Barack Obama has made a serious, tactical error.
The attack on the Catholic Church in ObamaCare is deliberate, and timed for the election. He hopes to use it to pretend that the Republican candidate, whoever that might be, is against contraception. He believed his focus group data that said most people would side with an assault against the archaic, corrupt, fanatical, religious idiots.
His focus groups were wrong. It's going to explode in his face. America is still a religious nation, and most people are not so stupid as to think that this is really about contraception. It's about religious liberty, everybody knows it, and nobody likes being told what to believe.
So here's how the election stacks up:
Obama v Romney becomes "middle class v 1%." Romney tries to make it "Democrat establishment v successful businessman." but it won't sell. Obama wins easily. (Oh, and Obama would run to Romney's RIGHT, and would be believed. Seriously.)
Obama v Gingrich becomes "known, sane President v unstable loon," while Gingrich tries (probably unsuccessfully) to make it "big government v better ideas." It's a tossup, but Obama wins if Gingrich self-destructs, which is, unfortunately, pretty likely.
Obama v Santorum becomes "status quo v scary neanderthal," but what the people will hear is "big, oppressive, anti-religious government v ordinary people just trying to live their lives." THIS is where the Republican party wins big. Not only does Santorum win this match-up, he would have coattails. Republican candidates should win across the board in this scenario.
Barack Obama unexpectedly has handed the Republican party the issue of individual, religious liberty on a gilt-edged platter. Rick Santorum is the correct candidate to take advantage of this, as the Northeast Catholics and Midwest Bible Belt conservatives flock to his aid.
We have an opportunity.