Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

How many times does Pennsylvania have to end Rick Santorum's political career?

How many times does Pennsylvania have to end Rick Santorum's political career?

It's kind of telling that even Newt Gingrich -- with as horrible a campaign as he's run -- was still able to win his home state of Georgia with ease. Ditto for Mitt Romney, who's been victorious in all 13 states that he lives in.*

Then there's Rick Santorum:

COULD FORMER U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's chances to win his home state's presidential primary election be slipping away?

Santorum holds a razor-thin 2-percentage-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania's April 24 Republican primary, according to a Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College Poll to be released Wednesday.

It didn't used to be this way:

With four weeks until Republicans cast their ballots here, Santorum's home-state strength has been sapped from the commanding 29-percentage-point lead he held on Romney in February's Franklin & Marshall poll.

And Romney, who has a financial advantage in campaign cash, has yet to air TV commercials in this state.

Santorum was always a bad fit for Pennsylvania, which is why the checkens finally came home to roost in his epic 18-point Senate defeat in 2006. And it says something about his abrasive style that few of the state's political leaders have endorsed Pennsylvania's not-exactly-native son. Although it's hard to tell because the national GOP has been jerked so far to the right, but Pa. Republican voters tend to be some of the most moderate around; they went for Specter over Toomey in 2004, and Bush 41 over Reagan in 1980. For a short time, those voters forgot why they didn't like Santorum. Now they've remembered.

No wonder Santorum decamped for Virginia as fast as he could. But the pundits won't see if that way. If he loses his "home state," he's cooked.

* Sarcasm. But it is hard to keep track of all the states where Romney owns car elevators at the point.

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