This is the first Presidential primary season that I have followed and been involved in, and I definitely have not been disappointed. The up-and-down of this election season has made for a very entertaining and interesting race. From the beginning, Mitt Romney was the clear “favorite” to win our nomination. I have never been a supporter of his; I feel that his record is not a conservative one, and that he is running for President simply for the power that goes along with that position. Evidently, a majority of other Americans feel the same way; we have gone through numerous frontrunners in an effort to find a “Not-Romney” candidate. Each of those candidates rose in the polls, then fell back down again when their true record was exposed.
We are now on our last “Not-Romney” candidate: former Pennsylvania Senator, Rick Santorum. He had a slight boost coming out of Iowa, but quickly fell again to Newt Gingrich. Now, it seems, the tables have turned; folks are calling for Newt to drop out of the race as Senator Santorum continues to rise in both state and national polls. He has risen so much, in fact, that he is the new national frontrunner– even edging out Mitt Romney. According to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, Rick Santorum is leading the pack with 39% to Romney’s 27%. Newt Gingrich follows a distant third with 15%, and Congressman Ron Paul finishes last with 10%. In a two-man race with Romney, Santorum wins by an even larger margin: 55% to 34%. There are also reports that conservatives are beginning to consolidate behind Senator Santorum as the true conservative in the race.
Senator Santorum also leads Governor Romney in every category of voters: men, women, young people, seniors, conservatives, and even…independents. The independent voting bloc will be almost, if not as important as the youth vote in November. At this moment, Senator Santorum receives 42% of the independent vote, compared with Romney’s 25%. In a one-on-one matchup with Governor Romney, Santorum wins the independent vote 58% to 32%.
As a Santorum supporter, I’m thrilled with these numbers; but as this race has proven, nothing is definite. Polls can change overnight. However, when I really step back and look at each candidates’ record, I do believe that Senator Santorum has the most consistently conservative one. He has strong convictions, stands firm in his faith, has a solid economic plan to boost the economy, and he has a fantastic grip on foreign affairs. I do believe– dare I say it?– that he is the only GOP candidate in the race who has a legitimate chance of defeating President Obama. It is clear that after six years of campaigning, most people are growing tired of Governor Romney’s rhetoric. We need a new, energetic voice to lead our party into November. I believe, based on my own opinions but also on these poll numbers, that Rick Santorum is the man to do it.