I still support Newt, but I’m not oblivious to the challenges currently facing his campaign.

So what if ….

Should the race come down to Santorum or Romney, I’d have to think about it, as shocking as that may sound given my criticisms of Romney.  That’s not so much a vote of confidence in Romney, as it is an uneasiness with Santorum.

I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about Santorum at this point.  I find him off-putting and prosecutorial, but I certainly could overcome such measurements.

Most of all, I find him to be the least scrutinized of the candidates so far.

We’ve already highlighted that whatever consistency he has had, Santorum is not a small government Tea Party kinda guy.  He’s just not, and running ads quoting a WaPo writer to say he is isn’t enough (the same writer also said “[c]onspicuous candor has been part of Obama’s campaign”).

Until someone can convince me otherwise, Santorum appears to be as big a big government kinda guy as Romney on economic issues, with the exception of health care.  That “exception” may be enough in the end.

On social issues, Santorum is a bigger big government guy than Romney, although his record is unclear as to the extent to which his anti-libertarianism would be refected in policy, but there is reason to question.  Which is why I’d have to learn a lot more about him.

I consider myself a Tea Party kinda conservative, or what I previously (and I think accurately) have described as conservative with a dash of libertarian.

I think this is a pretty good explanation of the phenomenon which got the Democrats kicked out of the House in 2010:

The Tea Party movement was supposed to represent an end to this sort of moralistic Big Government conservatism. Animated by “fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets,” as the Tea Party Patriots’ credo put it, the movement had supposedly put social issues on the back burner to focus on the crisis of government growth.

I don’t think Santorum “can’t win.”  I’m just not sure yet I would want him to, depending on the alternative.