Try BlazeTV for Free
FOR RSS

WSJ questions why Santorum is 'unelectable' when polls are on his side

Santorum leads Obama in the swing states, 50% to 45%, and nationwide 49% to 46%.

James Taranto writes in The Wall Street Journal that the perceived 'electability' gap for Santorum in the general election is not backed by polling, and forwards that Santorum has actually maintained support while enduring media hysteria and distortion of his positions on social issues:

"This column has recently become skeptical of the view--nearly universal on the liberal left but common as well among conservative elites--that Rick Santorum is 'unelectable' or far less likely than Mitt Romney to defeat President Obama in November. A new USA Today poll reinforces our skepticism.

The survey, conducted by Gallup, included two samples of registered voters: 1,137 from a dozen "swing states," all of which Obama carried in 2008, and another 881 nationwide. The swing states included six that George W. Bush carried twice (Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia), three that Bush carried once (Iowa, New Hampshire and New Mexico), and three that last went Republican in 1988 or earlier (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin).

The findings: Santorum leads Obama in the swing states, 50% to 45%, and nationwide 49% to 46%. This gives him an edge of three percentage points over Romney, whose swing-state lead is 48% to 46% and who ties the president nationally at 47%."

Taranto supports Bloomberg columnist Clive Crook's supposition that Santorum's succes is from his identification to combined elements of GOP populism: "patriotism, reverence for family, hard work and self-reliance, hostility to big government, and proud religiosity," but Taranto rebukes Crooks belief that the former Senator's "extremism on sexual politics" discounts his candidacy:

"The trouble with this is that, as we've noted, 'the extremism on sexual politics' is in substantial part mythical--and the propagation of the myth doesn't seem to be hurting Santorum. The timing of USA Today's survey (Feb. 14-21 in the swing states and Feb. 20-21 nationwide) coincides with a media hysteria in which the former senator's critics have frequently exaggerated or distorted his views to make him appear more extreme than he is. If he wins the nomination, he will have several months to explain himself to an electorate in which extreme social liberals constitute a small minority. And by that point, conservatives and Republicans who are now joining in on the "extremist" attacks would have an interest in setting the record straight."

The results in Michigan tonight will be interesting for they put to test weeks of media attacks against Santorum and general opinion among commentators, some of which call themselves conservatives, that Santorum is bound for a likely miss in Michigan or at least a definite blowout in November. These critics all push the same assumption that a Santorum failure will finally show that the GOP has gone too far right.

But what if Santorum wins?

How many more primaries would he have to win before the question is no longer 'when will the GOP realize they have gone too far right,' but rather when will the media realize they are out of touch with most Americans.

One last thing…
Watch TheBlaze live and on demand on any device, anywhere, anytime.
try premium
Exclusive video
All Videos
Watch BlazeTV on your favorite device, anytime, anywhere.
Try BlazeTV for Free
Sponsored content
Daily News Highlights

Get the news that matters most delivered directly to your inbox.