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Santorum’s Popularity, Romney’s Achilles Heel

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Will Rick Santorum be the next president of the United States?  Doubtful. The math on the electoral chart just doesn’t add up.  Even if he makes a clean sweep of the rest of the country, Romney still has the nomination within his grasp.  Rick Santorum may be the conservative darling du-jour, but his hard-right baggage – (“College is for snobs.”  Really?) – and relatively lackluster performance as Pennsylvania’s once-junior senator mean he will have a tough time beating Barack Obama where it counts.

Independent voters.

Mitt Romney’s failure to latch in with the Republican base says more about Romney’s failings than it does the “any other comer” way in which long-time Republicans have swung from one “self-professed-conservative” to another over the past six months.  Each time an alternative rises, he (or she) gaffs his (or her) way out of existence.  Then attention shifts back to Romney because he is, for lack of a better word…

Safe.

Romney is the epitome of electoral blandness.

He’s about as warm and snuggly as a brick, but at least he’s an electable brick.

Romney represents the very real potential of Republican electability in a country where the vast majority of the public doesn’t listen to – or care about – the likes Rush Limbaugh or Rachael Maddow.  Romney’s policies are mainstream, his career baggage is relatively well known, and his propensity for campaign-ending, humiliatingly public gaffs is usually kept in a moderate degree of check.

Romney is a king-sized loaf of white bread in a split-top, whole wheat world.  He’s predictable.  Despite his laughable, “severely conservative” claim, he’s actually an ever-so-slightly right-leaning mirror image of what Barack Obama “claimed” to be when he stormed the castle gates at 1600 PA avenue.  Romney-care was Obama-care’s inspiration, for crying out loud.

Which is why “old school” Republicans – mainstream Republicans – are voting for the guy.

No, Santorum’s latest status as the hot ticket for conservative Republican hearts speaks more to the evangelical right’s not-so-quiet distaste of a Mormon candidate.  Evangelicals are, after all, the heart and soul of the Republican party. It is tough for self-professing evangelical Christians to vote for a guy they don’t think is smart enough to realize his religion is a tad wacky.  Romney’s faith says Jesus was the physical product of a physical God who dropped down to earth and then promptly got physically intimate with Mary.

Christians?  Well, there’s this little sticking point of theology called, “The virgin birth…”

Yes, Santorum draws voters to the ballot box because he just happens to be the most viable “non-Mormon” Jesus Freak left in the race.

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