Now Santorum is the Romney alternative

by Dr. Darrin Hanson (aka “Professor Knowsome)

I suppose it was bound to happen.  Rick Santorum is now the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential race.  While most people (including myself) were surprised at how well Santorum did, my friend Mark over at Intellectual Christian Geek was kind enough to explain it to me and give me permission to try to explain it to all of you (he’s getting married and moving in a few months and has not been able to blog frequently himself).

Mark explains that the key to Santorum’s recent success, especially relative to Gingrich, has had more to do with geography than anything else.  Mark would say geography and “political culture”.  As he pointed out a few weeks ago on his blog, not all evangelical Christians think alike, especially when it comes to politics.  Apparently evangelicals in the Midwest hate hypocrites and view Gingrich as a big one.  Evangelicals in the South are apparently not so bothered by that.  Midwestern evangelicals also are more likely to not consider the government to be the “boogey man” like they do down South.  Given that Santorum has been consistent his whole life and that he believes the government can be a tool for good, he is far more attractive to Midwestern evangelicals.

Given that Mark is the only person I know who correctly predicted Colorado, I asked him who he thought would win the next several contests.  Here are his picks:

Michigan: Santorum edges out Romney, but it will be close, because the evangelicals will outweigh the fact that Romney’s dad was a well-like governor there.

Arizona:  Romney wins due to high Mormon population, McCain’s endorsement, and the more moderate Republicans there won’t be comfortable with anyone else

Washington: Romney, because the state is too moderate for the other candidates (he thinks Huntsman would have done well there if he was still in the race).  He thinks there might be an outside shot for Ron Paul, though, since it is a caucus and Washingtonians tend to be a bit cooky.

Georgia: Gingrich picks up a home state win, but it won’t be as comfortable as he would like.

Ohio: Mark isn’t comfortable calling this one.  He thinks it will be close between Romney and Santorum (assuming neither says anything too stupid before then).

Tennessee: Gingrich, as the political culture there is more Southern than Midwestern.

Virginia: Romney because it isn’t “South enough” to love Gingrich.

Oklahoma: Santorum because it is more Midwestern than Southern in mindset.  Interesting contest for second between Romney and Paul.

Massachusetts: Romney…duh!  Romney’s camp is probably upset that this is a proportional primary rather than winner-take-all.  Santorum and Paul might pick up a couple delegates here.

Idaho: This might as well be Utah.  Romney first, Paul second.

North Dakota: Santorum edges out Romney in a close race.  Mark isn’t sure on this one as North Dakotans tend to be very evangelical in their mindset, but also very moderate in their politics.

Alaska: Sarah Palin as a write-in candidate…just kidding.  Mark is basing this on conversations he’s had with Alaskans, who are a little Panined out and would want a more moderate Romney-like figure.

Vermont: Romney with a strong showing by Paul.

At this point Mark thinks either Santorum or Gingrich will drop out.  If the votes go the way he expects, Gingrich will drop out.  (Personally, I think Gingrich is so full of himself, that he won’t drop out at all.)  At which point, the remaining Southern states will rally behind the remaining candidate and you will have the West and East supporting Romney with the South and Midwest supporting Santorum.  (Mark thinks that if Santorum drops out instead of Gingrich, the Midwest will go to Romney and the whole thing will be over.)

So there you have the picks of Mark, the Intellectual Christian Geek.  Take them for what they are, but remember, he is the only person I know who predicted Santorum would win Colorado.  He seems to be pretty good at this.

 

 

1 Comment

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One Response to Now Santorum is the Romney alternative

  1. Thanks, Phil, for putting so much faith in my predictions. Let’s see how well I did:

    I was correct in Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Oklahoma, Massachusettes, Idaho, North Dakota, and Alaska (although North Dakota was not as close as I thought). Given how close Ohio was and that I was uncomfortable calling it, that might also count as a win.

    I was wrong on Michigan (although I did say it would be close, and it was) and Tennessee (not Southern enough to support Gingrich?) . Not too bad–especially since Phil didn’t give me a heads-up of what he was up to and I didn’t check the polls (which might have enabled me to get Tennessee–but maybe not).

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