Reviews of Rick Santorum's debate performance last night are tepid: "missed opportunity" (LA Times/ABC News), and "uneven" (Boston Globe). Ron Paul fans were even mad that he seemed to shake the congressman's hand too hard (Buzzfeed)
More worrying is his stance with women voters -- for the first time, a poll in Arizona showed a widening gender gap, with women supporting Mitt Romney over him 2:1. (NYT) And lets not even get into the breakup he seems to have had with one of his most strenuous supporters this campaign, the WashPost's Jennifer Rubin.
But on to better news for Santorum fans: despite worries about his general election chances, his position against Obama is improving nationwide in the latest Gallup tracking poll (he trails the prez by a statistically irrelevant 1 point, 49-48%), and in Michigan he leads Romney by 4 points in today's American Research Group survey.
Santorum (and the National Review) have been complaining that the MSM is focusing too much on the ex-senator's religious beliefs. But he is certainly trying to use those beliefs to his advantage: a God-fearin' friend of Early Returns who is reading a Bible chapter every day of Lent reported a Santorum For President ad popped up with the Book of Genesis on Bartleby.com.
Looks like he'll spend much of the weekend before Super Tuesday, March 6, in Ohio, the Plain Dealer reports. But until then, all eyes remain on Michigan and Arizona on Tuesday. Team Santorum is going negative on Romney in his home state in the (low-budget) ad below:
Ad text after the jump: