Assessing Santorum’s 2016 Viability

By all accounts, former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 POTUS candidate Rick Santorum will run for President again. I will more than likely be supporting him, for two reasons. One, I believe in what he has to say, and two, he endorsed me for sophomore class president. Santorum also has a much more viable path to the Oval Office than most give him credit for.

In the Primaries: Santorum’s PAC, Patriot Voices, has a well established activist and donor network around the countries (It is particularly well put together in Iowa and South Carolina). He has made several smart hires in the race; in South Carolina, Jon Parker will likely head up the operation (he is currently the head of SC Patriot Voices). Parker worked with Santorum’s successful effort in the 2012 Tennessee primary, and has run campaigns for Joe and Alan Wilson, Molly Spearman, and Curtis Loftis. Even so, campaigns matter much less than fundamentals. Santorum is highly popular among blue collar and evangelical republicans, which will play very well in South Carolina and Iowa. If Santorum were to win these two states, then he would be hard pressed to loose the nomination.

In the General. Assume for a minute that Santorum would win all of the states that Romney won in 2012, a pretty safe assumption. That puts him at 206 electoral votes out of 270. He could very likely win Pennsylvania, another 20 (226/270). If he were to win the other rust belt states 0f Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin he would certainly win the election (270/270). He wins Iowa, putting him at 276/270. A Virginia and Florida win, still very plausible, is 318/270. Throw Colorado in the mix, you can reach 327/270, and a historic and decisive republican win.

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