In the last week, we have all read articles or seen interviews with Santorum and Gingrich operatives passionately stating how their candidate is in this race to the end and to win it. Keep in mind the reasons they are so vociferous. Every one of them receives a salary from the campaign. It is in the self-interest of each campaign worker to keep their candidate in the race as long as possible and so they will always continue to talk him up!
Dan Hirschhorn wrote an Op-Ed in The Daily yesterday that provides outstanding insight into Pennsylvania politics as related to Mr. Santorum. It is titled, “NOT PENN. PALS — Even if he wins his home state, Santorum could walk away without delegates”
Santorum Delegates: As in NONE.
BTW, if you have not read Karl Rove’s latest, it is worth the read to see why Obama is really worried!
EXCELLENT reporting by Hirschhorn!:
As Rick Santorum desperately tries to make a dent in Mitt Romney’s formidable delegate lead, he faces an unlikely obstacle on the primary calendar: his home state of Pennsylvania.
Yes, Santorum is currently favored — though hardly a lock — to win the popular vote in the state he represented in Congress for 16 years.
But Pennsylvania’s non-binding primary rules for distributing delegates raise the prospect that Santorum, who has said he’ll win the vast majority of the state’s delegates, could actually come away from next month’s primary empty-handed at a time when he can ill-afford it.
Which means the April 24 primary could represent yet another chance for Romney — who kicked off his Pennsylvania campaign this week by trotting out supportive Republican leaders — to finally deal Santorum a knockout blow.
Interviews with about two dozen Pennsylvania Republicans and a review of the delegate candidates brings Santorum’s challenge into focus.
The ranks of delegate hopefuls are littered with Republican state committee members, elected officials and others with close party ties, who will ultimately be more beholden to a state party leadership that, while officially neutral, is visibly leaning in Romney’s direction and increasingly vocal in its fear that Santorum could hurt the party in a general election — especially after witnessing his 18-point drubbing in 2006.
Romney, Ron Paul and even Newt Gingrich got some of their supporters on the ballot as delegate candidates. But Santorum’s campaign officials, who have struggled with ballot organization issues across the country, privately concede that they just didn’t have the time, nor resources, to organize their own supporters to run as delegates when the paperwork was due earlier this year.
“At this point the delegate candidates are lined up everywhere but with Rick,” said Charlie Gerow, a longtime GOP strategist supporting Gingrich.
The state party has so far not made an endorsement in the race. But Bob Asher, a Republican National Committeeman and one of the most powerful forces in state politics, is backing Romney. So are top party fundraisers and members of Congress from the Philadelphia suburbs who, like many elected and party officials, worry that a Santorum candidacy would send independents fleeing from the GOP and damage their prospects in down-ballot races.
“I think most people recognize we have to put forward the best candidate to beat Barack Obama,” said Rep. Jim Gerlach, a suburban congressman and Romney backer who’s also a delegate. “There’s a lot of support to make sure Gov. Romney is ultimately our nominee.”
Added a top Republican fundraiser who’s neutral in the race: “People like Rick, and they often like his policies. But his brand is so tarnished and we’re all terrified at the prospect of him on top of the ticket.” (more…)