The Spectacle Blog

The Rick Santorum Democrats

By on 4.4.12 | 12:42PM

Here's a big question that the exit polls don't quite answer: Who are the Rick Santorum Democrats? Are they liberal mischief-makers, social conservatives in the mold of the Reagan Democrats, or some combination of both?

In Wisconsin, 11 percent of the voters who participated in the open Republican primary identified as Democrats. Santorum won this group by 20 points, taking 44 percent to Mitt Romney's 24 percent and Ron Paul's 19 percent. Newt Gingrich got just 5 percent. Independents voted 38 percent for Romney, 34 percent for Santorum, and 21 percent for Paul. Santorum came within three points of Romney among the plurality of voters who identified themselves moderate or liberal, taking 33 percent to Romney's 36 percent. Those are relatively high numbers for someone running as a conservative insurgent against the Republican establishment choice.

In Maryland, the numbers were more along the lines of what you'd expect. Only 2 percent of the Republican primary voters identified themselves as Democrats. The independents broke 40-25 for Romney, with Paul in third with 21 percent. The moderate to liberal voters went 48-22 for Romney, with Paul taking 16 percent.

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

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