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Santorum needs to stay in this race

Yesterday, Newt Gingrich implied that Rick Santorum needs to drop out of the republican presidential primary race.  This is simply wishful thinking on Newt’s part.  Santorum needs to stay in this thing.

A week ago, Newt’s debate performances, Super PAC and the Rick Perry Endorsement propelled Gingrich into the lead in some Florida polls.  This race consolidated into a two-man Romney-Gingrich race.  But now, polls have Romney up by ten or more points.  Was it a Santorum surge that took from Gingrich?  No.  With no money and back-to-back debate losses, Gingrich is sinking all on his own.

Mainly, Gingrich has collapsed under the weight of his own record in debates and in advertisements.

Why does this mean Santorum should drop out?  Santorum performs better than Gingrich against Obama according to the RCP averages.

In the last debate, Santorum out-performed everyone, yet he didn’t pull support from Gingrich for any reason except that Gingrich bleeds support.   In the debate, Romney took it to Gingrich and beat him at his own game.  The latest polls show Gingrich DROPPING 7 points in Florida with Santorum PICKING UP 5 points in Florida.  Why? Debate performances.

Why should the rising tide should make way for the sinking ship?

Who should drop out now?  Well, neither candidate should.  But before Newt mounts his high horse he should remember that this is his fault and no one else’s.  Romney distorted his record in Iowa, Gingrich distorted his in South Carolina and thought they’d be even?  No, Florida is Romney’s answer to South Carolina.

Newt is exciting in debates and he is certainly better than Romney as a conservative, but if he doesn’t beat Romney in Florida it won’t be Rick Santorum’s fault, it will be Gingrich’s fault for going 0-2 in the Florida debates.

Now that Gingrich is on his way down AGAIN, the last thing we need is for the only counter-weight to Romney to drop out.  That is why Santorum needs to stick this out.  He won Iowa.  He has exceeded expectations on a shoestring budget.  If Gingrich implodes, the rest of the country will need someone to vote for besides Romney.  Santorum still has time.

One Tim Pawlenty gaff is enough for this election cycle.

Santorum is as different from Gingrich as Gingrich is from Romney.  Gingrich is unreliable and a likely loser in the General.  For that reason if no other, Santorum should stick it out to ensure that we have someone that meets conservatives’ minimum qualifications.

Santorum has a claim to fame that only Gingrich and Romney currently hold.  He won Iowa.  He bested Gingrich in New Hampshire and he came in only 8 points behind Romney in South Carolina and beat out Ron Paul.

Santorum hasn’t really had any gaffes this cycle, he has shown that he is ready for prime time.  For 19 debates he was the only one consistently and coherently articulating conservatism.  That is something to respect, even if you don’t like his record.

If Santorum was holding back Gingrich from winning, I would call for him to back out.  But as long as he remains a credible candidate and isn’t dividing the vote, leaving a path to victory for Romney, he has as much right to stay in as anyone else.

He is the perfect candidate on two out of the three legs of Reagan conservatism.  He is a strong social conservative and he has got his finger on the trigger ready to go to war with any country that he sees fit.   Two out of three is better than Romney who has one out of three.

It is the spending leg of the party that Santorum is weak on.  He voted for S-Chip, Medicare Part-D, he supports wars that costs untold Billions without end.  On top of that, he has opposed conservative ideals on a few other issues.  There is the Benedict Arlen issue, the opposition to right-to-work legislation and a seeming sympathy for SOPA.

However, he has pledged to sign right-to-work legislation and I think he has learned a lot from the Toomey/Specter fiasco.  He has made a host of pledges on many of these fiscal issues and let’s face it, Romney has never been a fiscal conservative.  So, you don’t have to support Santorum, but we also don’t need to try and kick him out until it is time.  And its not time yet.  If you want to get behind Gingrich, fine, but give us time to make sure Gingrich is ready for prime time.  He has already imploded twice, if it happens a third time, we are still going to need someone to stop Romney.

Santorum’s chances aren’t good.  But there is still time.  Romney only has 13 of the 1,144 delegates necessary to win.

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