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Daily Santorum: Debate day

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Santorum at Primanti's

Going into tonight's key CNN debate -- the first in nearly a month, and possibly coming at a perfect time for Santorum, a skilled debater -- there are so many questions to ponder:

Will Santorum (and fellow Catholic Newt Gingrich) still have Ash Wednesday ashes on their foreheads? Could help ward off Satan and/or Matt Drudge. Here's a Satanic (comments) explainer. (And might all these questions about Satan mean Mitt Romney will face questions about his Mormon beliefs? The Santorum camp thinks so.)

Could he possibly win Georgia and/or Arizona with help from the tea party base? Hell, we don't even know if he could win here in Pa come April 24 -- a worry shared by all four GOP prez candidates -- even if his January fundraising from the state zoomed up over previous months. (See Santorum's latest FEC report here.)

Politico notes how skilled he was at bringing home the bacon for Pa while in Congress, which isn't so well thought of in these anti-earmark times. The story doesn't mention it, but should it still be a dogfight come late April, we fully expect to see ads about Santorum's support for Pittsburgh's half-billion North Shore tunnel. (Republican Tom Corbett had success with them in the gubernatorial race.)

Speaking of deep Pa-related Santorum info, the WashPost read all of the columns he used to write for the Inquirer.

The debate tonight comes as Mitt "The Underdog?" Romney has bounced back a bit in Michigan -- NBC has him up 2 pts and Time/CNN by 4. Rasmussen has Santorum up 4. Nationally, a new Quinnipiac poll has him up 9 points over Romney.

HuffPost continues their digging into Santorum's somewhat moderate past views on abortion, previewed here. From the opposite perspective, Rich Lowry at the National Review writes that the MSM "has unleashed the hounds" on the candidate for his orthodox religious/social views.

Speaking of Satan, for further fun before tonight's 8 p.m. set-to, here's a parlour game from Mother Jones -- are the following quotes from Rick Santorum . . . or speed-metal endorser Dave Mustaine of Megadeth? Sample:

"Decadence and debauchery killed your memories. You're a liar."

A. Sen. Rick Santorum yelling at hostile pro-choice activists during a stop in Lancaster, PA in 2003.

B. Dave Mustaine singing on the 1988 album "So Far, So Good...So What!"

Photo: Santorum at Primanti's. AP/Politico file photo

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