The Spectacle Blog

Report: Santorum Memo Is Strategy for Contested Convention

By on 3.12.12 | 9:18AM

BuzzFeed is reporting that an internal strategy memo by Rick Santorum's campaign can't win the nomination outright before the convention, but could win in Tampa.

Majority Needed for Romney, Not for Santorum
Mitt Romney must have a majority on the first ballot in order to win the nomination because he will perform worse on subsequent ballots as grassroots conservative delegates decide to back the more conservative candidate. Subsequently, Santorum only needs to be relatively close on the initial ballot in order to win on a later ballot as Romney's support erodes.

Santorum, like Ron Paul, is hoping to outperform his caucus-night showings at county and state conventions, thus walking away with more delegates than expected. There is already at least some anecdotal evidence that Paul is having some success with this strategy; perhaps Santorum can too, since in recent caucus states social conservatives have increasingly been organizing on his behalf.

BuzzFeed's Zeke Miller concludes, "This is a winning-by-losing strategy - and a hard one to sell to voters and donors." Miller may be right about donors, but I'm not so sure about voters. There are a lot of conservative primary voters out there who are least open to a contested convention and would like to deny Romney the nomination by any means necessary. They would regard as a strategy to deny Romney a majority as a victory of sorts, and might look favorably on any candidate with a plan to do so.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From Jonathan S. Tobin, W. James Antle III