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Friday, December 30, 2011

Don't be surprised if Rick Santorum finishes a strong second to Romney in Iowa

suggests Stephen F. Hayes in The Weekly Standard.

Apparently that very prospect prompted the Perry Campaign to attack the Senator in a recent ad.

If Santorum does pull off an upset--which is what second place in Iowa would be--at the expense of Ron Paul, that would be good news for the GOP.

Ron Paul's baggage is far heavier than Newt Gingrich's, and would prove fatal not merely for Paul as the GOP's Candidate for President but for the rest of the Party at all levels.

Meantime Santorum would represent a true alternative to ex-Governor Gumby--I mean, Romney--and the Senator's continued strong presence in the primaries would ensure a vigorous continuing debate.

What's Ron Paul's baggage ? Check out James Kirchick's opinion piece in The New York Times.

As for the source of Paul's recent bump in Iowa polls, Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal warns
It's in fact the Republican Party protest vote. Since summer, this block of votes has jumped from one candidate to another, desperate for an anti-Obama champion whose anti-Washington intensity matches its own.
In July the Republican protest vote fixed on Michele Bachmann, who materialized in the No. 2 spot.  
In September it became the Perry vote, cresting at 31%. He couldn't debate, so in October it became the Cain vote. When he collapsed, the "left for dead" Gingrich candidacy miraculously rose to 35%.
With Newt carpet-bombed and again left for dead, the GOP protest vote mounted its last pony, the Ron Paul campaign.
The policy set of any of these candidates has been of minimal importance to voters who've boiled down their beef with Washington to one idea: Attack.
Meanwhile Mitt the Whale swims serenely onward at 25%, month after month, dipping occasionally to feed on these pilot fish. But the whale should be worried. These Republican protest fish have sharp teeth. Unless fed something soon, they may tear the Romney campaign to pieces. And there are a lot of them.