Thursday, October 20, 2005

PA-Sen: GOoPers abandoning Santorum? - Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Daily Kos: State of the Nation: "PA-Sen: GOoPers abandoning Santorum?
by kos
Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 10:04:44 AM PDT
In my mind, Radar Magazine hasn't proven its mettle in its political rumor mongering, so apply the necessary grain of salt. But this blurb makes logical sense.

Poor Rick Santorum. A few months ago, he was being hailed by his GOP brethren as a leading White House contender. Now it looks like the gay-bashing golden boy, who is running for a third term in Pennsylvania, may not even make it back to the Senate. According to a poll published yesterday in The Hill, the devoutly Catholic candidate is now trailing Democrat Bob Casey by 16 points. But as Santorum's campaign has lost steam, Capital Hill sources say his support from RNC heavies has also evaporated. The blow-dried bible-thumper, who launched his campaign with a giant war chest, is also being deserted by the party's major moneymen, who are focusing their largesse on more competitive candidates.

"This is how the Republicans operate," sighs a veteran GOP campaign manager close to Santorum. "Even if you agree with their agenda, they'll abandon you if you're behind in the polls and move on to the next-most important race."

The problem isn't that Santorum is behind on the polls, it's that he's way behind on the polls and has done nothing to reverse course. Rather, his constant stream of outrageous statements and his wingnutty book has provided the Casey camp with mounds of solid attack ad material (like women shouldn't go to college, shouldn't work, etc). And he's pushed a radical right-wing agenda more in tune with Oklahoma than Pennsylvania. There's something to be said about representing your constituents, and Santorum does nothing of the sort.

If the story is true, then the GOP is merely being smart about allocating resources. The competitive Senate landscape doesn't suit them given their poor fundraising and candidate recruitment. And they have a greater chance of offsetting a PA loss in Minnesota or Maryland than they do of holding the Keystone State. And in any case, Santorum has a big cash lifeline from the nation's top wingnut organizations that will likely be more than happy to bankroll his campaign."

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