Human Events Blog

Rick Santorum Looks Ahead to Super Tuesday

 

In an interview with radio host Rusty Humphries to be broadcast Wednesday afternoon (4:30 PM Eastern time in Atlanta on WGST, 9:30 PM Eastern on Humphries’ national show) presidential candidate Rick Santorum declared himself pleased with the results of the Michigan primary, “because we came out of Michigan with at least as many delegates as Mitt Romney.” 

In fact, they seem to have ended up tied with 13 delegates apiece as of this writing.  Santorum remains slightly ahead in both of the districts still being counted, and could end up taking 17 delegates to Romney’s 13 if that holds up.  The Santorum campaign told the Detroit News today that they believe Santorum is more likely to finish in a dead heat with Romney, taking 15 delegates apiece.  Romney won the popular vote in the state, 41 to 38 percent.

Santorum noted that he was outspent in Michigan by “6 to 12 to one” in Romney’s home state, and over 100,000 votes in Michigan were cast before his big wins in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri vaulted him to the front rank of the GOP presidential race.  Given these factors, he felt his performance in Tuesday’s primary was “remarkable.”

Looking forward, Santorum “feels very good about running very well” in Washington State this weekend, where there hasn’t been much recent polling, but a February 16-19 survey from Public Policy Polling put Santorum 11 points ahead. 

Then it’s on to Super Tuesday, March 6, which is looking quite turbulent at the moment.  Santorum is “running very strongly in Oklahoma and Tennessee,” and has “a good and consistent lead in Ohio.”  He thinks his performance in Michigan will only enhance these positions, and he wants to be “very competitive in Georgia,” which is Newt Gingrich’s home turf. 

If Gingrich wins only Georgia on Super Tuesday, Santorum sees the contest “increasingly becoming a two-person race,” with himself as “the clear, conservative, viable alternative.”  He spoke very highly of Gingrich, but said he was better at soaking up the kind of pounding Gingrich took from Romney in Florida.

Santorum defended his outreach to Democrat crossover voters in Michigan as part of his broader strategy to “reach out to Reagan Democrats,” and noted that while Romney complained about these efforts in Michigan, he was no slouch at cultivating Democrat voters in New Hampshire, where “53 percent of the vote was non-Republicans.” 

“For Governor Romney to go out, after having rolled up a big margin in New Hampshire – in part because of his ability to actively go out and solicit independents and Democrats to vote for him in New Hampshire – for him to then turn around and criticize me… what he did in New Hampshire was appeal as a moderate to independents and Democrats,” said Santorum.  “What I did here in the state of Michigan was to appeal as a conservative, pro-growth, focused on manufacturing jobs.”

Santorum spoke about the difficulties of running a Presidential race with limited resources, but he’s proud of his ability to “stand tough and tall on a shoestring budget,” and cited the many small donations he has received from individuals.  “We have a much broader base of support than Mitt does,” he concluded, “and ultimately as this campaign wears on, his campaign is going to run out of $2500 donors.”

 

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