Many apparently believe that they have found it in Santorum.  I take this as a sign that many Conservatives are put off by Romney, his history, his Alinsky-styled campaign, and the fact that he is the favorite of the MSM and the GOP establishment.

Also, the grudge match between Obama and the Catholic Church may be galvanizing Social Conservatives, and Santorum would be the primary beneficiary of that sudden increase in interest.  Given Romney’s history of supporting abortion rights, Santorum might be poised to take it to the establishment’s choice.  The real question is if Santorum can withstand the Romney smear machine.  Santorum hasn’t the baggage that Gingrich carries, so team RINO will be hard pressed to invent some allegations to use against him.  That won’t stop them from trying, however.

As for Newt Gingrich, he did not fare well.  Several weeks ago, he suggested that all other candidates quite the campaign, and let him take on Romney.   After Tuesday, that suggestion seems most premature.

Thinking realistically, Santorum didn’t gain much, at least in terms of delegates, however, he did show that Romney can be beaten convincingly, and that this show isn’t over.  Send the fat lady backstage folks, this is just getting started.

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  • http://americaswatchtower.com Steve Dennis

    I think your analysis is right on the money; Santorum’s rise is a combination of conservatives not trusting Romney, the Romney/Gingrich spat, and the contraception issue. Romney has been chosen for us and I think people are starting to wonder why after what happened in 2008 so they are looking elsewhere. Gingrich did himself in with his Holocaust attack ad on Romney and I think is out of the picture now so Romney will now focus on bringing down Santorum. In fact he has already started when he (of all people) said Santorum was not a true conservative.
    Will Santorum be able to hold off the Romney attack? That is a great question, but maybe people are also tiring of Mitt’s smears and if this is the case it could backfire on him.

    • http://conservativehideout.com Matt

      I think Santorum has a better chance. Gingrich has, shall we say, an abundance of baggage. Santorum? Not so much. I agree that the smear machine may well backfire on Romney.

  • http://soapboxgod.blogspot.com/ Chris Hiatt

    Santorum won a bunch of straw polls. He isn’t going to fair very well in the delegate count.

    I live in MN and the results for the precincts are starting to roll in and in a number of precincts where Santorum won the straw vote, those voters failed to step up as delegates. Thus, the Ron Paul supporters did.

    In happened in one of the 3 precincts I convened on Tuesday night.

    • http://conservativehideout.com Matt

      That’s a point, but I did mention that he did little to nothing for his delegate count. I think the overall point is that he beat Romney, and deflated the entire inevitability argument that started again after Florida.