No more surging Santorum

Nothing Happens; Twice – Celestial

I don’t always predict well (as Senator Coakley of Massachusetts and Nominee Pawlenty can confirm), but I do a pretty good job predicting Republican primaries. I insisted in 2007 that John McCain (even when he looked dead and buried) was going to win. I spent most of the last year (as soon as Pawlenty dropped out) insisting that it pretty much had to be Romney. And actually, I never bought into the idea that McCain stood a chance against Bush in 2000, either.

In reading reports about the raee right now, there is this problem where reporters need to keep insisting that it’s still really a race. And over the past few months, as each of the flavors-of-the-month have popped out of the GOP clown car, reporters have felt obliged to take it seriously. ‘Yes’ they would say, ‘each of the previous candidates who rose to the top fell off quickly, but here’s the reason to think this guy might be different.’

The case for Santorum amounted to: ‘he peaked at just the right time’ or ‘his ground game in Iowa was the key.’ This is just silly, though. No one can plausibly argue that Santorum’s campaign ARRANGED to gain 18 points in the polls in the week prior to the caucuses. Are we to believe that Iowa’s voters are so stupid that they always secretly wanted Santorum because he did some nice retail politics but just forgot to mention him when being polled?

Santorum is not going to win the nomination because he’s a terrible candidate. This was true 12 months ago, 6 months ago, 1 month ago, and last week. And it will remain true in the future.

His peak happened to coincide with an election, but it faded just like all the others. And it really had nothing to do with Iowa in particular.

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