Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 GOP Update – Santorum Praise and Derision from the Press – Love & Fear for Obama - Santorum’s Key to Winning the Nomination and the Election –


Santorum on the Stump - image from Time Magazine


Analysis

Rick Santorum is leading the GOP pack of Presidential hopefuls in the national polls (Gallup by 10 points), in Michigan Santorum leads Romney by 5 points, in Ohio he’s leading by 7 (CNN), and in Texas he “dominates” the field with 45% to Gingrich’s 17, Romney’s 16 and Ron Paul’s 14% University of Texas. The Santorum surge has brought about great scrutiny from the press, which, while praising him on one hand, is deriding him on the other – specifically about social issues.

In Michigan and elsewhere, he is being barraged by negative campaign ads from Mitt Romney surrogates, the former Governor from Massachusetts is looking for a pickup on Super Tuesday, on last night’s edition of Fox News “On the Record” a Romney campaign spokesman began to downplay the importance of Magician, a similar tactic used after Romney lost both Colorado and Minnesota (two states where polling was similar to where it is now in both Arizona (Romney and Santorum are tied), and Michigan).

The problem for the Romney Campaign is that Super Tuesday does not allow the former Massachusetts Governor many options with a few exceptions, and that data is based on his performance in 2008, for the most part. Alaska is allegedly Romney’s, however, Georgia home state to Newt Gingrich, finds Santorum leading, the same in Idaho, in Massachusetts, the Santorum Grassroots Team is blanketing the state in advance of Super Tuesday and shows a strong organization on the ground, although one Suffolk University poll on Statewide elections,shows the former Governor leading Santorum by double digits in the GOP segment of the poll with Santorum at 15% (2nd in the state), however in the Presidential match-up section, Romney leads Santorum by 39% to 32% against Obama, among likely voters (which includes Republicans’ Independents and Democrats., North Dakota, no data - on Ohio, Santorum leads, on Oklahoma, Santorum leads in double digits, in Tennessee, Santorum leads, again by a significant margin, in Vermont, there is no data, and finally in Virginia, Romney is alone on the ballot with Ron Paul, no data.

Therefore, Super Tuesday may make or break the Romney Campaign, specifically if these numbers hold, or increase, and even giving him Virgina, Massachusetts, Alaska and North Dakota (We’ll throw in Vermont), it is unclear how Romney can possibly be considered the front runner, and it will also give him an opportunity to reassess the campaign.

Here in lays the crux of the matter, the Press:
In the Leader Post News, Santorum is referred to as “The Working Man’s Warrior” acknowledging his strength with the blue color base of the Democrat Party, and his strength in his position on job creation and economics, however, the paper goes on to speak about the big ballyhoo of taken out of context remarks, made by Santorum regarding Obama and the “theology of environmentalism” over the needs of the working class. It was obvious that Santorum was speaking metaphorically regarding the preference of the President to side with environmental groups against the manufacturers, to those who follow current events, it is no secret, but apparently, to the news, it comes as quite a shock, that the President might actually be called out for nixing an energy pipeline from Canada throw the US, in favor of an environmental group – especially in light of the fact that the cost per gallon of gas in the U.S. is projected to hit well over $5.00 per gallon this summer. If that is a tactical choice by the President, it is perhaps one of the worst political moves of the century thus far. For the media to make the reach from Santorum speaking about a political “theology” and the video clearly shows that was the intent, the fact that he has, over the past several years, acknowledge the Presidents Christianity, has apparently, fell on deaf ears! The press, living up to its reputation as somewhat partial to the President, is further endangering its subscriber base.

Take for example Time Magazines focus on Santorum and the fact that he does not shy away from Social Issues (the title) – again taking statements out of context, which comes as no surprise given the Magazine’s proclivity to feature the President on almost every other Cover.

The fact that the left, and the President’s surrogates are now actively speaking out against Santorum (almost verbatim on the issues taken out of context above), clearly shows that they are trying to prepare for his nomination as the GOP candidate. Previously, they had focused on Mitt Romney, amassing political research for months in preparation for the “inevitable Romney Candidacy”. Now they are playing “catch-up” and all they have are words that were taken out of context, and Santorum’s personal choice of Religion. The problem facing the Democrats is that, outside of the highly paid national union organizations, the rank and file find Santorum to be appealing, specifically when it comes to his plans for manufacturing – being a Catholic, practicing or not, does not hurt, especially in the states where Romney might expect to do very well. There will be two identifiers for those blue color voters in such states that were once manufacturing powerhouses, and where the jobs no longer exist, or if they do, they are in such small numbers that it is not significant. The Catholic voting bloc is normally Democrat, however, in a season where there is high unemployment, underemployment and high gasoline that Catholic bloc, especially with Obama’s recent affront to the Church, may see a shift towards a Republican candidate, especially if that Candidate is Catholic and makes no apologies for being a Catholic (also refreshing).

What to look for should Santorum win Michigan or Arizona, and then pick up half of the States on Super Tuesday – a change in strategy from the Romney Campaign with what little time they have left, to a less scored earth policy when it comes to their opponents, (otherwise, there will be no Romney Campaign), and an increase in Obama Surrogates and the Press (Obama Surrogates) going after Rick Santorum with everything possible. Given the language and the quick jump to Santorum from the Obama campaign, gives the signal that they would prefer not to run against Santorum – the Social Issues are only a small part of the campaign, and Santorum’s record reflects that he has voted in the interest of women and the elderly, and has the ability to separate his personal religious beliefs from governing. On economics, and foreign policy, as well as domestic policy, he is on target with the American public, crossing party lines.

Of course, there is the final debate performance before all primaries including Super Tuesday this Wednesday night on CNN – that debate may make a difference for any one candidate – as Santorum has grown stronger in the debate arena, and will, most likely be placed next to Romney - it will be an opportunity to either compare and contrast, or fend off attacks by the former Massachusetts Governor.

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