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Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Rick Santorum’s campaign?

Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Rick Santorum’s campaign?

Rick Santorum has said he will be in the race for the long haul, and I have no reason to doubt his sincerity.

But what message does it send his supporters in Florida that he’s not even hanging around for election night?

Failing to show early signs of momentum in the Sunshine State, presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on Wednesday signaled he may be cutting out of Florida before the state’s Jan. 31 primary.

Speaking to reporters here, the former Pennsylvania senator said was unsure if he would be in Florida the night of the primary, committing only to campaigning in the state over the next two days. On Saturday, he’ll head home to Virginia for fundraisers and to prepare his tax records which he plans to soon make public.

His voters strongly prefer Newt over Romney according to the latest PPP poll:

If Rick Santorum drops out between now and next Tuesday, Gingrich will be the beneficiary. His voters prefer Gingrich over Romney 50-23, and in a field where he’s no longer a candidate Newt’s lead expands to 43-36.

Will an unofficial drop out, at least in Florida, be the differerence?  I don’t see how he revives his campaign unless he can be competitive in one of the prize states.

But he can do damage at the debate Thursday night, and leave with a bang.

Update:  Romney campaign sends mass email quoting Pelosi threat against Newt (Update: Pelosi backs off)

Update 1-26-2012: Santorum counters Florida exit talk, says he will be in state through Monday.

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Comments

Midwest Rhino | January 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm

perhaps Rick has seen the handwriting on the wall, and will choose to skewer Mitt a few times as his last harrah.

    Dynamism in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Santorum’s a spiteful little man who seems to harbor a significant inferiority complex towards Newt, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Santorum endorse Mitt. It wouldn’t be the 1st time Santorum has shilled for the establishment against his so-called “principles” (see Santorum’s support of Arlen Specter).

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Dynamism. | January 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      maybe, but in the last debate he dished it out to Mitt as well as Newt in his desperate attempt to be relevant. Maybe Mitt and company can offer him something, but he is more closely aligned with Newt, and I think he may have seen the light.

      I’ll put my money on Rick supporting Newt over the guy he thinks is dishonest on public funding of abortion.

      PhillyGuy in reply to Dynamism. | January 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      Santorum is 6’4″. You must mean Mitch Daniels who is 5’6″

First there was Bachmann and Cain. And then I thought I could support Santorum and maybe even Perry.

I will not be going to the horse track any time soon…

Florida is the first closed primary. If Rick can’t do well here with only Republicans, where’s he going to go? Based on the nasty Mitt PAC Anti-Santorum mailers I’ve gotten – 4 in just 2 days this week – I would hope he wouldn’t attack Newt tomorrow night and maybe endorse him soon? But then I thought Rubio would favor Newt too and he’s turned out to be another Nicki Haley.

    Darkstar58 in reply to MKReagan. | January 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Fla is also the the first more “National” state to have to contend with. Where in Iowa, NH and SC you had specific voting blocks to appeal to, Fla is a gigantic mixed bag of political/social/religious views which is going to be best influenced with National Stances (instead of location specific ones) and vast Name Recognition/Publicity Spots (as opposed to ground-game, “meet everyone” campaigning)

    If Rick can’t gain steam in Fla it indicates he will be extremely hard pressed to carry any of the more huge delegate states coming up down the road.

    (on the other hand, Rick would likely be best served sticking it out in a few states just in case Newt does have this implosion the Media and Establishment types have been obsessively insisting is just about to happen for the last 4 months or so. Wouldn’t help Newt at all if he did so, but he might become the Not-Romney vote down the road if it did happen to actually take place)

theduchessofkitty | January 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Rick Santorum is a good guy. There’s no question about it.

Here’s a likely scenario for him: under a Gingrich or a Romney Presidency, Santorum will be appointed Ambassador to the Holy See (read: the Vatican). His appointment will be approved faster than quick in the U.S. Senate. Once arrived at the Vatican, the whole family will think they’re in Heaven-on-Earth.

An they all lived happily ever after. The End.

It seems like Santorum should do as Gov. Palin suggested and take one for the team. He barely won Iowa, a left leaning liberal state that has a backwards voting system. He came in 4th in NH and SC and is running a distant 3rd in Florida. Now he is heading home before the FL primary. Seems to me he is getting ready to announce dropping out.

    WarEagle82 in reply to wodiej. | January 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    By the same logic, shouldn’t Romney “take one for the team” since he lost in Iowa and South Carolina?

    I’m willing to let this play out and see what the candidate and voters do…

      Juba Doobai! in reply to WarEagle82. | January 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Romney take one for the team? He is the king! Crown him so he doesn’t have to make his case to the people and can continue talking generic meaningless pablum, being respectful to the press, being uncritical of Obama and sail his way to the WH because, doncherknow, it’s his turn now!

Are we seeing…

I hope so.

Henry Hawkins | January 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Checking the primary schedule, the northern rust-belt and factory states more likely to support Santorum’s manufacturing economics and blue collar populism are quite a bit into the calendar:

Michigan Feb 28
Ohio Mar 6 (Super Tuesday)
Illinois Mar 20
Wisconsin Apr 3
Pennsylvania Apr 24
Indiana May 8

…. while the next several primaries are FL, NV, ME, CO, MN, MO before getting to MI on Feb 28, the first rust-belt state.

Santorum has a long way to go to get to a state naturally in his wheelhouse and he’s not getting above 12-15% in other states. He struggles with raising money, leaves soon for home (VA) to raise more.

I have a suspicion that Santorum’s luck raising money when he retruns to VA will decide whether he stays in or not. He may well quit in early February. If he does, I figure he’ll either decline to endorse or endorse Gingrich. I cannot see him endorsing Romney. As much as one can tell from debates, Santorum opposes Gingrich, but seems to dislike Romney.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 26, 2012 at 12:08 am

    The only one of those states Rick might do well in is MO. He could maybe do so-so in CO and NV.

    I think he will get out after FL. At some point, he will endorse Newt…..unless the GOP makes him an offer he can’t refuse. I would think Rick’s support would more naturally move to Newt or Paul, mostly to Newt. I could see Paul getting maybe 10% and Mitt getting 20%, with the other 70% going to Newt.

    I think support is shoring up behind two final candidates and that’s why it’s becoming brutal. A lot of South Carolinians polled stated they made their mind up in the last day or two before voting, and they went for Newt. There is a large contingent of people, myself included, who detest Mitt and wish we had better choices. I was for Perry until he dropped out. I still think he was our best candidate. I think most Perry supporters went to Newt and smaller number to Rick. I doubt that many moved to Mitt.

    Mitt has been running for 4.5 years and still can’t get more than 30% of the GOP strongly behind him. He is not electable. Credibility and Romneycare are insurmountable problems for him.

My opinion is that Santorum is a worthy candidate and NOT a “spiteful little man.” But, for this election, he has too little money and not enough pizzazz. I root for Newt.

I would, of course, entrust my future willingly to Santorum any day. We are screwed with Obama.

    McCoy2k in reply to nomadic100. | January 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Santorum should be seen through the lens of a candidate campaigning for Vice President. He’s fulfilling the same role this cycle John Edwards did in 2004. Doesn’t mean he’s going to be selected as the Vice President, however.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to McCoy2k. | January 26, 2012 at 12:26 am

      I don’t think he will be selected for VP. He just doesn’t have the pizzazz or juice to add much to the ticket. If Rick was doing better and his support would naturally flow to Romney, which I don’t think it would, I could see a scenario wherein Romney would offer it to him in exchange for getting out. But Rick just doesn’t have the support to make him marketable in that way. He might, at some point, endorse Newt as a matter of principle. But I think much too much is made of the impact of endorsement anyway.

      I supported Perry until the last dog died, so I had to switch to Newt. Personally, I wish Rick would get out before FL because I think most of his support would move to Newt, but that’s for him to decide. I think he will go soon because of finances, and I wish him well in whatever he does thereafter. He’s basically a good guy. I would hate to see him dump all over the remaining candidates. Based on what I’ve seen of him, I think he has more class than that, but you just never know anymore.

It’s hard to imagine that Santorum’s long-term strategy is to blow off the 11th biggest cache of delegates. It sounds like he’s going to do some soul searching.

Not just Santorum but Newt too. Did anyone see his Moon speech? Gingrich has moments of pure brilliance followed by utter silliness.

It’s more likely that we are seeing the end of Gingrich’s campaign.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289159/gingrich-and-reagan-elliott-abrams

More and more, Gingrich is being painted as a maverick ala John McCain with a strong streak of BJ Clinton.

Only someone who believes that Romney and Gingrich are the only two choices and that Romney is even worse could try to defend Gingrich. It’s time to put both behind us and get ready for the next RINO cram down. I expect it to be Mitch Daniels before the GOP establishment finally cuts to the chase and drafts Jebbie. Hopefully, it all happens before we head for that brokered convention.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, Wally? The gods on high are going to issue a proclamation that Mitch Daniels, of the wife who has divorced him once or more fame, is the one. Not Sarah Palin who has the base and can tear Obama to shreds with a smile (ask Fatboy Chris Christie about the knife she used on him) but Mitch Daniels, Mr. Boring. They are going to foster his on us and say this is your candidate.

    Okay. Then let them give him the votes to defeat Obama without the base since they don’t care for us to decide whom we will choose or whom we want. I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch the GOPE make Daniels the new king.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, really? The gods on high are going to issue a proclamation that Mitch Daniels, of the wife who has divorced him once or more fame, is the one. Not Sarah Palin who has the base and can tear Obama to shreds with a smile (ask Fatboy Chris Christie about the knife she used on him) but Mitch Daniels, Mr. Boring. They are going to foster his on us and say this is your candidate.

    Okay. Then let them give him the votes to defeat Obama without the base since they don’t care for us to decide whom we will choose or whom we want. I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch the GOPE make Daniels the new king.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 26, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Wow. Life must be lonely out on the end of that limb all by yourself.

    Newt throw in the towel? Maybe, but I doubt it. He’s having too much fun. Romney throw in the towel? Never. Neither his ego nor his hairdresser would stand for it.

MKReagan | January 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I was a bit surprised at Rubio too, but as you say, I guess he is another Nikki Haley.
I too have received a slew of glossy Mitt mailers attacking just about everyone under the sun and have received a barrage of phone calls blasting Newt. Too bad I can’t tell them off and tell them to stop calling. Voted today and asked the poll watchers about the traffic – slow but steady. I suppose everyone’s waiting for next week. If signs are an indication of anything (doubt it), there were many more Newt signs outside than others. Otherwise, uneventful.

    stevewhitemd in reply to MAB. | January 25, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I was a bit surprised at Rubio too, but as you say, I guess he is another Nikki Haley.

    Not surprising about it. Professional pols in high office are really, really, really good at two things:

    1) counting, especially to 50%+1
    2) calculating their long-term career aspirations

    Nikki Haley is smart, tough, and in it for the long haul. Ditto Rubio. There is NO WAY either of them will risk angering the political establishment that they’re going to need (seed money, endorsements, etc) when it’s their time to take the next step in their own careers. They just won’t do that, and I get it.

    If Newt had it won they’d endorse because that would be the smart, ‘establishment’ thing to do. Plus, Newt would remember if he became president. Ditto Romney: if Mittens had it in hand (so to speak), Haley, Rubio and just about every other Pub elected official would have endorsed already.

    Haley and Rubio can count, and calculate. That’s why they’re holding back. They’re pros.

      Hope Change in reply to stevewhitemd. | January 26, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Maybe. or maybe they’re traitors to the TEA Party spirit that got them elected.

        Milwaukee in reply to Hope Change. | January 26, 2012 at 1:16 am

        I want to check “like” to this part of the question: “maybe they’re traitors to the TEA Party spirit that got them elected.”

        I would hope TEA Party is about principles, and thus successful in politics, not about being successful in politics.

[…] PROF. JACOBSON: Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Rick Santorum’s campaign? […]

This is the second WaPo story on Saul Alinsky I’ve seen in the last two days.

Saul Alinsky would be so disappointed: Obama breaks ‘Rules for Radicals’

The other said Newt was using “Rules for Radicals.”

Santorum leaving Florida early may mean he doesn’t see great prospects their, but also does no necessarily indicate that he is dropping out completely. He may instead be cutting his expenses there in order to save up for states where he may get a better bang for his buck (see the above noted list of later states.)

There is more talk about a potential brokered convention, in which case any future won delegates may prove quite valuable. The real question is whether Santorum has the finances to pursue such a strategy.

To answer your question; I sure hope so. I’m from PA and have followed Santorum from his college days. President of the US? Noooooooo!

Glenn Beck is big on Santorum as being a “real” conservative, and Newt a progressive. Maybe. But Newt wants a smaller government.

I recall an episode from The Apprentice: Trump says to a girl: ‘you tell me your a great leader, but I don’t see anybody following you.’ If Santorum was so great, why did he spend over a year in Iowa and was barely able to eek out a weak victory? He too has too much baggage, ala Newt. No, Rick doesn’t have the right stuff. Let him return to Pennsylvania, win the Governorship, set that ship of state aright, and then return to national scene in 8 to 10 years with a conservative, governing track record.

I support Rick Santorum, but I really like newt, both are great against the jihad and that is my top issue. Mitt is an islamocoddler and he also is out of touch and unable to connect with people (just like Obama), Newt has no problem connecting with people and although I really like Rick, I don;t see him fighting dirty and the general election is going to be nasty – Newt ain’t afraid of the mud. I think Rick would be a great President, but I think Newt can win the election. I’d love to see a Gingrich/Santorum ticket, because it would make the islamoleftists and their treasonous sympathizers pee their pants in fear. Rick is younger than Newt, so if they teamed up, it would make more sense for him to be VP than POTUS. And then they could make Allen West Sec. of Defense and America’s enemies would truly be terrified.

I’m from Pennsylvania, and I don’t want Santorum back. Iowas can keep him.

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