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Romney Vs Paul: Experts Agree GOP Contest Now A Two Horse Race

Santorum has no campaign structure beyond Iowa

Steve Watson
January 4, 2012

Romney Vs Paul: Experts Agree GOP Contest Now A Two Horse Race paul romney 460x307

GOP insiders and political analysts agree that Rick Santorum placed all his eggs in one Iowa basket and has neither the funding nor the organisation to forge any kind of momentum beyond the Hawkeye State.

The only two candidates who have both the propulsion AND the support base to progress significantly are Mitt Romney and Congressman Ron Paul.

Despite trailing Romney by only eight votes in Iowa, Santorum has neither the money nor the staff or structure to move forward in the race.

Santorum essentially spent an entire year in Iowa, painstakingly visiting every single one of the state’s 99 counties, while Paul and Romney have forged national campaign networks that the former Pennsylvania Senator can only dream of.

“He can’t replicate it in any other state because there’s no state that he can spend a year in between now and election day.” notes Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College in New York.

“The question is, now that he’s in the top two in Iowa … going forward, does he have a campaign underneath him? And the answer is unfortunately, no.” said Charlie Black, a former adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

“Santorum has almost no organization in New Hampshire,” says Fergus Cullen, a former state GOP chairman. “He worked very hard here in the first six months, but has almost nothing to show for it.”

Cullen compares Santorum to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 and then pulled in just 11% the following week in New Hampshire.

“Single-state strategies rarely are effective long-term, and many Republicans say this is no exception. Santorum has had neither the money nor the organization to get traction here.” writes political analyst Lois Romano.

“It will take more than sheer joy and political dexterity for his small organization here to lift him from fifth place in the Granite State.” she adds.

Even Santorum’s own campaign staff admit that they do not really have any kind of foothold beyond Iowa, with Santorum currently pulling in between 4 and 5 percent in the Granite State.

Indeed, Santorum’s campaign has only five paid staff in New Hampshire and four in South Carolina, compared with the veritable armies of Romney and Paul staffers in those states.

Furthermore, Santorum’s strong showing in Iowa owed much to support from culturally conservative evangelical voters, who made up nearly 60 percent of GOP caucus-goers Tuesday. Those kind of voters will be nowhere to be seen in New Hampshire.

“The kind of voters who Santorum is relying on in Iowa don’t exist here, so he’s going to have a hard time,” said Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire’s Survey Center.

“He’s got a very narrow message which is ‘I’m the most conservative candidate.’ And I think when we get to South Carolina, the question is going to be one of experience and one of electability, and I don’t think he’s going to win either,” said Republican strategist Jim Dyke.

Santorum’s contention that he is in any way widely electable was shot into flames before he even started campaigning, given that in 2006 he lost his crucial Senate seat to Democrat Bob Casey by an 18-point margin, the largest Senate loss in Pennsylvania history and the largest in the country that year.

Santorum says he is relying on grass roots support that he has been building for the last year. However, when it comes to the grass roots there is no candidate stronger than Ron Paul, who has been building his now extensive base for two consistent decades.

Every single poll for months has indicated that Romney and Paul are almost certain of a one, two finish in New Hampshire. In addition, John Huntsman completely skipped Iowa in order to build a stronger support base in New Hampshire. It seems to have worked as he is currently polling in third with around 10-12 percent.

Despite a monumental fall from grace in recent week, even Newt Gingrich is still polling in higher numbers than Santorum.

“Senator Santorum is about to discover the wrath of the Super PAC!” said Patrick Griffin, a senior fellow at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. “Intense scrutiny, tough ads and an uphill battle to raise money, continue to deploy staff and search for a significant number of social conservative voters that are simply not as plentiful in New Hampshire as in Iowa

Following last night’s third place finish in Iowa, where Ron Paul picked up an equal number of delegates to both Romney and Santorum, the Paul campaign made it clear that they are treating the result as a victory.

“There were three tickets out of Iowa, and Ron Paul earned one of them.” a statement from Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton read.

“One of the three tickets, the one belonging to Rick Santorum, is a dead-end due to Santorum’s weak fundraising and lack of national campaign organization.” the statement continues.

“This is now a two way race between establishment candidate Mitt Romney and the candidate for real change, Ron Paul.”

Paul himself responded following Santorum’s outburst yesterday during which he described the Congressman as “disgusting”, merely for highlighting Santorum’s questionable record on major issues.

Seemingly unaware that Santorum had made the comment, the Congressman asked for clarification during an interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto.

“He called me that?” Paul asked.

“Yes, he did.” Cavuto replied.

“I would say that is not very nice, not a nice thing to do.” Paul modestly answered, before turning back to address Santorum’s record.

“I think he wants to deflect away from some of the charges made against him, about having been a supporter of Arlen Specter, and he was a pretty liberal senator. He supported prescription drug programs and No Child Left Behind and voted for all the foreign aid.” Paul stated.

“So I would say that he ought to be talking about that, rather than calling me names.” he added.

“… to call me and label me a certain way because I believe in the Constitution and very principled — no one tells me I am not a principled voter and that I’m not a strict constitutionalist. So every time they say something very negative about me, I say, they don’t have a whole lot of respect for somebody that sticks to the Constitution.” Paul asserted.

Watch the interview below:

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Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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