Prediction: Senator Santorum to Quit Presidential Race in April

This week, a number of news outlets have reported a conspicuous drop in Santorum’s typical strident rhetoric against Gov. Romney. I believe this is a less than subtle way to position himself to exit the race. Yesterday’s New York Times reported,

Rick Santorum has eased up on using phrases like “worst Republican in the country” when tearing into Mitt Romney. And he is no longer saying that a vote for Mr. Romney would be basically the same thing as a vote for President Obama.

Meet subdued Santorum.

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.
The sudden restraint has surprised some of his supporters.

[emphasis added]

Senator Santorum is not stupid; think about it. Just a few days ago, he rips Gov. Romney publicly and that very same day publicly states he would consider a veep position under a President Romney. Yes, I did a double-take as well! But why let up now? The NYT article even quotes his supporters saying that his “passionate” language is one of the things most appealing.

Here is the reason I believe. There are eight primaries between now and April 24th. Romney is expected to win six of them and probably by a wide margin. The other two are Wisconsin (4/3) and Pennsylvania (4/24). As of 7:30 p.m. PST tonight, Intrade shows the probability of a Santorum win in Wisconsin at 11.8% and a win in his home state of Pennsylvania at 31.1%. The other six states are below 5% except Connecticut (6.8%). Above, I said Santorum is not stupid. He is looking at these same probabilities and he is thinking now.

Here is where the dew of reality is descending upon Santorum’s thoughts.

Rick Santorum’s private thoughts (my conjecture):

“Wow! I could lose this thing fast in the next few weeks. I have to win. I put too much into this thing with my wife, my children, and Bella — And dang it, I worked harder than the other guys and I deserve to win! I have to win Wisconsin to build the momentum into my home state but Mitt is so much more prepared and his machine is killing me in Wisconsin. I have to win Pennsylvania! If I lose Wisconsin, that will not be good going into Pennsylvania! Mitt is picking up steam in Pennsylvania this week. I have to win Pennsylvania! Having to answer to that dang 18 point loss in my senate race in 2006 has been shear [pain] in this race — embarrassing! There is no way I will lose Pennsylvania — No way!”

Do you see where Rick’s mind is right now? Can he win Wisconsin next Tuesday? Absolutely he can if we let up at all. I strongly believe Governor Romney has Santorum in a strangle hold with Wisconsin, especially if he trounces him Tuesday. Romney will likely smash Santorum in DC and Maryland and if he has a really strong win in Wisconsin, Santorum will be all but dead going into Pennsylvania.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in February:

Yet six years ago, as he sought a third Senate term in Pennsylvania, Santorum proved he can also lose in such a politically competitive state — and lose big.

Santorum’s last race — an 18-percentage-point defeat in 2006 bid — raises questions about his appeal to independent voters who could help decide the national election in November, as well as to Republicans who will determine who gets the party’s nomination.

Santorum’s loss was “the largest defeat by a Republican United States senator seeking election or re-election in modern Pennsylvania history,” said G. Terry Madonna, a polling expert and public affairs professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

So think about it. If I am Santorum and I know I now have two choices (after losing Wisconsin): 1) I could do what I have said I would do and stay in the race all the way to the convention (remember: “principle”) and lose Pennsylvania and be thoroughly embarrassed again, or 2) I could exit stage right and declare my loyal support to Romney and hear everybody cheer me to glory.

How does Santorum avoid losing Pennsylvania again?

If Santorum were to lose Wisconsin to Romney, which do you think he will choose? 1? or 2? I predict Wisconsin will be another close race but that Romney will win it. If this happens, Santorum will “evaluate” the race at that point and decide to exit entirely. What seems hard to predict is when he would make that announcement. I think it would likely be the weekend following the Wisconsin primary and not a lot later so that it does not appear to be correlated with a fear of embarrassment — which a loss in his home state certainly would be.

The most compelling argument for Santorum to attempt a graceful exit from the race, upon losing Wisconsin, is this (he is not stupid — Santorum is the epitome of the political animal): He wants a future in politics — and presidential politics at that. If he were to lose Pennsylvania bad (very good possibility), he would be almost for sure pushed out of the race with people laughing, and his political reputation would be all but destroyed.

If he were then to attempt to run for POTUS in future years, it will always be remembered of him that he could not win reelection (2006) to the Senate in his home state (historically huge loss) and that he bad-mouthed Romney for months before being trounced again in his home state of Pennsylvania (2012). And why? Because of a) a huge ego, b) stubbornness, and c) strident social positions. He would be washed up and would forever be overlooked as a serious national candidate. He will not allow that to happen — not when he can control the outcome now.

As we say in business, the risk-reward consideration is making this untenable for Mr. Santorum. I think the probability that Santorum will compete in Pennsylvania is less than five percent.

He will not allow himself to be embarrassed. Not by Governor Romney!

GO MITT! Let’s all work as hard as we can to bring a HUGE win to Mitt in Wisconsin — We do not want the Wisconsin results to even be close! We can finish off Santorum next Tuesday.

“As the world’s finest democracy, we do not do guillotines. But there are other less bloody rituals of humiliation, designed to reassure the populace that order is restored, the Republic cleansed.” ~ William Greider

Exit Question: What is a One Term Obama Presidency Worth to You?

Politico Op Ed: Romneycare is an Asset, not Liability

An interesting op ed piece appeared on Politico today from Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell, posing the question whether “Romneycare” is an asset or liability for Mitt. They conclude the former.

The traditional analysis, which has become the sole remaining justification for a Rick Santorum candidacy, is that Mitt Romney’s being the author of Romneycare somehow disqualifies him from pointing out the flaws in Obamacare in the general election. But the op ed authors take exception to the traditional analysis:

This conservative faith is wrong, however. To the extent that attacks on President Barack Obama’s health care reform are good politics, the candidate best able to make them is Mitt Romney.

Since he orchestrated and then signed the Massachusetts health care law, Romney is uniquely qualified to lead the GOP attacks against the federal health care reform bill.

Why would Mitt be uniquely qualified?

He would be the first GOP nominee in nearly 50 years with a proven track record on health care who has been praised by Democrats — including the president — as fair and compassionate. He can’t be demonized as an out-of-touch, uncompassionate, hard-right ideologue on this issue.

Americans have been telling pollsters since 1965 that they favor Democrats over Republicans when asked whom they trust on health care issues. That was when President Lyndon B. Johnson and congressional Democrats passed the historic Medicare program — over the objections of many high-profile Republican opponents, including future President Ronald Reagan.

This political landscape meant GOP presidential nominees have regularly been put on the defensive, sometimes even demonized, on health care issues. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are typical in this regard.

Romney is the exception.

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Encouraging News: Mitt up 13 in Latest Wisconsin Poll

Evidence mounts that the GOP electorate is rallying around Mitt. Rasmussen today published a poll showing Mitt with a 13 point lead in the State of Wisconsin, 46% to 33% over Santorum. Wisconsin is among the next states to hold primaries, and follows Louisiana, which holds its primary tomorrow, March 24. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich were in distant third and fourth places, respectively, in the Wisconsin polling. Prior polls, taken nearly a month ago, had Santorum with a similar lead over Romney, indicating a nearly 30 point possible swing toward Mitt over that time. Of course polling is not always reliable, but the large swing is noteworthy, and may indicate the coalescing is beginning in earnest behind Mitt. Rasmussen overstated Mitt’s support in Mississippi, but understated his support in Illinois. Rasmussen’s latest Wisconsin poll has a 3% margin of error and 95% confidence rate. For more analysis, see this Washington Post article.

Charlie Sykes on Board. In other Wisconsin news, according to Politico, Charlie Sykes, a Wisconsin conservative radio personality, also posted via Twitter he’s voting for Mitt.

Louisiana. Polls in Louisiana still show Santorum with a 12-14% lead, with the latest Rasmussen poll showing 43% to 31% in favor of the Senator. Louisiana’s delegates are awarded proportionately, however, so the number of delegates out of the 46 [CORRECTION: 20] being allocated tomorrow will not be significantly in Santorum’s favor. [NOTE: an astute reader pointed out that only 20 of the 46 Louisiana delegates are actually allocated tomorrow, and, in fact, only candidates receiving over 25% of the vote will receive a proportional share of those, with the remainder of even that 20 being unbound, making Louisiana’s impact even smaller]. Now the math may not be linear, as every state is different, but a 12% higher vote would yield relatively few additional delegates granted to Santorum at the end of the contest, particularly if Mitt clears 25%, which appears likely. And 43% is certainly not enough to match the nearly 70% target Santorum must reach in every remaining primary to capture the nomination, making even Louisiana likely just another step towards Mitt’s ultimate victory. Nearly 60% of voters in Louisiana identify as evangelical or having similar values, which would suggest a home state advantage for Santorum, but exit polling in recent primaries has shown Mitt doing well in all groups, so Santorum’s historical advantage among evangelicals may be slipping as well. Polling has indicated that while evangelical voters may initially lean toward a different choice, Mitt is an acceptable alternative. As it becomes clearer Mitt is the only candidate that can win the nomination, look for growing support among this group. And who knows? With polls being wrong, and dynamics changing daily (including Santorum’s goof seeming to suggest support for Obama over Mitt), perhaps Mitt will win Louisiana outright.


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Mitt Romney doesn’t care about poor people? WRONG!

In the 24 hour news cycle, the story of the day has been Mitt’s comments to CNN in the early morning after his Florida win. While I think even the most ardent Romney fan would admit that this could and should have (and will be) phrased more adeptly, the liberals have taken and run with the partial quote that he’s “not concerned with the very poor” … It looks worse in print that in the context of the interview:

Mitt cares deeply about the poor, and his actions speak louder than words. How many “journalists” have bothered to mention that Mitt has given over $7,000,000 (SEVEN FREAKING MILLION!) to charitable organizations in just the last two years? Records from before then show the Romney’s consistent giving millions upon millions to organizations that care for the poor. By contrast, Joe Biden gave only $3690 to charity in an entire decade … that’s PROOF of someone that doesn’t care about the poor. From 2001-4, the Obamas made nearly a million dollars, but donated LESS THAN 1% of that income to charity.

Or what about when Mitt gave cash out of his pocket to the lady in South Carolina who said God guided her to follow Romney’s campaign bus to find help to keep her lights on? The EXACT SAME CNN REPORTER (Soledad) even reported about that a couple of weeks ago … does she have no memory?

Mitt doesn’t care about poor people? Demonstrably false and easy to debunk (and this is without even delving into fact that Mitt, as a Mormon Bishop for several years, dedicated much of his time to caring for the poor in a very “hands on” fashion). If Obama and team push this theme it will come back to bite them. Mitt’s done more to care for the poor than any snarky reporter or any of his political rivals.

Recall Vic’s post from a couple days back that highlighted Romney’s life of service and included the following YouTube:

Additionally, Brit Hume on Fox News today adroitly argued that anyone who wants to “make hay” or be offended by this out-of-context quote wouldn’t be voting for a GOP candidate anyways. I’d have to agree.

Endorsements for Romney From Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, & Wisconsin

We have four endorsement treats to share today…

Elected officials from Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin are backing Mitt Romney…


Boston, MA – Mitt Romney has announced the support of Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Congressman Rogers will serve as Special Adviser for National Security Policy.

Congressman Rogers’ work as a leader on national security issues has been important to the safety of our country,” said Mitt Romney. “Standing up to terrorists around the world, stopping Iran’s nuclear program, and maintaining our relationships with our allies will require the leadership that Congressman Rogers has displayed. I look forward to working with him both in this campaign and in Washington so that we can bring jobs back to our home state and keep our country secure.”

Mitt Romney has displayed the conservative leadership throughout this campaign and his life that will be needed to fix our economy and maintain America’s standing as the most powerful country in the world,” said Congressman Rogers. “I am confident that Michigan will be on Mitt Romney’s mind every day he is President and he will work hard to get Michigan back on track. Mitt Romney’s plan to restore our country’s fiscal health is important not just for economic growth, but is also vital for our nation’s national security interests. An America that faces economic and budget problems will not be able to project power across the world or contain countries and groups who wish to harm us and our allies.”

Background on Congressman Rogers:

Congressman Rogers Represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. Congressman Rogers is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Rogers has been a leader on issues vital to national security such as fighting the spread of terrorism, containing the Iranian nuclear threat, and protecting Americans from bio-terror attacks. Prior to his election to Congress, Rogers was a member of the Michigan Senate, U.S. Army and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Rogers is co-founder of a small home building company.


Boston, MA – Mitt Romney has announced the endorsement of Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns.

Senator Johanns has been a tireless servant for Nebraska and our country,” said Mitt Romney. “In my campaign, I am fighting to grow our economy, lower spending, and reform how Washington works. Senator Johanns has been on the frontline of these fights both in Nebraska and in the Senate. With his help, we can put our country on a prosperous path once again.”

Announcing his support, Senator Johanns said, “The only way we are going to reverse the failures of the last three years is if we have a president who understands the economy. Mitt Romney applied the principles he learned in the private sector to the challenges he faced leading the Olympics and as Governor. These same conservative principles can be used to fix our broken government.”

Background on Senator Johanns:

Senator Johanns Was Elected In 2008. In the Senate, he serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Environment and Public Works, Veterans’ Affairs and Indian Affairs Committees. Prior to his election, he was the Secretary of Agriculture under President George W. Bush. From 1999 to 2005, Johanns was the Governor of Nebraska.

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Ted Kanavas Named as Romney’s Wisconsin State Co-Chair

Ted Kanavas, former Wisconsin State Senator

Mitt Romney announced today that former Wisconsin State Senator Ted Kanavas will serve as Co-Chair of the Wisconsin campaign.

“I am proud to announce the endorsement of Ted Kanavas,” said Mitt Romney. “Ted shares my goals for Wisconsin and the rest of the country. We need to fundamentally change business in Washington in order to help small businesses grow and start hiring again. Ted has fought for this in Wisconsin and I look forward to working with him to bring jobs back to Wisconsin.”

Announcing his support Kanavas said, “Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a record of job creation in the private sector and as a governor. After three years of President Obama’s failed policies, it is clear that we need a president with experience working in the private sector, not another career politician. Wisconsin will be a critical state in this election. Mitt Romney is the only candidate who has the leadership experience Wisconsin voters are looking for and is the best candidate to beat President Obama in Wisconsin.”

(emphasis added )

Background on Ted Kanavas:

Ted Kanavas Was Elected To The Wisconsin State Senate In 2001. While in the State Senate, Kanavas was an advocate for job growth and economic development in Wisconsin. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Kanavas was an aide to Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. Kanavas is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Welcome, former State Senator Kanavas!

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Names 37 Members To His Wisconsin Finance Committee

An aerial view of downtown Madison, Wisconsin... Mitt Romney has named 37 members to head up his Finance Committee in the Badger State. 9/28/11

Ever mindful of the big political picture, Governor Romney has chosen 37 individuals to help raise funds in the grand state of Wisconsin. He announced his WI finance committee yesterday:

Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced his Wisconsin Finance Committee.

To beat President Obama, we will need the resources to go up against his $1 billion machine,” said Mitt Romney. “My Wisconsin Finance Committee will help raise the resources so that I can reach out to voters. I am proud to announce my team today.”

“To help get Governor Romney elected we must raise the necessary funds – this is the team that will do that in Wisconsin,” said Terry Dittrich. “As Mitt Romney reaches out to voters in Wisconsin and across the country, we will help him spread his pro-growth message.”

“After three years of failed policies, it is clear we need a change in the White House,” said Scott Beightol. “Mitt Romney is the only candidate with the necessary experience to get Wisconsin and the country on the right track again. Our team in Wisconsin is honored to help him in his efforts.”

Wisconsin voters have seen the record of this White House and it is not a good one,” said Mike Jones. “It is clear that we need someone in the White House with experience working in the real economy, not another career politician. Mitt Romney’s record of results as a conservative businessman and successful governor is what Wisconsin needs to grow our economy and for businesses to start hiring again.”

(emphasis added )

Mitt Romney’s Wisconsin Finance Committee:

Helen and Ned Bechthold
David Beightol
Scott Beightol
Betsie and Bill Berrien
Bonnie Blair
Kelly Brown
Lori and Joseph Chrnelich
Michael Cudahy
Willie Davis
PJ DiStefano
Terry Dittrich
Jim Fitzgerald
Casey Fitz Randolph
John Hiller
Jay Hintze
Dan Jansen
Mike Jones
Jim Klauser
Tracey and Rick Klein
Elaine and Stephen Kraut
Helen Johnson Leipold
Craig Leipold
Scott Rackham
Richard Resch
Frank Romano
Brian Schroeder
Tracy Stefaniak Borgardt
Joe Sweeney
Ray Taffora
Jason Thompson
Jack Voight
Yash Wadhwa

An impressive list; we appreciate their help in the Badger State!

► Jayde Wyatt