Santorum comfortable with poll numbers ahead of Iowa caucus


#1

Santorum comfortable with poll numbers ahead of Iowa caucus

Rick Santorum gestures on stage during the undercard debate in Las Vegas on Dec. 15, 2015. (Photo: Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images)

Former senator Rick Santorum says he’s still in a good position to win the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1.

The Republican presidential candidate met with potential Des Moines caucusgoers on Tuesday night in Waukee at the home of the candidate’s county field representative. He addressed the “elephant in the room” right off the bat — his low polling numbers.

According to the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll, Santorum sits at 1% in Iowa. Reflecting back on his victory in 2012, Santorum said he was at 3% until 12 to 15 days before he won the first-in-the-nation vote.

He attributes the low numbers to undecided voters who are still “sorting through” 11 options for the Republican nominee. It was the same in 2012, he said, but with fewer candidates — meaning it may take voters longer than normal to decide who they will caucus for.

“I’m counting on Iowa to do what they did four years ago. And that is lead, not follow,” Santorum said. “That is, don’t settle for a candidate that somebody says can win because they’re high in the polls or they have a lot of money or endorsements or whatever. Do what you think is right for the country.”

Santorum said voters need to look for a candidate who has consistently proven fundamental values of the Republican Party. He said he believes Iowans relate to his campaign because he addresses the American worker — not just the business owner. Santorum said he will work to increase manufacturing and trade to “create wealth” for working Americans.

“I think that’s the difference maker,” he said.

Like last time, in 2012 there have been a number of “leaders” in the polling, some of whom, like Scott Walker, have dropped out … others like Huckabee who threaten to drop if they do not do well in Iowa.

Santorum’s problem is also his advantage. He’s been an afterthought (again) due to low poll numbers. The score is really 0 - 0 X 12 until caucus day though really. Preseason polls didn’t give the 2015 NY Mets much chance to win the pennant either.

He may even be positioned to thrive with as little as a fifth place (upper tier!) finish if caucusers move to him as their compromise candidate. It can’t be a super DISTANT fifth … but if he stays in the race as others drop out … keeping him ostracized in a cone of silence and out of subsequent debates will be more difficult.

His low profile means his main negative has been … he’s got no support. Doubling his support begins to vitiate that.

If I were his strategist I’d suggest he mock the polls with a reference to the Iowa Hawkeyes (and how THEY’VE been dissed all year). And remind caucusers that their choice in 2012 was subverted by some strange business of votes being withheld from ONE precinct so that his campaign lost momentum (as it looked like Romney had won initially).

Should Santorum actually win (in a year that has seen many candidates soar to the top already, and with sudden surges to prominence from former middling (polling) candidates, it would make for a very interesting primary. He’s a great debater and prolonged exposure without the dismissive attitude could boost his stock.

My guess? Marco Rubio will do better than expected. Cruz and Trump will be on top … but not by as much as they “are” now in the polls. The Carson, Fiorina, and Huckabee people will move off to compromise candidates after the first round of caucusing. Christie and Paul will keep their small bases. And Bush will get some of Trump’s numbers.

After New Hampshire the field will thin. Santorum I expect to do better after that - with states he won last time and South Carolina (where his boys go to college at the Citadel) being up next. As he is more familiar by now, an early win would mean earlier money
than he got in 2012 … and his organization nationwide is better than a shoestring now (not that the poll numbers show it … yet ). :wink:


#2

It’s not going to happen for Santorum in Iowa. There’s too many other conservatives who have a better chance of winning.


#3

He is a good man who has no chance of winning the Republican nomination and I have to wonder why he is even in it.


#4

Huckabee and Santorum are in a similar position in this race, Santorum does seem a bit on a crusade rather than having serious thoughts that he could win it I think. I mean, as far as this goes, Cristie and Paul are hardly serious candidates either.

It’s easy to see who the favorites are and Cruz or Trump will probably win in Iowa. Rubio too is a serious candidate, Bush is a longshot, Carson was doing well and after that, I don’t think the rest of them have much of a chance <— Conventionally speaking.

Still, if I were able to vote there, stepping into the voting booth and being alone with my conscience is where I’d make my final decision.


#5

It’s interesting … all this speculation, and candidates dropping out before the first pitch in the first inning. Here in California I have seen ads for Rubio and Bush. :shrug: I must presume Iowans are seeing many more. Both ads are pretty good by the way IMO.

“The Media” via its coverage and “current polling” seems to be all-Trump all the time - with a challenger of the moment given some run as the latest dark horse.** Pre-Trump:** Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul all once had “the lead” at one point.

SINCE Trump the “top challenger” slot has been filled by Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and now Ted Cruz. Fiorina briefly surged into the top tier. Rubio has gotten good marks in the debates and has seen his numbers slowly rising throughout.

Santorum? A constant guest on national news interview programs, debate partnering with Bernie Sanders, and again doing a whistle stop personal campaign in Iowa - he has yet to catch that updraft. But due to that … has not been attacked like Trump, Bush, Cruz, Paul, and Rubio have been.

2012 GOP Iowa Caucus, Election results by county: Orange indicates counties won by Romney, dark green indicates those won by Santorum, gold, those won by Paul, and dark blue, Perry. The county indicated in black is Louisa County, in which Paul and Santorum tied for the win.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election_in_Iowa,_2012#Republican_caucuses

**Santorum trods familiar turf in Iowa, expects rise in fortunes
**

By David Shribman Las Vegas Sun, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 | 2 a.m.

… Evangelical voters make up half of GOP caucus-goers, according to the Monmouth survey, but in 2016 many of them have been drawn to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired surgeon Ben Carson, with some considering Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

So months ago Santorum shifted gears, emphasizing national security issues, a fortuitous adjustment given the terrorist attacks this autumn in Paris and San Bernardino.

With so many “faith and values” choices, adding another conservative reason to vote for him is a good move for Santorum. But he might need SOME bump in the “polls” to convince people its OK to vote for him … and not “waste their votes” that might have gone to another acceptable conservative doing better.

If caucuses deadlock though, Santorum could be where the undecideds move to … even perhaps some “moderate” undecideds?

[size=]
… he multiplied those single digits of listeners by hundreds of appearances, building a political force the old-fashioned way.

It worked in 2012, and now Santorum, with the loneliness of the long-distance runner, is trying it again.

But with a difference. His numbers are terrible. There has been a tectonic shift in the geology of Iowa politics. The issues have changed. But Santorum — energetic in a way Iowans haven’t seen since George H.W. Bush proclaimed himself “up for the ‘80s” in his early 1979 outings, determined in a way that only a man turbocharged with passion can be — is carrying on. No one with poll ratings in the very low single digits — he was at 1 percent in the Monmouth University poll last month — ever campaigned so hard.

Or with such a sense of destiny amid an atmosphere of doom. But he believes that the very polls that show him with an infinitesimal sliver of support for 2016 also showed that about one-third of Iowans didn’t decide whom to support until the month before the caucuses he won in 2012.

*“The biggest difference since 2012 is the number of candidates,” he says. “People are having trouble deciding. There’s an embarrassment of riches, and I think Iowa will break very, very late. People will watch this demolition derby happen and then make a decision.”
*

Santorum knows he prevailed last time by visiting all 99 counties here, and he already has completed that task in this round. He believes he can win again if only he keeps to the script.

[/size]

Among the other problems Santorum has are Huckabee (per the Evangelical voters), Cruz and Rubio (per pragmatic voters who see a GOP ‘first Hispanic candidate’ as a potential election clincher - even unto Bush, with his Mexican born wife and Spanish speaking children).

Trump? Well Santorum won last time with 29,000 caucus votes. Trump could practically give $1,000 to that many people in Iowa to slap on a bumper sticker, stick up a yard sign and caucus to the death … and win. :eek: (:hmmm: *** … and maybe even legally?***)

I would love to see a Santorum upset on caucus night though. Cruz or Rubio winning and saying a few words in Spanish for Univision would tickle me too.

Bracing for the Trump victory speech though, I must admit.


#6

This man just doesn’t get it. Sad…


#7

What doesn’t he get?


#8

#9

The Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest paper (located in a precinct Romney won last time), has been condemned by Trump … perhaps due to coverage like this …

… but has been quite kind per its coverage of Santorum (THIS time).

Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum speaks to a group of Iowans at a house party on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 in Waukee. Kelsey Kremer/The Register

desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2015/12/28/santorum-campaigns-tuesdaywednesday-iowa/77968210/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

desmoinesregister.com/picture-gallery/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2015/12/29/10-photos-rick-santorum-speaks-at-house-party-in-waukee/78050540/

Per an “anti-Cruz” movement … well … the paper duly reports Cruz is out to a 31% to 21% lead over Trump … and that part of that is conservatives coalescing around him lately.

Cruz surges ahead of Trump, Carson in latest Iowa Poll

desmoinesregister.com/videos/news/politics/iowa-poll/caucus/2015/12/12/77221232/

… but an MD’s editorial letter prominently blasted Cruz’ purportedly “hardly courageous” position per marijuana.

desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/readers/caucus/2015/12/28/cruz-hardly-courageous-marijuana/77979526/

The Ben Carson skyrocket has come back down to earth somewhat (in Iowa so has Trump) … though each still has a lot of support. Cruz is the current trial balloon soaring as today’s volatile Iowa caucusers look for a mutually acceptable place to unite.

Four years ago that “place” ended up being Santorum … and some of those voters will caucus again.

Also four years ago Romney had the Trump position of perennial leader while other voters kept backing new contenders in the polls: Gingrich, Paul, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann … followed by immediate press scrutiny and a plunge. Some of that has happened this time to: Christie, Bush, Paul, Huckabee, Walker, Carson, and to a lesser extent Fiorina.

There are a lot of press days before the actual caucuses … and if Santorum gets his “day in the sun” at the right time … well … it’s happened before, and was JUST as unlikely last time (when he won).

His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, an unexpected trifecta that raised fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support.

With his triumphs, Mr. Santorum was also suddenly presenting new competition to Newt Gingrich as the chief alternative to Mr. Romney, the front-runner. Where Mr. Gingrich has won one state, South Carolina, Mr. Santorum has now won four, including Iowa.

His performance added another twist to an unruly nominating contest that has seen Republican voters veering among candidates and refusing to coalesce behind anyone.

nytimes.com/2012/02/08/us/politics/minnesota-colorado-missouri-caucuses.html?_r=0 < NY Times, February 7, 2012


#10

That he will NEVER be POTUS.


#11

You’re funny :rotfl:


#12

I am not sure he thinks he can/will win. I think he is trying to get a better message out to the voters.


#13

People should vote for the candidate that they think is the best to run our country- not for the candidate that they think could win. Never give up hope!


#14

Exactly. Vote for the best person–not the most popular.


#15

Where’s the link to the news article source?


#16

usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2015/12/30/santorum-comfortable-poll-numbers-ahead-iowa-caucus/78069594/

actually they credit the Des Moines Register … which I thought I’d posted with #1 but here that is …

desmoinesregister.com/search/Santorum/

That paper seems to be giving him some run (posts his Iowa agenda in detail) … so I wouldn’t be surprised if Santorum’s poll numbers soon rise a bit.

Santorum plans 5-day Iowa campaign swing

desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/01/05/santorum-plans-5-day-iowa-campaign-swing/78295250/

He’s been emphasizing his foreign policy experience lately …

Rick Santorum on Radical Islam: ‘The Enemy Knows That I Am Serious

breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/05/rick-santorum-radical-islam-enemy-knows-serious/

“This is a very big deal that the west isn’t really taking seriously,” Santorum said of a caliphate being established by ISIS in the Middle East.

Santorum explained that under Muslim law, one can’t claim to be a caliphate unless it’s a state that imposes Muslim law, control and operates a governing successful and expanding state, in order to expand the Muslim reach around the world.

“Destroy their state,” Santorum said, and that would destroy their legitimacy. “There is no legitimacy under Islamic law and no one will follow them.”

“That’s why the president’s policy of containment is the worst possible policy for ISIS,” he added.

Santorum said he would be best to be President of the United States out of the current GOP field because “I know the pitfalls and problems that a president is going to have to confront when he goes to Washington, D.C. to execute what I just said. What I just said is against everything the State Department and many in the Defense Department want to do”

Besides the horserace of who wins the nomination, I do like to hear intelligence and a sense of direction coming from Presidential Candidates.

Not everyone does though … and some candidates try to say nothing, but say it well … in a way that the electorate can adopt its own meanings for. Barack Obama was general and vague on the specifics … but grandiose and charismatic per his campaign promises in 2008 IMO. And he won handily. :shrug:

According to Phillymag, an ISIS published magazine named Santorum “The Enemy” a few months back.

phillymag.com/news/2015/04/06/isis-magazine-labels-rick-santorum-an-enemy/


#17

Rick Santorum said on MSNBC in regard to the current gunmen who have seized a bldg in Oregon, that he would “probably feel a little more comfortable if they didn’t have guns” and said “I don`t think frankly they need to have guns.”

First of all going on MSNBC is taboo in Republican circles. But then making such a statement about guns? As far as I can tell, he’s toast as far as 2016 Republican caucus and primary voters go.

msnbc.com/transcripts/all-in/2016-01-04


#18

I think the Google Problem doomed Santorum long before any questionable statement.


#19

I watch both Fox and MSNBC, and I can tell you that I have seen every single GOP candidate on MSNBC. Trump is on there practically every day.

Santorum is toast, but he’s toast because he is a terrible candidate.


#20

All Catholics should vote for Santorum, I think if I went into the Iowa or New Hampshire voting booth, I’d vote for him; because he’s a good candidate, his loss of that one reelection is what holds him up some.


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