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Why I Santorum could very well place 2nd in New Hampshire

Conventional wisdom suggests Santorum will not do well in New Hampshire; but I am of the opinion that he will very likely place atleast 3rd and maybe 2nd.  Why do I think this?

  1. First, Senator Santorum is actually a strong candidate for New Hampshire.  For starters, he is more fiscally conservative than Romney.  Santorum has been a long-time supporter for a balanced budget ammendment, supports a cap on spending at 18% of GDP, and has long fought for reforming social security medicare, and medicaid.  Santoum fought to reform welfare, and has a consistant record as a fiscal conservative.  Yes, Santorum is also a social conservative, but so are many Republicans in NH.  While Paul is more fiscally conservative than Santorum, many in NH want someone who is also strong on national security, which Santorum is.  If Santorum had 3 months, he would win NH.  With 1 week, he may not win, but I think he will consistantly surge over the week and place 2nd.
  2. Second, Santorum has spent more time in NH than any other candidate, and he will be able to likely spend as much money in NH as he did in Iowa due to his increased fundraising.  In addition, he is getting a lot of free media.  As a result, Santorum will be able to get his message out better than people may think.
  3. Third, Ron Paul’s support is fading.  Many Paul voters are devoted, but about 1/2 of them are somewhat realistic.  They do not want Romney, and will see Santorum as a real fiscal conservative.  1/2 of Paul voters supported him last year and are libertarians, but the other 1/2 are unhappy with faux conservatives and believe that Paul is honest.  These same voters will see that Santorum is honest, consistant, and will be a solid fiscal conservative.  Other Paul supporters will support Gingrich and Huntsman.  However, the net effect is that Paul’s support will fall.
  4. Momentum is real in races.  Santorum has it.  He had it big-time going into the final days of Iowa.  The win in Iowa is another big boost.  He has won a series of NH endorsements since then, which are another boost.  He is now everywhere on TV, the radio, and in the news.  Every surging candidate (Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Gingrich) had atleast 1 month in the sun.  Santorum’s month started at Christmas time, meaning it should last through the end of January or maybe even beyond that.
  5. The attacks on Santorum have been rather pathetic so far.  Perry’s attacks on the earmarks issue are rather ineffective given Perry’s hiring people to work to get earmarks for Texas and his acceptance of them.  When Paul attacks on earmarks it is equally silly as Paul put earmarks in only to vote against the entire bill and have it both ways.  No voter votes an election based on the earmarks issue.  That is not a deal-stopper.  Let’s remember back to the attacks that were lauched against Gingrich.  Santorum has none of those family problems or ethics issues.  The mistakes that killed Perry such as “heartless” and “oops” and such are not there with Santorum.  Cain’s women problems are not there with Santorum either.  Unlike Bachmann, Santorum has not made up false attacks about vaccinations).  Democrats threw everything they could at Santorum while he was in the Senate and none of it stuck (other than attacks that he was a conservative).  If we remember, the main issues hurting Santorum in 2006 were Iraq, his support for tax cuts, and reforming social security.  Hardly flaws in the general election.  I’m not saying he is perfect, but Perry’s attacks in Iowa did nothing, and neither will Romney’s attacks.  Sorry, but compared to Romneycare, they got nothing on Rick….
  6. Santorum is a viable candidate who could win in a general election.  He won election as a Senator in PA in 1994 and 2000.  He won in a democrat districk in 1992 and 1994 in the House.  In 2012, Santorum could beat Obama.  Santorum wins the South (only Virginia will be in play), wins Ohio, wins tranditionally GOP areas in the West and Centeral.  He puts PA easily in play, and forces Obama to defend MI, and other midwest states.  Santorum could win Iowa, and puts NH in play.  FL would lean his way.  Santorum actually would — in my opinion– have a better map to play with than would Romney.
  7. Finally, Santorum is a big plus for the GOP in efforts to win the Senate and to hold the House.  Santorum has a strong appeal across the board with conservatives.  He really brings out social conservatives in stronger than normal numbers, which would greatly help the GOP in a number of swing states and districts.  Santorum would motivate fiscal conservatives as well, as he is authentically conservative.  Most importaintly, unlike Romney, he would not have to worry about a 3rd party candidate running with the claim that the GOP ticket was too liberal (as was the case with many in the GOP voting for the Consitution Pary canididate rather than McCain).  Santorum would be good for the GOP.

So, my opinion is that Santorum will once again exceed expectations and will place in a surprise 2nd in NH.

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