The Spectacle Blog

Santorum Can Beat Romney

By on 2.1.12 | 11:23AM

Bill Kristol writes today that Rick Santorum likely has a better chance of beating Mitt Romney than Newt Gingrich does. New polls support that assumption:

What might be most interesting in both states is what happens in a head to head between Romney and either Gingrich or Santorum:

-In Missouri Santorum leads Romney 50-37 and in Ohio Santorum leads 45-38.

-In Missouri Gingrich leads Romney 43-42 and in Ohio Gingrich leads 42-39.

Two takeaways from those numbers: if this ever came down to Romney, Paul, and just one out of Gingrich and Santorum, Romney would be in a lot of trouble. And he'd be in more trouble if the single conservative alternative ended up being Santorum.

Santorum is a stronger long term threat to Romney than Gingrich because he has less baggage and is simply much better liked.

The same holds true in a general election. The way to look at a candidate's potential is to look at his electoral upside and compare it to his downside. There's not much that Obama can really use to destroy Santorum. There is plenty to use against Gingrich. There is plenty of room for somebody like Santorum to grow in popularity, because most voters still are getting to know him. There is little room for Gingrich to grow because he is so well known, and because for some 17 years he consistently has had some of the highest net-unfavorable ratings of any figure in American public life. Those are hard-and-fast impressions that he would have a hard time overcoming.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From Quin Hillyer