Mark America brings up a good point for debate. Who is more UN-electable? Mark’s take is this:
PolitiJim, Romney is simply unelectable. See my latest on Suicide by Romneycare. Santorum is at least as able to defeat Obama as Romney, and perhaps more so, precisely because he isn't neutered on the biggest issue Republicans have: Obamacare.
Like you, I think Newt is the best of the three, but until the electorate discovers this, we're in for tough times. I think that "Etch-a-Sketch" did basically ensure an open or "brokered" convention, in which case Santorum will not get the nomination, but there's a fair chance it won't be Romney, either.
In this sense, I look at Santorum as a viable vehicle to a brokered convention where Newt's smarts will serve him well. I remember, for instance, that at CPAC, apart from Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich got the biggest applause and the most enthusiastic response of any of the speakers. In a brokered convention, the ability to deliver like that could be key.
So if some conservatives wish to remain on the Santorum train for now, I don't mind, because a.) I see him as better than Romney, and b.) because he helps prevent Romney from obtaining 1144.
In a complete shock to the 15 people who actually know of PolitiJim in the blogosphere, I have a response to his response.
Hey Mark! (everyone follow @MarkAmerica and subscribe to MarkAmerica.com - GREAT Patriot!)
In answer to your post, I don't see the evidence support that Santorum is more electable than Romney. We have to look at this NOT from a conservative perspective - but from an electoral one.
It is the relative strength going into the brokered convention that I am worried about. A very weak (under 15%) Gingrich doesn’t give him any power. A strong Santorum (anything above 35%) gives him enough power in my opinion to successfully challenge Romney in a floor fight with the 60% anti-Rom vote. Romney’s campaign has already conceded they won’t get 1144 so in my opinion we are battling for strength of SANTORUM going in, not strength of Romney. EtchASketchy’s advisor, I think, guaranteed this and I can’t see Romney galvanizing enough support from those of us that are appalled by who he is and what he would be.
RomneyCare won’t hurt him in a general election since Obama would have to argue AGAINST RomneyCare to make it a negative for him with general electorate. Romney’s biggest liability will be his Wall Street, Thurston Howell impression which he will combat WITH RomneyCare to show he cares. I agree it gives him ZERO high ground against Obama on the issue, but I don’t see it as a negative for him as he lies convincingly on the stump it was a “state’s right” issue.
But’s let’s talk about ELECTABILITY of the two. And as I said, I don’t see the objective basis to think Santorum could beat Obama. Here’s why:
Money and organization are important. In comparison to Obama on both, Romney wins hands down. Even with MONTHS to prepare - Santorum couldn't even qualify for 18 districts in Ohio and I forget how many in Illinois. Neither will compete on money with the former Illinois Senator Felonious Skunk - so it comes down to :Rick said “The issue in this race is not the economy.” And he was kind enough to the Romney campaign (and future Obama campaign) to provide a 2fer, by saying , “I don’t care what the unemployment rate is going to be. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Put a half a billion dollars in ads (and another $20 billion in free media coverage) behind that clip and the 44% of Americans who have no opinion of Rick Santorum will. And Rick’s not exactly the guy to create a good second impression.
Gingrich's message carried SC but was buried by Romney money in FL. Same happened to Santorum in Illinois. (It only took 7-1 to bury Rick and 22-1 to bury Newt) But at least Romney has a bazillion surrogates to get media attention. Santorum however is DESPERATELY hopeless of EVER getting off of his ridiculous social issue quicksand and while a few conservatives who vibe to his shrill judgmentalism thinks he is inspiring NO ONE ELSE does! In a period where the social issues were forefront and he should have shinned during the Catholic attack by Obama - HE FELL BY 20+ points! So he couldn't even articulate a message that was IN HIS FAVOR with a mass media that gave him a forum.
Meanwhile (for the record) a third place candidate totally unnerved the White House and set the national discussion on $2.50 gas. but that's another discussion.
So on message - although neither has ANY real ground breaking platform to push - I'd have to give the edge to Romney because when he screws up, he lies better than more convincingly than Santorum and doesn't have the social lightening rod.
Leadership? What has Rick done to convince the voters he can lead? Romney's got MA Gov and Olympics (despite the holes WE are aware of). Rick's been a historically unpopular legislator, lawyer and lobbyist. Even my marketing company couldn't make that brand sell.
Which leaves us with actual statistical evidence. My post earlier showed that while half of the GOP felt there was too much "religion" talk in the campaign, something like 72% of Dems/Independents did. We can't just brush off his historic 2006 loss. In a state that knew him publicly for 12 years - he b*tch slapped back to Virginia by PA voters. Why? Hypocrisy, Lies, Self-Righteous arrogant....what Dick Morris said was a "uniquely unlikeable personality."
At the end of the day, it is the 20% to 25% of NON religious, NON conservative voters who likely will judge NOT on policy, experience or leadership - but on PERCEPTION.
And Thomas Sowell wouldn't bet "rent money" on the ability for Santorum to distance himself from his extreme religious image of suddenly DOING what he said over the years, and using government to suddenly peep conservatives into everyone’s bedroom. To me this is why Media Matters is gleeful over Operation Hillarity and why the White House has held their fire from Rick for the most part.
The enormous open house of Rick lies and hypocrisy would be never ending. Bush was able to raise his “dumb Texan” barely enough to beat Al Gore only because (I think) people had enough of Bill Clinton. I’m not so sure with a faked 7% unemployment and faked 4% GDP Obama will have that yet.
So I probably disagree that Romney is more unelectable, but agree that it’s all about the brokered convention.
And in a note of reality to ALL of us Gingrich fans, Newt DOES have a severe woman problem. The perception in the mainstream of being a philanderer is a very real one and I’ll post the polls next week. It can not be ignored by the Gingrich campaign. If the truth about Obama’s gay lifestyle, forging documents and the charges against Obama’s gay sexual harassment at Harvard become widely known it will a non-issue, but Gingrich won’t get himself dirty with it and there is no evidence even the CONSERVATIVE media is willing to touch even OBVIOUS evidence of non-personal issues on Obama.
If those issues are not brought up it IS possible to recover from your negatives as Hillary did during her primary campaign. She went from high negative 60’s to low 30’s and by every indication since ALL of this is old news to America, he’s got no where to go but up.
And finally on our beloved Sarah, yes. She is positioned VERY well to step in although don’t count the Romney/RINO machine from beginning to sink those positives back into the 20’s or 30’s if they see her as a threat with an upcoming convention.
I’m finally come to turns that most people don’t have the time, or are too lazy to figure out the REAL story on each of these candidates. No matter how much you argue how successful Palin was in Alaska there are some that simply won’t take the time to believe it.
This is why I’m relying primarily on prayer.
And Oh Lord, help us.
Especially from ourselves.