2 Republicans Who Can Win in 2016, and Why

1. Rick Santorum

Candidate Analysis:
Prior Political Victories: B. Two terms in the house and two in the senate (from a blue state), even though he lost his 2006 re-election. I would consider his 2012 campaign a success, having won 11 states. That is the most of any 2nd place candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1976.
Broad Base Support: B+. Santorum is well liked among the very conservative and moderate bases, has very strong support among the social conservatives. Does well among women and minorities. People can identify with his straightforward, blue collar populist message better than any Ted Cruz rant.
Enemies: B-: Santorum has many enemies in the libertarian camp and numerous vocal opponents on the radical left.
Clean Record: A. He has one of the strongest records of any candidate seeking the white house, on either party. Welfare reform, budget cuts, and authored the ban on partial birth abortions, as well as strong foreign policy credentials. One blight on the record is the vote for No Child Left Behind.
Fundraising: A: Though he lacks the big money of Chris Christie and Rand Paul, he has unprecedented levels of grassroots support.
Endurance: A++. In 2012, he was considered to be an also ran, in the strain of Michelle Bachman and Herman Cain, but he won the Iowa Caucuses, came in second in New Hampshire, and won 11 states overall, all while being outspent by Mitt Romney almost 50-1.

Paul Ryan:

Prior Political Victories: A-. Numerous terms in the house, including leadership positions, but failed VP candidacy in 2012.
Broad Base Support: A+: Has been able to unify the Far Right and the Center Right, tea party and establishment, etc.
Enemies:B-. Many lingering enemies from his 2012 campaign.
Clean Record: Strong policy record, strongest fiscal record of any republican hopeful, knows what he is talking about and can relate it well. Candidate of Ideas?
Fundraising: A+: In a phrase, the Elizabeth Warren of the Right.
Endurance: A: Was essentially the backbone of the Romney/Ryan candidacy.

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