The good news and bad news continues for Rick Santorum's zombie-like GOP presidential run. Bad news first:
The organizational failures that lost him delegates in Ohio and Virginia Tuesday will repeat themselves in Washington D.C., where he won't compete April 3 for any of its 16 available, or in Illinois March 20, where he can't get 10 of the 54 available. (ABC News)
And even if Newt Gingrich drops out of the race (perhaps if he performs poorly in Alabama and Mississippi) it won't guarantee Santorum can challenge Mitt Romney. Nate Silver at the NYT says Romney would get some of Gingrich's supporters too:
It would undoubtedly still help Mr. Santorum if Mr. Gingrich dropped out — especially if Mr. Gingrich endorsed Mr. Santorum and asked his delegates to vote for him. In fact, the combined total of Santorum and Gingrich delegates right now is quite similar to the number that we calculate Mr. Santorum would have won without Mr. Gingrich in the race.
But that would be just the first step for Mr. Santorum — at best, a necessary but not sufficient condition for a comeback. He’ll need to find some further means by which he can eat into Mr. Romney’s coalition, and he’ll need to do so in a hurry since 21 states have already voted.
The latest Rasmussen national poll has him down to Romney 39-27% with Gingrich at 17%.
And then there's the decidedly non-Megadethy video above. (Sample lyrics: There will be Justice for the Unborn/ Factories back on our Shores/ Where the Constitution rules our land/ Yes, I Believe/Rick Santorum is our Man!). From Colby Itkowitz at the Morning Call:
Oklahoma sisters Camille and Haley Harris, who notably were not born when Ronald Reagan was president, made a music video in time for Super Tuesday with a chorus that begins: "Oh, there is hope for our nation again, Maybe the first time since we had Ronald Reagan."
. . . On YouTube, the Harrises write that they met the Santorums in Tulsa and decided to write up a little ditty to show their support. The song includes verses: "Faithful to his wife and seven kids, He'll be loyal to our land and "He's got the plan to lower taxes, raise morale, to put the power in our hands."
To the good:
It's been happening slowly for months now, but all of the attention Santorum's been getting has solved his Google Problem (at least, dropping the nasty results to number 3 third). Attention, you say? His surprising rise atop the Ohio results for a few hours Tuesday gave him a new Twitter 2012 election record, when he was referenced 40,000 times between 9-10 p.m.
And no matter what happens to Santorum this year, and despite his message pratfalls, he is forging a new template for Republicans tying middle class family woes to those about the economy, writes the NYT's Ross Douthat in a thoughtful piece:
But the main domestic argument that he’s tried to make – about the link between family breakdown and economic disarray — has more relevance to the challenges facing Americans in the early 21st century than the Reagan nostalgia that too often passes for policy thinking from the party’s tax cutting and foreign policy hawks. Ours is increasingly a country where sky-high economic expectations coexist with middle class wage stagnation, and where the idealization of married life coexists with steadily rising out-of-wedlock births. In this atmosphere, the fusion of a (moderate) social conservatism and a right-leaning economic populism could end up having a broader appeal than many alternative right-of-center visions.
Whether that actually happens depends on whether future Republican presidential hopefuls decide to learn from, adapt and improve upon the Huckabee-Santorum template. If they do, it’s possible that what Santorum has accomplished in the last few months will be remembered, not as the last glimpse of the Republican past, but as a plausible sketch of the Republican future.