Santorum

Wonder where Rick Santorum stands on Syria? Just check where President Obama is, and assume the opposite.

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Mitt Romney—and, for the moment at least, the Republican Party—dodged a bullet tonight as he narrowly won his native state. Of course, it shouldn’t be an afterthought that he also won Arizona by a landslide, capturing all the 29 delegates it’s rewarding this year. The last few days, though, were filled with growing talk in Republican insider-dom that a Romney loss in Michigan would provoke a serious search for a late-entry candidate.

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Gallup’s latest national poll shows Rick Santorum ahead of Mitt Romney nationally by 10 points, even as Romney has regained the edge in terms of which candidate Republicans think is most electable. Which is how you get a quote like this, which is enough to make any Beltway Republican bang his head against his granite counter-top: “You cannot be so black and white that you turn off a lot of people,” said Patricia Schwarber, a consultant in Akron, Ohio, who nonetheless plans to support Mr.

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David Brooks is back at it today, taking a second straight column to praise Rick Santorum for alone among the Republican candidates drawing attention to the woes of the working class and for drawing links between the strengths of their communities and values and our economic future.

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The NBC/Marist poll out today has some useful data to explain why Romney may win Iowa. Simply put, the state’s Republicans are increasingly pragmatic. When Marist asked likely caucus-goers back in November whether they preferred a candidate who shared their values/was closest to them on the issues, or a candidate who could beat Obama, values/issues won 60-21. The poll out today shows a 53-28 split on this question. If Romney wins, that change will more than account for his victory.  That said, Iowa Republicans still seem to prefer a true-believer over a tactical choice.

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Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina basically consisted of one actual, viable politician who could conceivably win a presidential election—Tim Pawlenty—standing alongside a bunch of fifth-tier candidates who had no hope: Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson. Indeed, by about halfway through the debate, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had blasted out three long “fact-check” e-mails addressing things Pawlenty had said, while completely ignoring everyone else.

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