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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Santorum Momentum

Mark Leibovich writes in The New York Times:
Former Senator Rick Santorum’s campaign in Iowa conducted no polls or focus groups, employed no speechwriter and had no security presence until a few days ago. “We don’t have a bunch of guys with earpieces running around doing nothing,” he would boast.
He had a skeletal advertising budget — “You can’t buy Iowa,” he would say, deriding his better-financed rivals — and his campaign disclosure forms included itemized receipts from the likes of Target (“food & beverage” expense, $16.48), Walmart (“event supplies/container,” $4.47) and Priceline.com (“Airfare,” $670.84”).
From The Pew Research Center:
If momentum in presidential politics is something that builds on itself, then Rick Santorum's last-minute surge to finish in a virtual tie for first with Mitt Romney in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses benefited from the narrative in the news media.
The subject of momentum, indeed, was the biggest component of the coverage in the last two weeks before Iowa citizens voted, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. More than a quarter of all the coverage across the country (27%) was focused on polls, strategy and momentum-much of it about dark horse Santorum dramatically gaining ground in the waning days of the Iowa campaign, even though few late polls showed Santorum actually ahead.
Media coverage, however, may not be his friend in the weeks ahead. Now that he is a major candidate, Santorum will find that his words will get much more rigorous attention. In his statement last night, ThinkProgress says, he implicitly compared the American welfare state to fascism:
SANTORUM: [My grandfather] came after having fought in World War I because Mussolini has been in power now for three years and had has figured out that Fascism was something that would crush his spirit and his freedom….And we have two parties that are out talking about how they’re going to solve those problems. One wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more Medicaid and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs and passing Obamacare to provide even more government subsidies. More and more dependency, more and more government — exactly what my grandfather left in 1925.