Rick Santorum Forges Ahead To Pennsylvania But The Longer He Stays In, The More He Hurts Himself: Experts

Rick Santorum is forging ahead with his long-shot White House bid, perhaps with one eye on 2016 — but experts warn the longer he stays in the 2012 race, the more likely he is to emerge with a black eye.

After a string of primary losses in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate said Pennsylvania — his home state, which he represented in the Senate for 12 years — was a must win for him to stay in the race.

But with a new poll showing Santorum now trailing GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Keystone State, the ex-senator's future looks grim.

Political analysts say Santorum must be aware of the mathematically improbability of him accruing enough delegates to sew up the nomination. Instead, they suggest, Santorum is using the national platform to launch a bid for a cabinet position, to make his case as a vice presidential nominee, or to begin running for commander-in-chief in 2016.

Of course, staying in the race after a Pennsylvania loss would be detrimental to Santorum's political future because it would force Romney to spend his funds against Santorum, and not Obama, said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.

"If he loses Pennsylvania and goes ahead, he obviously has his eyes on 2016 and not the party's best interest in mind,” said O'Connell. “He's thinking about the future and not about the present."

Read more from Aliyah Shahid at New York Daily News

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published this page in In The News 2012-04-05 15:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy