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Pennsylvania is a must-win for Santorum

Demographically, Pennsylvania is a state that Romney should win.  However, it is also Santorum’s home state.  At issue will be a critical question of: will voters who ideallogically are closer to Romney vote for Romney, or will they vote Santorum as their homestate boy.  This is no small question, as it asks whether issues matter more or people.  If issues matter more, the more liberal Romney will win the state, and be better possitioned to play in 2012 against Obama.  On the other hand, if the person matters, than Santorum will win and be better possitioned against Obama.

Poll after poll shows that primary and general election voters like Rick Santorum as a person.  The same polls show they do not like or trust Romney as much.  Voter’s concerns with Santorum around the country, and in his home state are centered around the question of whether or not Santorum is too conservative.  These questions have been around since 1994.  They have lead some to really like Santorum for standing up for his values.  They have led others, including in his home state, to wish he would shut-up and talk to what voters want to hear, not so much what he believes to be true.  So it was been the case that many voters who think he is too conservative have voted for him; allowing him to win, for example, in 2000 in a state where Bush lost.  On the other hand, in 2006, when a very well liked Bob Casey ran against him, Santorum lost a landslide.  Casey shared their issues, and they liked and trusted him.

The remaining primary states are such that Santorum has a real chance to take the race to the convention if, and only if, he can win his home state.  A strong victory there would be great for him.  A lose is game-over.

For the Romney campaign, Pennsylvania is the last and only chance they have to knock Santorum out of the game and declare victory before California votes.  Even with California, it is still very possible Santorum will make it to the convention, if he wins his home state.  For this reason, Romney will have every reason to go all out against Santorum.

For the Romney Campaign, Pennsylvania is a state where voters tend to elect moderate republicans like Romney most of the time.  2010 was a singular example where the Democrats nominated someone at the far left wing of the party after they fought a brussing primary, and in a strong GOP year, Tomney won. 

A loss in PA would hurt Romney badly if it were not Santorum’s home state.  Since it it, however, Romney has a chance to play with a huge money lead, voters idealogically on his turf, and with momentum.  A win in PA would means that the Romney campaign is finally on-track to win the nomination without a convention fight, and would effectivily end the race.  PA is Romney’s 2nd chance at SC.  Just like SC, winning PA ends the race in Romney’s favor.

Of course, a PA loss still has Romney well in the lead

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