(Mild) Fear of Santorum

What’s got me a little worried about Santorum is that we’re assuming he’s eminently beatable because he got shellacked in 2006. But he seemed like part of the Republican power structure in 2006, and we — moderates as well as liberals — were thoroughly sick of that power structure by then, on everything from the Iraq War to the attempt to keep Terri Schiavo alive.

Now I worry that Santorum seems to some voters like the plucky underdog, even within his own party. Back when he was in office, his culture-war meanness seemed to have real clout, because he was part of a right-wing gang that didn’t like to take prisoners; at this moment, even to me, he comes off as almost harmless, although I’m fully aware of the fact that he’d be an awful, dangerous president.

Could he possibly do well against Obama if he wins the nomination (which I’m starting to think will happen)? Could he surprise us because voters might see him not as the nasty culture warrior he was when he had power, but as a gee-whiz aw-shucks Boy Scout, and figure he won’t really turn the clock back on abortion and contraception and gay rights (except for the old white cultural conservatives, who may think he really can turn the clock back, and who may be Democrats and independents like the ones supporting him in Michigan)?

And before you shout “Man on dog!” and point to poll results showing increasing support for gay marriage and persistent support for legal abortion, let me remind you that right-wing culture warriors are a hell of a lot more likely to vote their social-issue convictions than the rest of us are. Otherwise, how did Republicans win so many recent election cycles?

Public Policy Polling goes through the history of the not-Romneys and finds that Santorum is the first one to do better than Romney against Obama:

PPP’s newest national poll finds Romney trailing Obama by 7 points at 49-42, while Santorum trails by only 5 points at 49-44.

… Over the previous 6 months when Romney first trailed Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain, then Newt Gingrich in our national polling he still did on average 6 points better than them in our general election tests. Santorum’s the first insurgent to challenge Romney on that front as well….

Santorum’s net favorability is 21 points better than Romney’s. Santorum’s at -7 (39/46), while Romney is at -28 (29/57). That’s mostly because Republicans like Santorum a lot better (+40 at 62/22 to Romney’s +2 at 43/41). But Santorum also does a good deal better with independents, coming in at -6 (40/46) to Romney’s -23 (32/55). In the head to heads Obama leads Romney by 9 with independents, but has only a 4 point advantage on Santorum with that group.

(Emphasis added.)

How is this possible? Well, I hate the scolding tone of this Jonathan Chait post, but I essentially agree with what he’s saying:

Santorum has attracted a terrible reputation among the overclass. He is defined by his crude, bigoted social conservatism, which colors the broader perception of him as an extremist. This in turn leeches out into a sense, often reflected in news coverage, which likewise reflects the social biases of the overclass, that Santorum is a fringe candidate who would repel swing voters.

To put that in a somewhat more charitable way, I think a lot of committed liberals and urban sophisticates (I place myself in both categories) really do care more than the rest of the public about zealously protecting the right to have gay sex, non-marital sex, non-procreative sex, and only wanted children after any sex. Since these issues matter a lot to us, and Rick Santorum is not only on the wrong side on all of them but is so proudly and defiantly, he seems ickier to us than he does, perhaps, than he does to the rest of the public.

Now, I think plenty of swing voters and heartlanders will stand with us on some or all of these things when push comes to shove; even at the Applebee’s salad bar they hated Dan Quayle’s attempt to slut-shame single mothers a generation ago, and more and more heartlanders are cool with the fact that Ellen DeGeneres is gay. But if these aren’t make-or-break issues for moderate Middle Americans, which I think is the case, then they’re unlikely to have paid as much attention to Santorum over the years as we have, so right now he doesn’t look so bad to them. I don’t know if that will continue to be true if he’s the nominee and they learn more about him, but for now we shouldn’t assume that our view of him is shared by everyone who’s not a rightist.

(Adapted from a couple of posts at No More Mister Nice Blog.)






246 replies
  1. 1
    Brandon says:

    Quit the effin’ concern trolling. It is pathetic. Santorum would be a ridiculously awful general election candidate.

  2. 2
    WeeBey says:

    I ain’t a skeered.

    Santorum is unelectable nationally.

  3. 3
    Peter says:

    If Santorum’s numbers are only mildly bad now, it’s because nobody’s taken him seriously until last week so nobody’s connected his name to the awful shit he’s said.

    Expect that to change in a hurry.

  4. 4
    seanindc says:

    Santorum polls better because most people don’t know him. That will change in a hurry.

  5. 5
    Bruce S says:

    Naaaah… Bring him on!

  6. 6
    Brazilian Rascal says:

    Many people had no real clue regarding who George W. Bush was, Brandon. Didn’t hurt him much. In fact, you might say it helped him.

    I think it truly hinges on the world stage at this point. If things sail under the current course, I see Obama winning handily, possibly in a landslide. But if there’s another economic shockwave or Middle East political hot potato, then it’s a coin flip.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    If this election doesn’t really come down to the economy, stupid voters, then it will produce such a stupid economy that the asshats who vote for Santorum will deserve the crumbling bridge they live under.

    /run-on rant

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Larv says:

    Meh. Let’s wait and see what Santorum’s poll numbers look like after he’s weathered a week or two of Romney-backed negative ads before we start worrying about him. Pretty much every other non-Romney Republican candidate has had a honeymoon period of relatively high polling before the media and his fellow candidates started paying attention to them. None of them could sustain it in the face of public attention and SuperPAC-funded negative ads. I don’t see why Santorum should be any different.

  10. 10
    slightly-peeved says:

    The guy wants to ban birth control, and he has the charisma of a venereal disease. Chill the fuck out.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @BGinCHI: The State of GA has been solid republican for a decade. Since then our unemployment numbers are consistently higher than the national average, schools are crumbling and they ruined the hope scholarship so the students it was designed to help go to college are screwed. Guess what, the repubs aren’t getting blamed. President Obama is.

  12. 12
    Mark S. says:

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    I don’t remember Bush ever talking about his desire to outlaw birth control.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    but as a gee-whiz aw-shucks Boy Scout, and figure he won’t really turn the clock back on abortion and contraception and gay rights

    On this point I disagree. I think Romney could draw the lo-info UMC suburbanite who thinks, “oh, he doesn’t really mean all that” and doesn’t notice when Janice Rogers Brown is appointed to the USSC and is then shocked to find Roe in jeopardy. Santorum’s earnestness is his enemy in that regard.

    Also, I can’t believe it’s just my liberal sophisticate blinkers that make Santorum set off my really-fuckin’-creepy-dar. To answer the Brazilian Rascal, I despised George W Bush from the get-go, but I could see why people fell for the ‘have a beer with’ nonsense Tim Russert was selling. Rick Santorum I think makes people feel he wants to get them alone to talk about Christ Of The Genitalia.

  14. 14
    Brandon says:

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    Many people had no real clue regarding who George W. Bush was, Brandon.

    I honestly cannot tell if this line is snark. Because I cannot believe someone would try to argue that GWB, the namesake of his father who happened to be a former President and sitting governor of one of the nations largest states started his Presidential campaign without name recognition.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    What’s got me a little worried about Santorum is that we’re assuming he’s eminently beatable because he got shellacked in 2006.

    I’m assuming he’s eminently beatable because the GOP is sending Lightsaber Kid up against Yoda. A giant douchebag godbotherer in the Senate is a nuisance because he’s only 2% of the vote, so you can be generous with a candidate like that and trust that his crazier instincts will get regularly voted down – which is part of the reason why the House has so many more insane elected officials than the Senate – they’re even less influential. In the White House he’s 100%. He’s the whole bag – and there’s nobody to shout down the crazy talk.

    And on the campaign he doesn’t know how to divorce his so-called principles from this rhetoric, as opposed to Mitt who doesn’t have any principles. Obama is going to destroy him over that. Santorum is going to look like a lunatic.

    And Santorum’s favorables are still negative. You can’t put a candidate forward with negative favorables and win. You can’t start out with most of the public against you, because it’s only going to get worse, not better.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @Brandon: They knew he was the kid of the previous president. They didn’t have a clue what he stood for. That’s what name recognition means. It doesn’t refer to your ability to string letters together and form words.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    What’s got me a little worried about Santorum is that we’re assuming he’s eminently beatable because he got shellacked in 2006.

    Uh, no. We assume that he’s beatable because he only appeals to voters who are batshit crazy.

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    Many people had no real clue regarding who George W. Bush was

    Not really a good comparison. Dubya had never uttered in public stuff that was as nuts as Santorum’s nonsense. People also figured that Dubya had learned something from his daddy. Santorum only appeals to GOP true believers.

  18. 18
    WeeBey says:

    He lost his Senate seat by 18 points in Pennsylvania.

    He’s underwater on favorability nationally, and that’s with some people who still don’t know him.

    What is this post about, again?

  19. 19

    It’s definitely a tabula rasa thing. Only politically engaged people know who this guy is – to independent voters he’s a “generic Republican.” Most people can’t name their own senators, let alone a washed-up former senator from some other state. Once a few of his barefoot and pregnant quotes start making the rounds (e.g. if he becomes a clear front-runner for a while), he’ll tank. The same thing happened to Romney. He was doing OK before he started getting a lot of exposure.

  20. 20
    Emma says:

    Also, people, the Bush family were part of the Village — Daddy had been in government service and all. Santorum doesn’t have the grace and favor that carries.

    Also, this is not going to be shaped by the 27%. All Obama needs to do is hammer on the crazy shit Santorum has said over the years.

  21. 21
    sukabi says:

    and a month ago Gingrich was the ‘Golden Douche’ guaranteed to ‘right the field’… and then he opened his ;mouth once too often and his support vaporized… Santorum’s 15 minutes has just barely gotten underway… by the end of the month he’ll start his slide to oblivion and his ‘former supporters’ be holding their noses and pulling the lever for Romney for the nomination…

  22. 22
    Dave says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: This. Santorum’s biggest strength in the primaries is his biggest weakness in the general: he believes in what he is saying and won’t shut up about it.

    If he is nominated, the country will get 3+ months of solid coverage of a man who thinks there are Hezbollah training camps in South America, who thinks sex is so icky that there should be abstinence IN marriage, who outright believes that Christianity should be the law of the land. And he won’t shut up about it or ever deviate from it.

    And he’ll get slaughtered in a general election.

  23. 23
    BGinCHI says:

    @JPL: I lived in GA and I’d like to say I’m surprised. But then I close my eyes and think of Cobb County and it all comes back to me…..

  24. 24
    jl says:

    Effete rootless cosmopolitan elites care more about recreational sex than the oppressed alienated masses of the workers? And the economic burden of unprotected sexytime (in terms of an extra, or untimely one, like when you are unemployed and uninsured or with crummy health insurance) is more apparent to the elites than unemployed, or the fearfully near unemployed working class?

    First time I heard that one.

    Count me doubtful.

    Public opinion of Santorum is partly due to lack of exposure so far to his bottomless hypocrisy. How many people know about his scams with Abramoff and the Marianas Island stuff? If he remains popular, many more will know about Santorums’ role in that mess. Which involves forced labor, forced prostitution and forced abortions.

  25. 25
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Concern troll is concerned. Now I am ready to hide under the bed and I am quaking with fear because Santorum is so formidable. Sweater vests of doom, run Democrats run, they are out to get you.
    I think this not-Romney is going the way of all other not-Romneys.

  26. 26
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    The Frothy Mixture as the nominee will be Goldwater 1964. That means the Senate stays in Dem hands and the House flips.

    You read it here.

    Don’t forget that Santorum is Latin for “asshole” and that kind of thing is awfully hard to keep in check during a Presidential campaign.

    And you think the Frothy Mixture will be able to raise enough dough? Even with some SuperPAC monies, he won’t get nearly the kind of support from that quarter that Mittens will.

  27. 27
    batgirl says:

    Independents, the real ones that don’t really pay that much attention to politics, don’t really know Santorum yet. Just wait. They will recoil once they do. I’d rather face Santorum than Romney.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    What’s got me a little worried about Santorum is that we’re assuming he’s eminently beatable because he got shellacked in 2006.

    has nothing to do with “beatable”. It is because he is insane, or so far outside the mainstream, you can see him and Ron Paul both orbiting planet crazy. And not because they are both crazy in the same way, but they are both fanatics and are patently unelectable. At least outside the possibilities of anything can happen in a two man race. Like pandemic rage virus, or Obama gets caught with a live boy or dead girl. That kind of anything can happen.

    And Santorum will likely use up his 15 minutes of GOP primary fame, when the tea party types, and other small government libertarian types realized Santorum is really a big government person. He just wants the government to force everyone to live by how he interprets the bible.

  29. 29
    Martin says:

    @Mark S.: I think Mitt would wind up almost exactly like Bush. He’d get a heavy handed VP and cabinet and get rolled into whatever crazy shit the GOP theorists wanted to try, none of whom will have to carry the consequences. And his weakness of presence would just invite that from all corners.

  30. 30
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Yeah, that’s not it. He’s not eminently beatable because he got shellacked in 2006, he’s eminently beatable because he’s got nothing of substance to say about anything other than gayhomofags and dirty whore ladies with their dirty whore sex parts. His platform would have maybe not been an offensive anachronism back in Victorian times, and even then most people would have rolled their eyes at the earnest little geek who’s got himself on about the proper kind of fucking again. His boilerplate bullshit on the issues people actually care about won’t fly in the general and his social views are repulsive to most normal, thinking adults. Plus he’s a whiny bitch when he’s not being a smug douchebag. That’s why he got his ass beat in 2006 and it’s why he’ll be a Goldwaterian epic disaster for the Repos if they actually nominate him.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    gwangung says:

    Santorum would be a potential problem if we did nothing.

    But we won’t. And he won’t.

  33. 33
    Brazilian Rascal says:

    Not really a good comparison. Dubya had never uttered in public stuff that was as nuts as Santorum’s nonsense. People also figured that Dubya had learned something from his daddy. Santorum only appeals to GOP true believers.

    Agreed, which is why I think under normal circumstances, he’s toast.

    But again…context. W may have been a bit better managed, but one could also have claimed that he was a cokehead former alcoholic who got caught calling his people assholes on open mics, and would never be a threat to the heir apparent of a popular president.

    The media doesn’t need much of a thread to spin a whole narrative.

  34. 34
    Raven says:

    @BGinCHI: Then imagine these fucking morons from right here in greater Athens. Kingston, Braun and Barrow may as well be a republican. The local state rep got elected as a dem and then switched.

  35. 35
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    At the end of the day Santorum is just a Senator – which means he is a bit boring. Sanatorum doing good because he is standing next to a reality show freak and a soulless corporate drone.

  36. 36
    Sly says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Also, I can’t believe it’s just my liberal sophisticate blinkers that make Santorum set off my really-fuckin’-creepy-dar. To answer the Brazilian Rascal, I despised George W Bush from the get-go, but I could see why people fell for the ‘have a beer with’ nonsense Tim Russert was selling.

    Not enough people watched Tim Russert to the point where “have a beer with him” can be considered a lynchpin for Bush’s 2000 victory.

    What won the election for Bush in 2000 was two things: The South, and Bush’s deliberate appeal to Hispanic voters. What won him reelection in 2004 was the South, and Bush’s deliberate appeal to Hispanic voters.

    Demographics and the Republican’s own stupidity with respect to alienating potential constituencies makes such outcomes much less likely.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    I also think it is dawning on the wingnuts, from rank and file to the imperial wizards at central command, that they now have 4 candidates running, that are all unelectable. Romney with his cash, and so called org, is daily being shown to be not unlike a pathological liar, well past the point of what can be considered within acceptable limits in a profession where skillful lying is a virtue. It is looking more like, either none of these folks get the needed number of delegates, or the winger brass opens up the convention for an electable candidate.

  38. 38
    Satanicpanic says:

    Santorum is a less likeable Huckabee. He has no chance.

  39. 39
    Gary says:

    Regardless of whether the Republicans nominate Senator Man On Dog or Governor Dog On Car, they’re likely to find out in November that they’ve brought a dog to a horse race.

    Recent polls have indicated that the more voters learn about Romney, the less they like him. As a virtual unknown nationally, Santorum’s attracting the support of the idealized generic Republican right now. It won’t last. Even if Santorum can survive the tons of money that Romeny will dump on him in the next few weeks, Santorum is also likely to be rejected once voters learn who he is.

    Santorum has a long history of saying insane things, from courting war with the theocracy in Iran to flirting with a theocracy in the U.S.

    Obama’s looking pretty good right now.

  40. 40
    kth says:

    The K-Street sleaze Santorum is up to his armpits in stinks worse than, well, santorum, and is quite at odds with the sweater-vest image. Not that he is likely to be the nominee in the first place.

  41. 41
    Brandon says:

    @Martin: Well, the problem I am having with the premise of this post is that I should have my panties in a twist because now Santorum is polling as the most electable Republican against Obama. My point is, and will ever remain, that Santorum only looks favorable now because people don’t even know who he is, much less being acquainted with the things he’s said and policy positions he favors. When he gets to explain what he thinks and believes to voters in the General Election, it will be the first time since Mondale that voters will hear a candidate spouting toxic shit as campaign promises. And I expect the election results to be similar.

    GWB is a bad analogy for many reasons. First, his poll numbers were never influenced by name recognition. Two, because he always accompanied his batshit policy proposals with an actual wink and nod, the press and many voters were somehow convinced that he somehow didn’t believe or plan to implement the things he was saying.

  42. 42

    RIck Santorum: tort reform hypocrite.

    Though he’s fought for $250,000 caps on medical malpractice lawsuits, back in 1999 his wife sued her chiropractor for $500,000 and was happy to have a jury give her $350,000. Rick Santorum testified in the case, too.

    “Tort reform for thee but not for meeee….”

  43. 43
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I didn’t think I would ever say this but the current crop of GOP candidates make Dubya look both smart and likeable.

  44. 44
    Chet says:

    Chait’s right about there being a lot of downscale whites who would love to vote for a socially-conservative/economically-populist candidate. But while Santorum offers plenty of the former – indeed, probably a little too much of it for the large number of people in that demographic who may hate DFHs and Teh Ghey but aren’t necessarily rabid True Believers – how much does he offer, even rhetorically, on the latter? That he even has a shot at the nom means the GOP’s money people apparently see nothing to fear from him in that department the way they did from Huckabee four years ago.

  45. 45
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Santorum has attracted a terrible reputation among the overclass. He is defined by his crude, bigoted social conservatism, which colors the broader perception of him as an extremist. This in turn leeches out into a sense, often reflected in news coverage, which likewise reflects the social biases of the overclass

    This would have a chilling effect on the otherwise fawning Village media coverage that GOP candidates have come to expect as their birthright. Granted, Bobo, etc. will still find a way to twist themselves into intellectual pretzels trying to justify the GOP ticket, but their hearts won’t really be in it. He won’t get the full McCain treatment. It takes too much effort to tire-swing with somebody who wants to ban swinging, and the Villagers may be corrupt but they are also lazy.

  46. 46
    Satanicpanic says:

    Also. Word on the street is that he’s about to get destroyed by unlimited corporate cash .

  47. 47
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    If Santorum is the GOP candidate, it is proof of the existence of angels. As the only way it could possibly happen is by Dan Savage giving the Angel Gabriel regular handjobs.

    I still don’t think Santorum will get the nomination, but by the time he does, R-money will have unleashed almost uncountable numbers of negative ads. So even if Santorum gets the nomination, his unfavorables are going to look a lot worse than now.

    If Romney’s the candidate, the House probably stays GOP, but if Santorum’s the candidate, the downballot effects are going to mean Speaker Pelosi in January 2013.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I didn’t think I would ever say this but the current crop of GOP candidates make Dubya look both smart and likeable.

    Worse, these goobers make Sarah Palin look (almost) smart and likeable.

  49. 49

    The individual overlapping waves of the popularity of NotRomney candidates looks like nothing so much as a Discrete Wingnut Transform. Santorum went up. He’ll slide back down.

  50. 50
    aimai says:

    Uh…even the staunchly pro-natalist/anti abortion women I “know” online, many of whom count themselves as conservatives all use contraception. They all use it to space their kids out, they use it (and sterilization) when they are done having kids, and they have all used or will use BCP to control various aspects of their health and their lady parts. All of them. When 98 percent of self described Catholic women use birthcontrol you can pretty much assume that 100 percent of self described “men” and “women” who under age 40 use birth control. This is going to be a killer issue the way the GOP is refusing to drop it. Does anyone seriously think that Rand Paul’s libertarian voters–the ones everyone was so angry with Obama for “losing” on the drug issue–aren’t going to be just a teeny bit more hysterical when its pointed out to them that:
    “first they came for the married women’s contraception”
    then they came for the sluts BCP
    and then they came for my condoms?

    aimai

  51. 51
    eemom says:

    So you’re scared of Santorum because he’s less far behind Obama than Mitt in a February poll?

    Put me down in the “what a stupid fucking post” column.

  52. 52
    Soonergrunt says:

    The more people learn how disgusting santorum is, the more people will turn away.
    The more that people are exposed to santorum, they have strong negative reactions.
    Santorum will not appeal to the majority of the American people.

    All three of those statements could also be applied to the former Senator from Pennsylvania as well.

  53. 53
    shortstop says:

    One of those polls in which people are asked to identify candidates’ various positions on issues would be really helpful right about now. Because most of the U.S. doesn’t know yet how batshit Santorum is. But if he stays in for a while — even if he doesn’t get the nomination, and he won’t — they’ll know.

  54. 54
    dmsilev says:

    @General Stuck: Pretty much this. Mitt Romney has a tin ear and a glass jaw, Ron Paul will soon be showing up in public wearing a tinfoil hat, the only person who truly admires Newt Gingrich is Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum has a whole host of problems, starting with Google.

    And these are the *survivors* of the winnowing process.

  55. 55
  56. 56
  57. 57
    jharp says:

    I’m starting to think it makes no difference who the GOP nominates.

    We’ve got the guy who lost to McCain and is further to the left than McCain.

    And we’ve got the guy who lost as an incumbent Senator in Pennsylvania by 19%.

    Both hardly inspiring candidates from a party that is judged to be lunatics by a majority of the country.

    Bring. It. On.

    Obama will crush either one of them.

  58. 58
    shortstop says:

    @aimai:

    Does anyone seriously think that Rand Paul’s libertarian voters—the ones everyone was so angry with Obama for “losing” on the drug issue—aren’t going to be just a teeny bit more hysterical when its pointed out to them that: “first they came for the married women’s contraception” then they came for the sluts BCP and then they came for my condoms?

    No. But it annoys me that we have to do so much to educate the emotional little fuckers.

  59. 59
    Mark S. says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Did you get that info from Huggy Bear Veritas?

  60. 60
    BGinCHI says:

    @Raven: OK, that really is depressing. You might have to change your handle back to Stuck in Red.

  61. 61

    Latest polling shows a big class and gender gap among GOP voters. Shocker, I know.

    Women aren’t flocking to Santorum and blue collar males aren’t cottoning to Mitt.

    Nobody could have anticipated the rich white corporate asshole/Joe Six Pack coalition would crack.

    /sarcasm

  62. 62
    kindness says:

    Come on now! You are afraid of Sanitorum? Jesus! This is a guy who states he feels birth control should be illegal. This is a moron who says as many stupid things as all the other republicans put together.

    My hope is he does kick Romney’s ass and is the next Presidential candidate for the Republicans. As the FSM is my witness there will be meatballs and parmisian flying everywhere.

    Liberals don’t pee their pants over Sanitorum. Liberals sensibly clean up afterwards.

  63. 63
    Waldo says:

    Santorum is the kind of candidate voters could imagine themselves having a beer with, then getting lectured by on the evils of drinking. Good times!

  64. 64
    portlander says:

    The media has a vested interest in turning the GOP nomination into a close race. It’s not. Barring something significant, like the moneyed interests changing their mind in who they want wielding their pen, Romney will be the nominee.

    The same goes for the presidential election. Obama would have to do something really stupid to lose at this point. Not worth losing sleep over.

  65. 65
    Patricia Kayden says:

    This post scares the hell out of me. I just cannot imagine what a Santorum presidency would look like. With all the racism, homophobia, sexism and crazy, I don’t think I could survive even 4 years. If I have to get a Repub adminstration, I’d rather Romney.

  66. 66
    Soonergrunt says:

    Oh, and just one more thing:
    Santorum
    Santorum
    Santorum

  67. 67

    PPP’s newest national poll finds Romney trailing Obama by 7 points at 49-42, while Santorum trails by only 5 points at 49-44.

    Oh, puh-leeeeze. People don’t know Santorum right now. God I’m so sick of this “flavor of the moment” crap. We were all supposed to freak out about Rick Perry, remember? And Herman Cain? And Michele Bachmann? And Newt Gingrich? Jesus.

    It’s gonna be Mitt. This fascination with Santorum is fleeting. Mitt’s gonna get the nomination and a certain number of GOP voters will fall in line and a big number will stay home and Obama wins. Take it to the bank.

  68. 68
    shortstop says:

    @Southern Beale: What she said.

  69. 69
    Bruce S says:

    schrodinger’s cat – February 14, 2012 | 6:06 pm ·

    I didn’t think I would ever say this but the current crop of GOP candidates make Dubya look both smart and likeable.

    Yeah – and I remember when I used to say of Dubya that “I didn’t think I would ever say this but Dubya makes Reagan look like a decent, responsible President.”

    The bar keeps getting lower and lower…

  70. 70
    MikeJ says:

    Rick is like Mitt. The more people see him, the more he will nauseate them. It’s amazing how republicans always do better when they have less name recognition.

  71. 71
    scav says:

    I’m just trying to imagine ever playing a card game under these conditions. Oh My God, Oh My God Oh My God, I might get dealt a 7, or maybe even a 6 of hearts! Possibly a 2, not a clubs! Not a clubs! Oh My God Oh My God. 2 3 7, jack? What if I get a jack and they have a wild card? or even a pair, no trumps? Oh My God, Oh My God Oh My God. ok, if I get a 7 and there’s a low pressure zone in Bolivia and they forgot to print any 8s that year, what color is the back of the deck again? Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God. . .

    There’s keeping track of what’s going on overall in the game and then there’s recreational hyperventilation. Practically speaking, when we get the cards actually dealt, we’ll play with it as best we can. But lets not forget to breathe so that we live long enough to see the cards. Polls aren’t destiny, we’ve all seen them jump about this year especially. History isn’t destiny either.

  72. 72
    Yutsano says:

    @Southern Beale:

    and Obama wins

    At this point that is the only result that matters. The rest is fluff and commentary.

  73. 73
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Sweater vest of doom is doomed. He has zero charisma. He is creepy and his views belong in the 14th century. I am surprised how he managed to get himself elected to a statewide office.

  74. 74
    scott (the other one) says:

    The hardcore Catholics and evangelical Protestants do and will continue to love him. But when moderates hear that he wants to ban contraceptives and he brought his miscarried baby home to sleep with them for a few days, they’re gone. Not to mention the fact that he’s actively trying to keep anyone who’s not as rich and powerful as he is from having access to the same top quality health care which has kept his daughter alive.

    It never pays to underestimate a Republican opponent. But Santorum doesn’t have a chance. He’s way too far out there on the cultural stuff, and he’s very nearly as in sync with the rapacious desires of the greediest of the 1% as Romney is. Plus, he just comes across as a creepy dweeb. (Or a dweeby creep.)

    He’s doing as well as he is right now because only the far right knows who and what he is. As with Mitt, once the middle gets to really know him, he’ll drop like a stone.

  75. 75
    danimal says:

    Santorum’s K Street connections are probably a stronger issue than his social issues stands, as repulsive as they are.

    But with Rick Santorum, we’ve really got a target-rich environment.

  76. 76
    SteveM says:

    @Waldo: Turns out Santorum fancies himself a beer connoisseur. Don’t know if that helps him or makes him look like one of Charles Murray’s non-Schlitz-drinking evil elitists, but there you are.

  77. 77
    ChrisNYC says:

    So funny that you’re actually reaching for a reason to be scared. So funny.

  78. 78
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Mark S.:

    Did you get that info from Huggy Bear Veritas?

    haha yeah

  79. 79
    Rhoda says:

    No one had taken a hammer to him and he is still at -7. Mitt isn’t gong down without s fight.

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    Not to mention, Santorum has the impulse control of a fruitbat.

    Rick Santorum: ‘I will bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities’

    Serious preznit candidates don’t go around declaring who they will bomb in an election campaign. Especially after W wore out the right wing warmonger card not that long ago.

    I bet Killer Klowns From Outer Space is his fav movie.

  81. 81

    If the principal that today’s conservatism is about embracing whatever the left hates–this idea has some merit. One can’t help but notice that Santorum attracts a lot of Occupy-type protestors, so he’s forever having to stand up in front of “those people”. There’s a wingnut wish-fulfillment there–he is attracting the glare and the glitter, so he must be doing something right. I’d like to think this impulse to be attracted to a figure of contempt is only active in the 27%-ers, but I fear it’s latent in some unknown quantity just awaiting a trigger (a watershed “victimization” event, perhaps.)

  82. 82
    harlana says:

    sweetie, i hate to say it, but you’re delusional. i understand, you still have PTSD from the Bush administration. here, sit down and have a drink, it’ll be ok. :)

  83. 83
    handsmile says:

    I wondered how long it would take this for bit of political metaphysics to appear here.

    To paraphrase one of the most astute politicians of the past generation, Barney Frank: “I did not think [WE] had lived a good enough life to see [Rick Santorum] be the Republican nominee.”

    Much like the parade of clowns that preceded him as the Not-MItt favorite of the GOP primary base, Santorum will disintegrate under the pressure of national exposure. His pathetic fumblings last weekend to explain past statements blaming radical feminists in the workplace for social malaise was but the latest example of his ineptitude and parochialism. His Google definition is just one among many examples of what makes Rih Santorum a distasteful joke as a national political candidate

    Now I realize that “committed liberals and urban sophisticates” such as SteveM and myself may have a blinkered view of what motivates the Great American Heartland Voter. For example, I would magine that even “moderate Middle Americans’ might be just a wee bit creeped out by this behavior by a prospective presidential nominee:

    In his Senate office, on a shelf next to an autographed baseball, Sen. Rick Santorum keeps a framed photo of his son Gabriel Michael, the fourth of his seven children. Named for two archangels, Gabriel Michael was born prematurely, at 20 weeks, on Oct. 11, 1996, and lived two hours outside the womb. Upon their son’s death, Rick and Karen Santorum opted not to bring his body to a funeral home. Instead, they bundled him in a blanket and drove him to Karen’s parents’ home in Pittsburgh. There, they spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel with his three siblings, ages 6, 4 and 1 1/2. They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass.

    (via Kaplan Test Prep Daily, April 2005)

  84. 84
    PTirebiter says:

    Tweety and Halperin are already pushing the idea. Although Halperin’s not sure the plucky underdog could survive Obama’s 500 million dollar attack machine. These people make me puke.
    Santorum would carry LA, MS, AL, Maybe Georgia and lose South Carolina by an ACORN thin margin.

  85. 85
    Ralphie; says:

    Hi. I’m new here.

  86. 86
    BGinCHI says:

    @SteveM: To paraphrase, I don’t think “connoisseur” means what he thinks it means.

  87. 87
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Steve M., concern trolling. It’s what he does best.

    Look, Santorum’s confused. He thinks he’s running for pope or Republican Jesus or something. His campaign is all about godbothering and hating on the poor. He has all the charisma of a doorknob. I really don’t believe the GOP is suicidal enough to nominate him, but we shall see.

    As for me: I’m not religious, but if I were, I’d be down on my knees every day, begging Gawd to give us Li’l Ricky.

  88. 88
    harlana says:

    i would looove to see Santorum as the nominee. i don’t know where to begin…

  89. 89
    Rhoda says:

    Ugh! Fucking phone won’t let me edit, sorry. I think you caught my meaning.

  90. 90
    drew42 says:

    Yeesh. There’s more hand-wringing in this post than on all of digbysblog.

    This is the same recycled garbage that came up when Herman Cain was big, then when Gingrich was big. Remember how Gingrich’s surge was totally different than every other GOP candidate’s surge, and how we should worry about his ability to shake things up in the general election?

    Santorum’s current semi-decent numbers are because most voters still don’t know much about him. Eventually, he’ll get real attention. Even if you put his political and religious views aside, he is a terrible, terrible, terrible candidate. He doesn’t know shit, and in fact knows so little that he doesn’t even realize he doesn’t know shit. And he has the personality of your most hated in-law.

    There is no “aw-shucks” part of his personality. You just think there is because of his boyish face. Any aw-shucks vibe immediately disappears the second he starts talking. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been listening to him.

    If Santorum gets nominated, by November independent voters are all going to want to punch him in the neck. Even those who agree with his religious views.

  91. 91
    IM says:

    I don’ think a generically culture warrior from the nineties an win. If Santorum is nominated he will be slaughtered among all under thirties voters in a way not seen yet in american elections.

    Romney on a good day is Kerry and a bad day Dole.

    Santorum on a good day is Dole and on a bad day Goldwater.

  92. 92
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Satanicpanic:
    Well, you didn’t quote Veritas properly. It’s just not complete without the bolded, all-caps

    VICTORY!

  93. 93
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Not that I advocate bullying, but doesn’t Rick Santorum look like the guy everybody else in class picked on and made fun of? Not Presidential material, Halperin and Tweety not withstanding.

  94. 94
    Jon says:

    Cross-posted from Slate.

  95. 95
    grandpa john says:

    Well I assume he eminently beatable because the current RCP poll average is showing Obama as + 10.4 against Rick. 10.4 is in what would be considered as “blowout” range or getting your ass kicked.

  96. 96
    PTirebiter says:

    @eemom: and by behind, we’re talking about what would be an Obamalandslide of biblical proportions.

  97. 97
    Mark S. says:

    @PTirebiter:

    Oh come on. He’d win Utah.

    What will be great is no matter who loses, the lesson conservatives will take is “WE LOST BECAUSE WE DIDN’T RUN A TRUE CONSERVATIVE!” Conservatism can never fail; it can only be failed.

  98. 98
    General Stuck says:

    @handsmile:

    Hell, George of the Jungle kept his miscarried little bro in a pickle jar. And we wonder what is wrong with these people.

  99. 99
    harlana says:

    @Death Panel Truck: the man is just repugnant, just icky, i completely denounce any member of my sex who would vote for him as a traitor to her sex and as an affront to sentient beings. surely a lot of women, repubs or independents, would just stay home.

  100. 100
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Steve M@ top
    You should rename your blog from No More Mr Nice, to Scaredy Cat or Chicken Little.

  101. 101
    jl says:

    Note: Remember the name is ‘Rih’ not ‘Rick’. Please remember in honor of our fellow ‘blah’ citizens.

  102. 102

    I can see how Santorum could win the GOP contest, mostly because he’s up against Mitt. Santorum isn’t up against Mitt in a General.

    There aren’t a lot of maybes involved in voters’ minds with Santorum like there might be with a Mitt. GOPers may like that Santorum has been saying the same things all along, independents aren’t going to like it.

    You might be able to come up with some situation where any GOPer could manage a win against the Prez… That much could be done with any election. I think I’ll save any such concerns for much farther down the schedule.

  103. 103
    BGinCHI says:

    @jl: Or Dick Santorum: two nouns that go together so well.

  104. 104
    Joe Bohemouth says:

    No, this is wrong. Santorum is polling well bc 90% of the country has no idea who he is. I would be surprised if he holds these numbers even among Republicans.

    The other thing is, it’s not just that Santorum is against gays or women in combat or anything. It’s that he goes off on long tangents about the French Revolution and how the Crusades were misunderstood. That’s WEIRD. It is not going to play well with swing voters, bc swing voters are lazy-minded and hate being asked to think.

  105. 105
    shortstop says:

    @General Stuck: We know what is wrong with these people. We occasionally muse about how they got that way.

  106. 106
    Sasha says:

    Fear of a Santorum Planet

  107. 107
    Mark S. says:

    @jl:

    You know, I never knew where “Rih” came from.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bruce S:

    Yeah – and I remember when I used to say of Dubya that “I didn’t think I would ever say this but Dubya makes Reagan look like a decent, responsible President.”

    You really need to get out of my haid.

  109. 109
    patrick II says:

    If this country elects Rick Santorum president it will richly deserve the hell it will get and that he so fervently believes in.

    The rest of the world, however, deserves better.

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mark S.:

    It came from a Santorum speech where he claimed he was not disparagingly talking about “Black” people, but he said “Blah” instead.

    Yes, he’s that fucking stupid.

  111. 111
    David Koch says:

    What’s got me a little worried about Santorum is that we’re assuming he’s eminently beatable because he got shellacked in 2006

    See. I told you SteveM is neurotic.

    Dude, you seriously need help.

  112. 112
  113. 113
    David Koch says:

    THIS IS GREAT NEWS FOR McCAIN!

  114. 114
    ChrisNYC says:

    Santorum doesn’t even want the nomination and he won’t get it. Whoever gets the nom gets responsibility for the loss. Who is being set up for that right now? Hmmmm, maybe Mitt ROMNEY? Social conservatives, already under fire in the GOP, don’t want the top of the ticket. They want sway. Santorum’s running for VP or a cabinet post or whatever. Any spot where he can be the “leader” of the lucrative religious vote and MOST IMPORTANTLY not have to take responsibility for you know losing. Guy’s whole career is go along to get along. He has a nose for the sweet spot. It’s the WHOLE game with “conservatism is never failed…” — you have to actually not win the nomination because you can’t let it actually be tested. Because it WILL lose and then the money dries up.

  115. 115
    BigSouthern says:

    Deep Hurting’s most recent cartoon sums up everything people need to know about Santorum.

    http://thisishistorictimes.com.....le-surfer/

  116. 116
    harlana says:

    also, Santorum has that personal baggage, psycho-baggage. no one seems to want to talk about it right now which is ironic.

  117. 117
    Raven says:

    @BGinCHI: You following the Walmart imbroglio?

  118. 118
    jl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Rih said something along the lines of ” I didn’t say ‘black’ . I said meant to something else, and actually said something else again, but I can’t figure out what it was I was saying. ”

    He trotted that excuse out more than once afterwards.

    And he may think he got away with it.

    Fortunately there are several recordings. I saw a clip of the ‘blah’ event played on an endless loop, next to his excuse. It is sad, but hilarious.

  119. 119
    Ziggy says:

    I’m with you…in that I have a very mild fear of Santorum. Romney’s weaknesses have shown him to be less formidable than many had expected. He has wilted in spotlight.

    One reason I am not very frightened though is because Team Obama has not unloaded on Santorum at all to this point. If he were to become the likely nominee, we will see that change, and Santorum probably won’t hold up very well either.

  120. 120
    Cermet says:

    @Sly: Fact: Bush DID NOT WIN the election in 2000; asswipe LOST hands down but our country was betrayed by a small group of thug fascist pigs who vomit shit from their mouths while sitting on the bench of the inferior court and all should have been tried and executed for treason…

  121. 121
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Jon:

    Cross-posted from Slate.

    Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark.

  122. 122
    skippy the wondermule says:

    This post is exactly right, we should not be in terror but should be concerned.

    Everyone who voted for Reagan to save us from Carter will vote for Santorum, he has the same trust-me-I’m-an-idiot sincerity.

    It’s a huge percentage of people, and they don’t like darkies. Be concerned.

  123. 123
    bemused says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Hee, hee. I’ve had the same thought about many well-known male Republicans over the last dozen years.

  124. 124
    grandpa john says:

    @shortstop: well give him credit, he is doing his part . he came out with a couple of jaw dropping stupid fanatical statements in the last week.

  125. 125
    UncommonSense says:

    I think you’re underestimating the revulsion that Santorum’s pre-Enlightenment attitudes will inspire among the mainstream electorate. The man openly and vocally opposes contraception in principle. The female vote alone would push Obama over the top.

  126. 126
    WeeBey says:

    The Juiceatariat does not disappoint.

    Onward.

  127. 127
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @portlander:

    This. The big problem won’t be whether he beats Obama or not, since I really don’t think he’d have a chance there. My preeminent issue with the idea of a Santorum nomination is the same I had with Gingrich: the media will help normalize so much batshit crazy in order to make it feel like a close race that it’ll drag the discourse so, so far right to the point of ridiculousness, and I fear of how that’ll help warp downticket races and give us even more furiously right-wing state gov’ts.

  128. 128
    Raven says:

    If you want to go deep into this issue just turn on Tweety and watch him suck off your buddy Sully. He must describe him as “brilliant” twenty fucking times.

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @handsmile: Bingo. “Baby in a jar”* sinks him.

    *Not intended to be a factual statement

  130. 130
    geg6 says:

    Hahahaha, quit trolling us, Steve M.!

    And in case you’re not, take it from a Pennsylvanian who knows Rih and whether Real Merkins will vote for him. Ain’t gonna happen. Even Pennsyltuckians spit when youvsay his name. K Street, his Opus Dei religiosity, his creepy demeanor, and Terry Schiavo are all you need to make him poison. Hell, that’s without all the forced labor, forced abortion stuff from his Abramoff deals.

  131. 131
    Satanicpanic says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: What kind of coattails would Santorum have though? (yechhh, that doesn’t sound right)

  132. 132
    BGinCHI says:

    @Raven: No, but in general I like an imbroglio.

  133. 133
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Raven:

    It wasn’t long ago that I never missed Hardball or MTP. I’ve grown jaded.

  134. 134
    j says:

    Otherwise, how did Republicans win so many recent election cycles?

    It was because of the Dems who voted as Goopers.

    Look at how the Blue Dogs fared and you will have your answer.

    John Hall? GONE! Zac Space? GONE! All those others who rode in on Obama’s coat-tails and then cried “well I HAVE to vote like a GOP sociopath otherwise I won’t get re-elected”.

    GONE, ALL OF THEM.

    THAT is how the scenario played out.

    http://www.democracynow.org/20....._dogs_lose

  135. 135
    SteveM says:

    @handsmile: Yeah, I’ve posted that Santorum story a few times at my main blog.

    I’ll see that quote and raise you this one from last week:

    But his digs at the president are not what people talk about as they crowd around him to shake his hand. It is his 3-year-old daughter, Isabella, or Bella, as she is known, who has a fatal chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 18. Bella’s struggle is the emotional undercurrent of his campaign and, for his supporters, has become inseparable from Mr. Santorum’s appeal as a Christian conservative who opposes abortion.

    “When she got pneumonia, he stopped his campaign,” said Stephanie Broardt, an Oklahoma City stay-at-home mother who stood on a chair to watch his speech. “He strikes me as a good father. That’s another reason why I love him, because he’s a family man. Other candidates cannot say that.”

    I hope it’s just the 27-percenters who feel this way.

  136. 136
    different-church-lady says:

    @SteveM:

    Turns out Santorum fancies himself a beer connoisseur.

    He’s from Pennsylvania. It’s the state pastime to consider yourself a beer connoisseur.

  137. 137
    Raven says:

    @BGinCHI: I posted info for ya.

  138. 138
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @different-church-lady:

    He’s from Pennsylvania. It’s the state pastime to consider yourself a beer connoisseur.

    Genesee……….

  139. 139
    harlana says:

    @SteveM: i suggest that the rest will wonder why he doesn’t want everyone else to have the same health care coverage that he has. you just can’t shine a spotlight on that issue without that question coming up. so far, he has given some pretty damned callous answers that i don’t believe the general electorate is in the mood for right now.

  140. 140
    Brachiator says:

    @SteveM:

    “When she got pneumonia, he stopped his campaign,” said Stephanie Broardt, an Oklahoma City stay-at-home mother who stood on a chair to watch his speech. “He strikes me as a good father. That’s another reason why I love him, because he’s a family man. Other candidates cannot say that.”

    This is nuts. The other candidates have families. Even Newt. And I have no reason to think that Mitt is less a father than is Santorum.

    And there will be some hard, cynical eggs who will wonder whether Santorum might get distracted from his presidential duties by his daughter’s ailments.

    His core supporters like him. Who knows whether this will turn into broader support. Right now, neither Santorum nor any other Republican candidate has even sealed the deal with their own party. It’s really too early to be much concerned about anything.

    People who love to be scared need to rent a nice horror movie.

  141. 141
    Martin says:

    Wow, Mitt is at a -24 favorability? He’s closing in on Nixon/Cheney territory, and he’s *still* viewed as the presumptive nominee. Unreal.

  142. 142
    WeeBey says:

    Well, now I’m scared. Someone, hold me.

  143. 143
    JoyfulA says:

    Santorum didn’t get whipped in Pennsylvania because he was part of the Republican hierarchy. It was because he made himself so unlikable that it’s a wonder he got any votes at all. He insisted his residence was an $95,000 2-bedroom house he rented to his niece, even though the niece received mail there and voted from there, and despite his $800,000 McMansion in the horse country of Virginia, for which he got a “friendly” mortgage he didn’t qualify for from a campaign contributor. He charged the poor school district of his supposed residence megamoney for online schooling (from the company of a contributor), which was illegal, because the public schools in his new VA neighborhood weren’t good enough, and the Catholic schools weren’t any good either. On his way home to VA from DC every night, he’d stop at a fast-food joint and charge it to a charity he’d set up (funded by contributors). His wife “worked at home” for $4,000/month for a contributor, while home-schooling all those kids. And just piles more of that crappy sleaze.

    But what topped it off was he got called to jury duty not long before the election. Apparently, his minders made him show up because he hadn’t shown up the previous 6 or 8 times he’d been called. Of course, he was dismissed from the pool, but he couldn’t help saying on camera, “I hope everybody’s satisfied who thought I had nothing better to do with my time.”

    He’s just a really offputting excuse for a human being once people get to see him, smarmy, “elitest,” and crooked. (Yet voters might not have seen him for what he is if a Democratic school board member in his hometown hadn’t been examining the school district’s books and receipts, looking for ways to avoid laying off more teachers, and then kicked up a stink that got local reporters, the State Supreme Court, and then national news networks involved in turning over more rocks.)

  144. 144
    shortstop says:

    @SteveM:

    “When she got pneumonia, he stopped his campaign,” said Stephanie Broardt, an Oklahoma City stay-at-home mother who stood on a chair to watch his speech. “He strikes me as a good father. That’s another reason why I love him, because he’s a family man. Other candidates cannot say that.”

    It’s certainly true that no other candidate can say that he left his daughter — whose life has been measurable in weeks or months since her birth — without her father’s company for long stretches at a time while Daddy pursued an egotistical and hopeless dream of becoming president. No other candidate can say that he put his own desires so far ahead of the basic needs of his dying child and the mother left to cope on her own. No other candidate has made sternly lecturing people about children’s “birthright” of a “father and a mother” a centerpiece of his campaign while completely shirking his parental duties.

    Damn, I know I’m repeating myself, but this shit burns me up. All you have to do to convince the wingnut rubes you’re a loving family man is flap your mouth piously about it. He could be cutting the throats of toddlers up on the stump and if he were complaining at the same time about the perversion of gay families, his audience would be cooing over his extraordinary parenting skills.

  145. 145
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Santorum’s populism is incoherent. He talks about how the social mobility gap in the US compares badly to that of Europe, which is superficially attractive, but does so while dismissing healthcare reform, employee rights, the cost of education and the overall social safety net.

  146. 146
    handsmile says:

    @SteveM: (#135)

    ‘Zounds, I had no idea you’d been in this cut-throat racket for so long!

    The game of Santorum P*ker could go long into the night, but you do win the hand for that quote. My view is that the contours of the Terry Schiavo tempest reasonably foretell how Santorum will/would fare as a national political candidate.

    [Completely O/T, but I hope I did not fail to meet you again at DJG-E’s “Salon of Solons” on Sunday. His advocacy here of your work introduced me to NoMoreMisterNice and it’s a site I now read regularly.]

  147. 147
    shortstop says:

    @JoyfulA: I had forgotten most of that and not known the rest. Thanks for reminding us of just how unlikable he is.

  148. 148
    sharl says:

    OT:

    Shakira is attacked by a crazed sea lion.

    Don’t you see it?
    The Mayans were right!

    WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

  149. 149
    MikeJ says:

    @sharl: Fire up the TBogg signal.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    gex says:

    @JoyfulA: The lesson being, you shouldn’t shame the administrators of institutions you are thieving from into checking to makes sure every penny is accounted for and properly pinched.

  152. 152
    General Stuck says:

    @sharl:

    POP star Shakira was attacked by a raging sea lion which thought her mobile phone was a FISH.

    Yea, right.

  153. 153
    Sly says:

    @sharl:
    To paraphrase Chris Rock…

    POP star Shakira was attacked by a raging sea lion which thought her mobile phone was a FISH.

    That sea lion didn’t go crazy. That sea lion went sea lion.

  154. 154
    Ron says:

    Put me in the group who think that as people listen to him more on policy he will lose support. About the only GOP candidate I’d prefer to face right now is Newt. (Ron Paul is about equal)

  155. 155
    Anoniminous says:

    Frothy does have a chance of getting nominated. There was a big get-together of Evangelical/Conservative nutbars in Texas to decide on an official Not-Romney and Rickie got the number. Them people got existing national, regional, and local organizations, they are all staffed, they have enough people to put ‘boots on the ground’ in the precincts, they are impervious to outside influence (Attack Ads, etc,) they got lots of sheep to herd to the voting booth, they have existing successful fund raising capabilities.

    Conservative/Evangelicals are a major block of voters, comprising a winning plurality. If they turn-out they will decide who gets the nomination.

    Santorum cannot win the presidency. Obama will goldwater his ass with women, liberals, Latinos, everybody under 30, African-Americans, and union vote. The only block SanFrothy can count on is the 27% and they are, mostly, located in states Obama isn’t going to win anyway.

  156. 156
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @scott (the other one):

    Plus, he just comes across as a creepy dweeb. (Or a dweeby creep.)

    Or a dweepy creeb.

  157. 157
    General Stuck says:

    @Ralphie;:

    Hi. I’m new here.

    Hi Ralphie! We are all brand new to this particular thread, and that is all that really matters.

  158. 158
    handsmile says:

    @JoyfulA: (#143)

    What a terrific comment, full of insightful, granular detail! You rekindled a dim memory of Santorum’s housing snafu during his 2006 reelection campaign, but I certainly had no idea of his highhanded response to jury duty.

    Yours is yet another example of how invaluable local correspondents are to gaining better and deeper knowledge through these Intertubes. Thanks!

  159. 159
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Late to the party, but – GAAAAAAAAHHHH – really? Did we actually have to get an FPer doing the “The latest Republican is the worst possible person the president could ever face”?

  160. 160
    harlana says:

    Santorum is very creepy, very icky, you do not want that man poking around those lady parts he is so obsessed with

  161. 161
    RD says:

    @SteveM:

    I hope it’s just the 27-percenters who feel this way

    What the 27-percenters really want is a brokered convention.

    Santorum is their last chance to make it happen.

  162. 162
    General Stuck says:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-3049749

    I hope it’s just the 27-percenters who feel this way.

    The 27 percenters don’t care about tear jerking stories about sick children. The want to know how long before they can start burning shit.

  163. 163
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: favorite bumper sticker I saw in the horrible W years: “Never thought I’d miss Nixon”

  164. 164
    PTirebiter says:

    @SteveM: and we all know that Obama is really good at pretending he’s a good father. Subconsciously at least, it must just torture them that the president and his family are the embodiment of everything Republicans claim to admire.

  165. 165
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ralphie:

    I’m doing OK, Ralphie! How are you, and how are things back over at Eschaton comments? I just gave up on it, it was too much of a PITA to follow. Please /wave at everyone over there for me the next time you drop in.

    Everyone, Ralphie is a long time commenter over at Powder Blue Satan. Please make him feel welcome here!

  166. 166
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: A VDE endorsement is good enough for me! Yokusou Ralphie! Don’t forget to tip the veal and try your waitress!

  167. 167
    KevinA says:

    The GOP’s only shot at the Presidency is economic fear/turmoil. I thinks that is clear. By nominating Santorum, the GOP would put social issues, not the economy, front-and-center. Suburbanites will flee at the notion of a Santorum presidency based on his medeival social views. Obama wins by 10-15%

  168. 168
    Chris says:

    @Anoniminous:

    There was a big get-together of Evangelical/Conservative nutbars in Texas to decide on an official Not-Romney and Rickie got the number. Them people got existing national, regional, and local organizations, they are all staffed, they have enough people to put ‘boots on the ground’ in the precincts, they are impervious to outside influence (Attack Ads, etc,) they got lots of sheep to herd to the voting booth, they have existing successful fund raising capabilities. Conservative/Evangelicals are a major block of voters, comprising a winning plurality.

    Are they really?

    As I recall, the evangelical/conservative nutbars have run their own candidate for the presidency twice (Pat Robertson in 1988, Mike Huckabee in 2008). Both times, their guy not only failed to win the primary, he actually came in third, behind guys who were considered moderate-to-liberal (and, in Bush Sr. and Romney’s case, products of the hated Eastern Establishment).

    Maybe it’s just those two candidates, but looking at that, but I have a feeling the religious right just doesn’t have nearly as much clout as they say they think they do. They’re important, sure, but enough to win or derail the primaries all by their lonesomes?

  169. 169
    PTirebiter says:

    @BigSouthern: I was hoping I’d matured a bit since 7th grade (1965) I was wrong.

  170. 170
    JoyfulA says:

    @shortstop: I can never forget. My mother dates her Republicanism (“Not that I always or even mostly voted for Republicans, mind you”) back through the generations to the 1850s, and Santorum was so awful she switched her voter registration to Democratic.

  171. 171
    Chris says:

    @Chris:

    Maybe it’s just those two candidates, but looking at that, but I have a feeling the religious right just doesn’t have nearly as much clout as they say they think they do. They’re important, sure, but enough to win or derail the primaries all by their lonesomes?

    Proofreading is your friend, Chris. Rephrase:

    “Maybe it’s just those two candidates, but looking at that, I have a feeling that the religious right just doesn’t have as much clout as they think they do. They’re important, sure, but enough to win or derail the primaries all by their lonesomes?”

  172. 172
    The Populist says:

    All I have to say is this…as long as we are OUT and VOTING as if our rights depended on it, Santorum hasn’t got a large chance. NOW, if we stay home like in 2010, it might be a big problem for us.

    Supreme Court folks…that is what is at stake. IF Ricky boy won somehow, I do expect him to force his righty congress to vote on a ban of abortion out of the box. Bet on it. What he doesn’t get is that the GOP machine MILKS that straw man for voter loyalty in each election. I hope to the Spaghetti Monster God that this guy does what he always does, say the wrong things and turn off voters. Where most righties can play the far right caucus voters they usually can move back to the center when running nationally. I believe what did McCain in was Sarah Palin. She had no off button and spoke as if she was running the far right circuit every day.

    If you want to win a national election in America, you can’t be an extremist. Ricky S. can’t turn off the extremist shit.

  173. 173
    JoyfulA says:

    @gex: And another lesson to be learned is to get Democrats on school boards.

  174. 174
    Turgidson says:

    @skippy the wondermule:

    Sincerity, maybe. But Ricky is nowhere near the snake oil salesman Ronnie was. Reagan was made of teflon, and his rhetoric was all sunny optimism and easily-remembered bullet points about America Fuck Yeah! and Govt Sucks!!…which played well in 1980. Plus, Reagan was an actor. He played the part he needed to play, and sanded down his hard-right edges with all that optimistic bullshit enough to stomp a much weaker incumbent than Obama looks to be.

    Ricky can’t pull off that act. He’s an asshole and sanctimonious prude who can’t help but scold the rest of us for enjoying sex and not hating teh ghey enough. That’s who he is, and he’s either going to ride that horse straight off the cliff with pride, or look like a massive, idiotic fraud trying to pivot to an image of centrist Burkean humility for the general. There are hours, if not days, worth of footage of him proudly staking out social issue stances straight out of the middle ages. That shit ain’t going away.

    Aside from probably Bachmann, Santorum is the most radioactive general election candidate they could possibly choose from the initial clown car. He’s everything that was horrible about Bush, only a lot more so, and a real knuckle-dragging Bible thumping lunatic rather than playing one for the rubes like Bush did, and he has about 1% of the clumsy but somehow effective charisma that W did, which is astonishing but true.

    I think the country is too polarized now for Obama to nearly run the table like FDR/LBJ/Nixon/Reagan did – there are some states in the south, along with Utah and Idaho, that would vote for a retarded tree stump over a Democrat – but an Obama/Santorum tilt would be an epic ass-kicking all the same.

  175. 175
    JoshA says:

    I sort of felt this way, until I saw this:

    http://politicalwire.com/archi.....e_day.html

    And this:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....via=blog_1

    To review: Santorum is opposed to birth control existing, full stop. Meanwhile, 61% of the American public thinks we should require religious employers to pay for birth control for their employees.

    Santorum prolly has more of a working-class connection than Big Money Mitt, but he’s still insane and can’t help sounding like he is when the spotlight is put on him.

  176. 176
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    What? Someone can haz worries about Santorum’s chances against Obama? Wake me in two weeks, after Mr. FecalLube has had a few more national cameras in his face, and Romney has non-stop carpet bombed him in upcoming primary states. There won’t be much left of him but a steaming puddle of bubbling blackened froth.

    One by one, they all fall away, like the bad-egg kids in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Only Romney, though he’ll be the last one standing, is no unassuming, kind-souled Charlie, so there’s that.

  177. 177
    Rick Taylor says:

    Santorum came out against contraception even before the recent drama with the bishops. And he didn’t frame it as an issue of religious liberty, he claimed it was harmful. I’ve been surprised before, but I don’t see someone that extreme winning against Obama.

  178. 178
    JoyfulA says:

    @handsmile: Why, thank you, handsmile. Li’l Ricky, as we call him in these parts, was shown sneering on the courthouse steps on local news across the state.

  179. 179
    Bruce S says:

    xian:

    favorite bumper sticker I saw in the horrible W years: “Never thought I’d miss Nixon”

    I sometimes thought that during the Reagan years. And, frankly, I thought Goldwater was a far more decent human being than Tricky. (Although he would have been a disaster of a President, impossible as the prospect of him winning sounds – couldn’t have passed a damned thing through Congress, but God knows what he and Air Force Chief Curtis LeMay might have cooked up on the all-out war front.) Eisenhower – who I’m old enough to remember as a kid – is my benchmark Republican President. John Foster Dulles was a scumbag, but Ike was a reasonable man and an authentic American hero. I don’t think any President since the finale to the Civil War and the Reconstruction era had sent Federal troops into the South to enforce civil rights.

  180. 180
    Anoniminous says:

    @Chris:

    Maybe it’s just those two candidates, but looking at that, but I have a feeling the religious right just doesn’t have nearly as much clout as they say they think they do. They’re important, sure, but enough to win or derail the primaries all by their lonesomes?

    That’s a good question.

    Obviously, I think they do have enough voters to swing the deal this time around. I base that on the fact we’re seeing a 10% drop of GOP voter turn-out and a consistent lead for Not-Romney in general and the consistent lead for the Not-Romney Flavor of the Month.

    Santorum has built a strong lead in Michigan. No word can I find (that I trust) wrt what’s going on in Arizona.

    The keys, methinks, will be Arizona and Washington state. The Romney_Bot just about has to win one and my feeling is he has to win Washington to be able to go on and win the nomination on the first vote in Tampa. If he loses Washington I’ll bet we’re looking at a contested first round, which may or may not come-up with a first vote nomination. At this point I wouldn’t place much money on an actual brokered convention, per se, although it’s not out of the question.

  181. 181
  182. 182
    Anoniminous says:

    BTW, the Gallup 5 day moving average has Romney and Frothy in a statistical tie:

    Romney 32%
    Santorum 30%
    Gingrich 16%
    Paul 8%

    What’s keeping Romney in the race is the split of the GOP base between Santorum and Gingrich. If Gingrich drops out (doubt that will happen) Santorum could jump to 40 percent national support.

  183. 183
    Downpuppy says:

    To heck with Santorum. Bring back the 89ers! I’m thinking baseball.

  184. 184
    Yutsano says:

    @Anoniminous: WA is caucus only this year, so normally I’d say the Romneytron3000 has a chance, but there are just enough God-botherers here to build up enough anti-Mormon sentiment to go with Rih. Keep in mind Pat Robertson won here in 1988.

    AZ has enough of a Mormon firewall to go for Willard. That’s about the only chance he’ll really have.

  185. 185
    Jeffro says:

    @Brazilian Rascal:

    if there’s another economic shockwave or Middle East political hot potato, then it’s a coin flip.

    I have heard this a few times and it doesn’t quite seem likely to me. The more the President appears to be/acts like/is the ‘sane’ one in the race, the more likely he is to be re-elected. The country did hand him the keys while we were beginning the Great Recession and had two wars going on, after all.

    I think he’ll squeak out a victory regardless of almost anything at this point – the Republicans’ clown show and some recent economic good news have made it a ‘choice’ election, not a referendum on Obama. But just imho, most any crisis will amplify that choice and Obama will win that pretty handily.

  186. 186
    Hal says:

    Completely superficial, but scanning the NY Times:

    President Obama’s approval rating reached the 50 percent mark, while Republican voters expressed a desire for more alternatives in their race, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    And:

    Poll Finds Support for New Contraception Policy and Gay Couples

  187. 187
    Lord Baldrick says:

    If McFrothy wins the nomination, who in their right mind would run with him? I do hope he beats Rmoney, as he would get crushed in November and would not be considered in 2016, by which time he may be considered a moderate by corporate media standards.

  188. 188
    jafd says:

    @RD:

    _Lion Head_

  189. 189
    Heliopause says:

    Please keep a few things in mind.

    Ronald Reagan was considered unelectable on the national level at one time.

    Santorum managed to get himself elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania.

    Carter was well ahead of Reagan in polls at a comparable point in the 1980 race.

    The chances of Santorum becoming President are low but nonzero. No need to panic, and I’m sure there will be no complacency from the Balloon Juice bunch should the time come, but the chances are nonzero.

  190. 190
    Chris says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Well, to be clear, my take on the SoCons is that when they team up with other factions in the GOP, they do alright (George W. Bush, most obviously, seems to’ve been a Big Business/Religious Right joint venture). But when they try to run a platform on nothing but the religious issues (e.g. 1988 and 2008), they lose even in their own party.

    So the question for Santorum is whether he has enough appeal beyond his Jesus Freak Cred. Well… that and whether the Jesus Freaks can mobilize enough money for him (one of the main things that sank Newt). And also whether the base actually likes him or throws him away next week like they did all the other Not Romneys… which I suppose the Arizona and Washington primaries will tell us a lot about, like you said.

  191. 191
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Heliopause:

    Carter was well ahead of Reagan in polls at a comparable point in the 1980 race.

    The problem of course is that a major event in the Middle East did happen, and that major event was the failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission.

    Also, every fucking night Ted Koppel was telling us how America was being held hostage. Every weekday night. Every last one. Best support Ronald Reagan ever got.

  192. 192
    kth says:

    @SteveM: Right, as OKC Republicans go, so goes America.

  193. 193
    Chris says:

    @Heliopause:

    Ronald Reagan was considered unelectable on the national level at one time.

    Did Reagan’s victory owe anything to anything other than the Iranian hostage crisis? Sure, he managed to push the Overtone Window was right afterwards, but barring Carter’s inability to deal with that, would he in fact have had the same shot?

    Not saying a similar disaster can’t happen to Obama (another terrorist attack being the obvious one). But at the moment, PWNing Osama and Qaddafi have gone a long way towards securing his foreign policy flank (for now).

  194. 194
    jafd says:

    @geg6:

    As a Pennsylvania Democrat, would like to apologize to the rest of the country for us s%&@wing up and inflicting Frothy Mixture upon the world.

    ’94 – Gov. Casey* never did find Bill Clinton a kindred soul, and partially because of illness, sat the campaign out, even though his Lieutenant Governor was running to succeed him and Harris Wofford, whom he’d selected to replace the deceased Sen. Heinz, was up for election to a full term.

    ’00 – We were overconfident, 5 candidates in the Dem Senatorial primary, 4 from east of the Susquehanna. The won from the west won with 23% of the vote, but never got traction in the general.

    ’06 – Ed Rendell banged some heads together, convinced Bob Casey the Younger (who’d been figurehead of the anti-Rendell faction) to run, and the last incumbent Senator running for reelection to lose by a wider margin than Santorum was McGovern in 1980.

    *Whether you agree with him or not, he did a lot to clean up Pennsylvania politics, and deserves his high historical reputation.

  195. 195
    Heliopause says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Yes, exactly, all sorts of unforeseen events could occur between now and November.

  196. 196
    Heliopause says:

    @Chris:

    Did Reagan’s victory owe anything to anything other than the Iranian hostage crisis?

    Yes, the crappy economy.

  197. 197
    Anoniminous says:

    @Yutsano:

    I see the Washington GOP is using the same system we’ve come to expect in the early going. Which makes me wonder how many Romney people will hang around for the delegate selection to go to the regional convention.

    Paul is a nut and his supporters are nuts but they do have a grasp on political reality so Paul may actually end-up with more delegates than his vote totals indicate.

    @Chris:

    I’ve been “doing” politics a long time. I’ve never seen the GOP so screwed up going into a general election. With 62% of their potential voters not liking their choices Things B rotten in GOPerLand.

  198. 198
    eemom says:

    More knee jerk CW dumbassery: assuming that an “unforeseen event” would automatically be bad for Obama.

  199. 199
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    how you been doin’ eemom?

  200. 200
    Karen says:

    Several things are worrisome to me though:

    1. Yes Santorum is Opus Dei insane but that will fire their base and bring more of the people who are just as insane into the voting booth.

    2. Some of the same people who would be upset by the Opus Deity Santorum are the same liberal left who hate Obama and will stay home because teaching the Dems a lesson is more important to them.

    3. Santorum is Mr. Blue Collar white guy and he may get those same voters Hilary got four years ago.

    This isn’t concerned trolling. That’s reality.

  201. 201
    Mike in NC says:

    @Heliopause:

    Santorum managed to get himself elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania.

    Who was it that said “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between”? Might have been James Carville. At any rate, Santorum is about to be subjected to $25+ million in negative ads by the Romney machine. Might be enough for the Mittster to eke out a slight advantage in Michigan.

  202. 202
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Heliopause:

    Ronald Reagan was considered unelectable on the national level at one time.

    Reagan was an actor playing the role of a lifetime, with the perfect foil in a hapless Jimmy Carter.

    Santorum is a Google punchline, a hapless perfect foil for Barack Obama.

  203. 203
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    very well, mon General. Counting the days to spring. Loving the republican fail-a-thon and our good President’s resurgence. Appalled at everything else.

    And you and Charlie?

  204. 204
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Thanks for posting this reminder. Koppel bears a great deal of responsibility for electing that monster douchefuck Reagan. Him and his “countdown”. What a fucking asshole.

  205. 205
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    And you and Charlie?

    Most excellent. The furry rascal keeps me on my toes.

  206. 206
    gwangung says:

    2. Some of the same people who would be upset by the Opus Deity Santorum are the same liberal left who hate Obama and will stay home because teaching the Dems a lesson is more important to them.

    The men might.

    Women? Nah. Don’t think so.

  207. 207
    Heliopause says:

    Guess I’ll have to repeat myself with the operative words bolded.

    The chances of Santorum becoming President are low but nonzero.

  208. 208
    amk says:

    Nervous nelly. willard is the one to worry about given his money power from his superpacs and ws crooks. lil ricky will not get more than 40%.

  209. 209
    Gus says:

    @Heliopause: Which means we better fucking hope that Europe figures out the Greek (and Italian, Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) debt crisis before the election.

  210. 210
    JoyfulA says:

    @jafd: And the 2000 Democratic candidate, whose name escapes me, was an antichoice TV newsguy from Pittsburgh who ran with the sole TV ad I saw, “I never had a chance to go to college, and I want young Pennsylvanians to have that opportunity.” Nice sentiment, but WTF! Run on having no education and no gumption to go to night school, to a community college, whatever it took if you really wanted it, since your parents didn’t pay? I did all that, and I was his age without the kind of $ he was making over the years. I could barely stand voting for him myself!

  211. 211
    WeeBey says:

    @Heliopause:

    But this is a nearly meaningless statement.

    The chances of Ron Paul becoming President are also non-zero. I’m not gonna spend any time on them, because the situation that would lead to that happening would be a much bigger concern than even Ron Paul being elected President.

    Same with Santorum.

    He’s unelectable. Any situation where he were to become electable would be much more concerning than his being elected.

  212. 212
    eemom says:

    @Heliopause:

    The chances of a lot of other things that are stupid as shit to worry about are also nonzero.

  213. 213
  214. 214
    gene108 says:

    That’s how Rove turned out votes in Ohio for Bush, Jr.: He found an issue that’d get conservatives riled up and made it a center piece of the campaign.

    The issue was gay marriage.

    Santorum is beginning to scare me. He doesn’t have the flip-flop problem of Romney. His personal life is clean enough, compared to Newt and he hits all the right buttons to fire up social conservatives.

    Turn out is the difference between winning and losing in American elections. If you can get your side to the polls you win. Period.

  215. 215
    geg6 says:

    The concern trolls are thick and heavy duty here tonight. And over, of all fucking people, Rih “Frothy” Santorum. Jeebus. Anyone buying the idea that he would have a chance in hell of EVER beating Obama needs to contact me about a bridge in Brooklyn I have for sale.

    Damn, are too many people who seem to think they know something about Santorum based on their exposure to him in the last week are the biggest suckers on earth. Steve M. sure knows how to play the readership capture game. Suckers.

    I’ll be dancing in the streets if I can work another campaign against Little Ricky. I’ll never forget the disdain among the people while canvassing than I did for Santorum in his last race. Never.

    And for the asshole in this thread who seemed to blame me and other PA Dems for Frothy’s two terms in the Senate, go fuck yourself. With a seriously rusted farm implement. Really. You are an asshole.

  216. 216
    aimai says:

    @handsmile:

    This kind of behavior is actually pretty big these days among the many families that have had miscarriages or (as in the santorum case abortions). People post pix of their “sleeping angels.” This will not strike a whole lot of people as as weird as it strikes the rest of us.

    aimai

  217. 217
    General Stuck says:

    @aimai:

    Just heard Larry O’Donnell play the clip where Santorum says that women who are raped should make the best out of a bad situation and have the rapist’s child. Totally mind blowing in the year 2012 from a POTUS candidate currently at the top of his party’s nom polling.

  218. 218
    RD says:

    @Karen:

    This isn’t concerned trolling. That’s reality

    Rick Santorum never smiles. There’s the occasional upturned grimace when he defends himself, but mostly he is as joyless as an undertaker for the conservative movement should be.

    Anyone who thinks Ricky has a chance hasn’t been paying attention to the primary RW outlets.

  219. 219
    tavella says:

    Oh, I can understand the parents wanting to see and hold the body and even pictures. Taking a stiffening little body home and expecting your very young children to kiss and cuddle it? Still comes off way weird to me.

  220. 220
    Mike in NC says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Koppel bears a great deal of responsibility for electing that monster douchefuck Reagan. Him and his “countdown”. What a fucking asshole.

    I well remember the “America Held Hostage” bullshit that was the start of Nightline. So yeah, screw Ted Koppel for his ratfucking.

  221. 221
    Montana says:

    How typical, how fucking typical of the chicken little stuff at no more mr nice blog.

    Sanatorum will hit his max and go no further. He is a man of ugly thoughts and standards. He will get the 27% and a few who show up for show. Obama will win.

    Pay no attention to Steve M as he hides under his bed.

  222. 222
    Montana says:

    How typical, how fucking typical of the chicken little stuff at no more mr nice blog.

    Sanatorum will hit his max and go no further. He is a man of ugly thoughts and standards. He will get the 27% and a few who show up for show. Obama will win.

    Pay no attention to Steve M as he hides under his bed.

  223. 223
    Heliopause says:

    @WeeBey:

    But this is a nearly meaningless statement.

    Hence this entire thread is “nearly meaningless,” since that’s the whole premise. You ought to let SteveM know, once you get done counting the 200+ comments.

    The chances of Ron Paul becoming President are also non-zero. I’m not gonna spend any time on them

    You already have.

    He’s unelectable.

    The chances of Santorum becoming President are low but nonzero. By definition your block-quoted statement above makes that a meaningful statement. No need to panic, but unless you are certain that Jesus will intervene you might want to at least have a Plan B on the back burner.

  224. 224
    fasteddie9318 says:

    I tell you I’m terrified that Tom Tancredo is going to run on the Whitey White Douchenozzle Whiteness Party and win in the general, whereupon anyone with skin darker than translucent will be sent to Gitmo.

  225. 225
    RD says:

    @Heliopause:

    The chances of Santorum becoming President are low but nonzero

    What’s your point?

  226. 226
    Heliopause says:

    @RD:

    That, contra those who are saying it is zero, that it is low but nonzero.

  227. 227

    In a match-up with Obama, Santorum loses moderates almost 3-1 (67/24). He’s seen favourably by 39%, yet he wins 44% in a match-up with Obama. That means he starts with 5% soft support, and he’s over his head by 3 points with Independent voter soft support. You’re seeing his ceiling.

    Add him losing Hispanics by 14 points, and only winning the 65+ age demographic by 8 (bad for a social conservative), and I don’t see a scary candidate.

    You also have to consider that this sample was noticeably heavy with McCain voters, and they break for Santorum by 82% – higher than any other candidate.

    I love PPP, but there are too many other pollsters showing much larger leads for Obama over Santorum to take this one survey as gospel.

    I can’t see Obama losing PA if Santorum is the nominee, and winning PA would (in all likelihood) put him over 270. National polls are broad indicators, but the States are the real battleground.

  228. 228
    RD says:

    @Heliopause:

    You presented this “fact” as if it were a original and novel research finding.

    What do you propose?

  229. 229
    Micheline says:

    @RD: @RD: Meaning don’t get overconfident

  230. 230
    jefft452 says:

    @aimai: “People post pix of their “sleeping angels.” This will not strike a whole lot of people as as weird as it strikes the rest of us”

    please define “a lot”

  231. 231
    grandpa john says:

    @Todd Dugdale: RCP average has Obama at +10.4 over rick so yeah anyone who has ever followed this stuff should know that any one poll is insignificant.
    Actually even with 5 points that is still a significant lead.

  232. 232
    WeeBey says:

    @Heliopause:

    Something getting comments on the internet doesn’t mean it’s not meaningless. I promise.

    Other than that, you’re a fortune cookie. Without the cookie. The chances of you saying anything meaningful are low but nonzero.

  233. 233
    RD says:

    @Micheline:

    Meaning don’t get overconfident

    Thanks for the warning.

    God Only Knows (What I’d Be Without You).

  234. 234
    jefft452 says:

    @Heliopause: “Ronald Reagan was considered unelectable on the national level at one time”

    Yeah, I was one of the guys who said that in 79
    BUT
    Reagan’s main campaign theme was “I am not a nut, forget that guy who railed against Medicare 15 years ago, I’m just kindly ole uncle dutch, ex-union president (McCarthy? Who was he?) and proud FDR Democrat. I didn’t leave the party they left me”

    Santorum can’t do that
    Can you imagine him being accused of wanting to outlaw abortion in all cases and him saying “There you go again”?
    I cant

  235. 235
    eemom says:

    if this thread gets any stoopider it’s gonna join the tea party. Jussayinzall.

  236. 236
    Rafer Janders says:

    @shortstop:

    God, yes, shortstop. Yes. If I had a child with the same condition, who could die anytime and who, in any event, always sick, there would be nothing, nothing on earth that could pull me from her side. And certainly not a vanity presidential campaign. Dear Christ in Heaven. That is just demented and detestable. That, more than anything, shows me that Santorum is a foul excuse for a human being.

  237. 237
    skippy the wondermule says:

    @Turgidson:

    all good points, but Santorum fires up the base like no one else remaining. Of course sane women dislike him, but Pentacostal women love him, and the percentage of sane women decreases each year.

    My Republican uncle Richard became mayor of Brockton, Mass because it rained the day of the election and everyone just knew the Democrat would win anyway. Unless people get actually enthusiastic about Obama, his election may unexpectedly get rained on.

  238. 238
    skippy the wondermule says:

    Sell Santorum as the savior of the party, the REAL conservative who never quit, never veered from God’s truth and the only man who can return America to its former Greatness!

    I think 1/3 of America will buy that story cold, without any effort at all. Santorum needs only 10% more and he’s almost president.

  239. 239
    jefft452 says:

    “I think 1/3 of America will buy that story cold, without any effort at all. Santorum needs only 10% more and he’s almost president”

    1/3 plus 10% is only slightly better then Landon, Goldwater, McGovern, or Mondale
    I never thought of any of the above as “almost president”

  240. 240
    Paul in KY says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: They certainly make him seem very likable.

  241. 241
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bruce S: Your quote: “I didn’t think I would ever say this but Dubya makes Reagan look like a decent, responsible President.”

    I know, I know. I couldn’t believe it either the first time I thought that.

  242. 242
    Heliopause says:

    @RD:

    You presented this “fact” as if it were a original and novel research finding.

    Hilarious. I’d call this a lie but it’s too transparently stupid to be taken seriously.

    I stated my considered opinion just like everybody else on this blog. You’re trying to pick at it like a starling at a suet cake and are merely making yourself look ridiculous in the process.

    The chances of Santorum becoming President are low but nonzero. Your snotty rejoinders and indulgence in groupthink do not refute this.

  243. 243
    Heliopause says:

    @jefft452:

    Reagan’s main campaign theme was “I am not a nut”…Santorum can’t do that

    Are you joking? You can make your campaign theme anything you want. Whether the voters will buy it is another matter, but, trust me, the GOP will hire a PR that is much more sophisticated than the Balloon Juice commenting crowd.

    Remember, they put Rick Santorum on the ticket in ’08 only his name was Sarah Palin at the time. As much as could be thrown at him was thrown at her back then. At the top of the ticket was a doddering old fool who had flip-flopped on all the “maverick” positions he allegedly held a mere eight years earlier and was embracing neocon and culture warrior policies as fast as he could manage. Their party had just got finished destroying the economy. They still got 45% of the vote.

    If Santorum being elected President is such a hilarious joke to the crack political team in this blog comment section then chew on this: Romney/Santorum. A few months into his term Mitt is called home into the Bosom of Abraham by the Angel Moroni. The probability of this happening is also low, but you might want to have a Plan B handy just in case.

  244. 244
    jafd says:

    @geg6:

    Would like to apologize for having offended you, but will decline to accept your suggestion re: rusty farm implements.

    To repeat myself: I am registered to vote in Pennsylvania as a member of the Democratic Party.

    If I may summarize your post – which I agree with – “Santorum is a weak candidate”.

    My point, rephrased, is that well-run campaigns could and should have beaten him in ’94 or ’00, and that various leaders of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party should have been better politicians, ran better campaigns, and the USA would have been better off if they had.

    Now, what responsibility does a rank-and-file member of an organization have for the s*^$wups of The People in Charge, and should a member take that responsibility ?

    Ought an American, for example, say to a citizen of another country that “the US invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and the people we selected as our leadership Should Have Done Things Differently” ?

    Again, I think we basically agree on most things here, and hope not to continue this argument.

  245. 245
    Chris Andersen says:

    Democrats have a terrible history of getting the opponent they say they want and then *losing* to them (Reagan and Bush Jr. being the two most recent cases). That’s why I always cringe when I see Democrats salivating over the prospect of running against someone they presume to be unelectable.

    This country put Shrub in office. Twice. I don’t consider anything outside the realm of possibility.

    Besides, I’d rather beat Romney in a race about economics than Santorum in a race about gay marriage. The former is a debate we’ve been desperately needing for decades. The latter is the one we’ve been having instead.

  246. 246
    grandpa john says:

    @skippy the wondermule: Really? have you checked your math? 1/3 + 10 % will give you 43% which would then give Obama 57% which is a 14% Spread which is in “mega blowout total ass kicking” range Hell yeah I will take that right know and cancel the election.

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