What Santorum Needs To Do To Keep Momentum

If Rick Santorum was ever going to reemerge as a serious presidential contender, it had to be Tuesday. And he delivered, with stunning victories in ColoradoMinnesota, and Missouri.

Now comes the hard part: raising enough money and building enough organization to compete effectively in the coming contests – two on Feb. 28 and 10 on Super Tuesday, March 6.

But the reality is that the wounded Mitt Romney still has a formidable war chest, outside groups raising big money to support him with ads, and a vast organization. He raised 25 times more money than Santorum in the fourth quarter of 2011. All last year, Mr. Romney raised $56 million to Santorum’s $2.1 million.

Another challenge before Santorum is the continued presence of Newt Gingrich in the race. If Mr. Gingrich were to drop out, Santorum suggests that he would have a clean shot at Romney, as the sole mainstream conservative in the race.

Santorum says he will focus on Michigan over Arizona, because Michigan awards delegates proportionally, whereas Arizona is winner-take-all. If Santorum can do well in Michigan, home turf of sorts for Romney, that will send a signal he’s a serious player.

“Last night's result exposed the weaknesses in Romney's campaign more than the viability of Santorum's bid,” says Ford O’Connell, head of the conservative CivicForumPAC. “Romney is still the odds-on-favorite because ... neither Santorum or Newt has laid the proper foundation to go toe-to-toe with Mitt.”

Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor


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published this page in In The News 2012-02-08 19:00:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy