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Forget the popular vote. It's meaningless (as Al Gore proved).

Forget the insane things Santorum says that turn off voters.

Forget the stupid things Romney says that turn off voters.

There are only a dozen or so states that are truly up for grabs. Pennsylvania is one of them.

The second-biggest swing state next to Florida went to Obama in 2008 in large part because of the strong campaigning that Scranton-native Joe Biden did. If Mitt Romney is the nominee, Pennsylvania is safely in Obama's corner. If Rick Santorum is the nominee, it will be a fight and Santorum has a good chance of winning it.

Florida could go to the GOP if they have Marco Rubio as the VP.

The scenario below paints a closer general election than most are willing to admit. Santorum's popularity in Colorado, Ohio, and Indiana make him a more-formidable challenger to Obama than Romney.

In short, Romney mathematically cannot win without a major flub by Obama or other circumstances (economy, gas, Iran, etc.) that could paint his Presidency poorly in the short-attention-span voting populace of America.

If Santorum can deliver Pennsylvania and a few other states, he is the bigger threat to Obama.

Santorum Over Romney

That's how I see it. Bash away at the theory!

Poll

Who is a bigger threat to Obama?

23%14 votes
76%46 votes

| 60 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is nuts (12+ / 0-)

    Pennsylvania rejected Santorum's Senate bid by 18 points.  You think they're going to elect him President?

    And New Mexico and Colorado are toss-ups?  Yeah, right...

    •  And IN is not a tossup either but wtf is wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George3

      with IA?

      I've seen some disturbing polls out of that State.

    •  Plenty of head-to-heads have Santorum leading (3+ / 0-)

      President Obama in PA, and Florida has been leaning GOP even without Rubio on the ticket.

      I still think Santorum would be an easier candidate to run against in the generals, because Santorum has deeper weakness we can exploit, but the author raises a thought provoking hypothesis worthy of discussion.

      I don't see any scenario in which we win the general elections without Pennsylvania, and we are dangerously weak there now.

      But, better than a month ago, when Wisconson and Michigan were listed as battleground states as well.

      We can probably win without Floriday.  Ohio, or a really stretch combination of Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, and Virginia, or North Carolina.  

      We should be concentrating on Pennsylvania, and Ohio with all of our might.

      After watching how effectively the Romney campaign used his wife, and family in the last few post primary speeches, I'm worried, he might overcome some of the "weirdness" factor, if he puts away a series of big primary states, and the GOP consolodates around him.  I'm hoping for big damage to Romney on Super Tuesday.

      My expectation and hope is that the extreme nature of Santorum's view, and President Obama's intelligence, education, and quickness on his feet superiorities will blow Santorum away, if he were to be the candidate.  Romney may be more easily able to make a comeback, if the economic recovery stalls.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 06:52:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well ... is Santorum really that popular in PA (7+ / 0-)

    He was roundly defeated in his re-election bid there. I'm highly skeptical of the notion that Santorum puts more states in play than Romney does.

    But there are still plenty of reasons to oppose Santorum as the nominee. For one thing, his brand of craziness would get an automatic boost of respectability from the mass media, who are extremely deferential to the established roles of our political life. Look at what happened in 2000. By any previously prevailing standard George Bush was manifestly unfit to be President. But he was treated with great respect and Gore with lightly veiled contempt.

    I think the President will defeat whoever the Republican nominee is. But if things turn bad for him between now and then the Republican will win whether it's Romney or Santorum. If the latter, we're really in trouble.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 05:49:20 PM PST

  •  Romney will limp to the finish line (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psilocynic, TofG, George3

    MI was the big test and he passed, however weakly.  

  •  What? As a suburban Philadelphia resident really (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, BachFan, George3

    have to disagree with:

    If Rick Santorum is the nominee, it will be a fight and Santorum has a good chance of winning it.
    Even more after his odd recent comments, Santorum will lose big time not only in Phila. but also in suburban counties. And Northeast Pa. will be okay with Biden campaigning and Casey running for reelection.

    Btw, if Patrick Murphy wins ag 2018 Democratic primary for governor could be interesting, with a reprise of Rendell-Casey being Murphy-Casey.

  •  You really think Frothy can deliver Pennsylvania? (6+ / 0-)

    I have my doubts.

    And Mitt could probably find a veep who can help him there -- Christie, most likely.

    If Obama doesn't deserve credit for getting Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger, Bin Laden doesn't deserve the blame for 9-11 because he didn't fly the planes.

    by Bush Bites on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 06:07:52 PM PST

  •  Dude, I've lived in PA (7+ / 0-)

    I haven't met a single one who's claimed to actually like Santorum. Not one.

    Sarcasm was my first language. If you find my accent offensive, I am sorry. No, really.

    by ThothXXI on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 06:09:34 PM PST

  •  Well, as much as I (7+ / 0-)

    usually rely on ConservativeHaven.com's cunning, unbiased electoral analysis, I'd have to say that it's unlikely Santorum can carry a state in which he suffered one of the worst defeats of an incumbent senator ever.

  •  The GOP Pennsylvania Strategy is about stealing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George3

    the election. It has nothing to do with Frothy's popularity. The Vatican did not place its ace Hatchet man there in Philly without a good reason.  Once the election in PA is stolen, the election goes to the House with the Electoral College not a clear deciding factor. Once in the GOP House, we know how that will end.
    Why are we operating the election process in the 18th Century?

    just because man invented God, does not mean that God does not exist

    by MikeMcShea on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 06:30:00 PM PST

  •  based on what evidence? (3+ / 0-)

    ...what evidence do you have that Santorum would be more likely to carry Pennsylvania against President Obama than Mitt Romney? Do polls show Santorum closer to Obama in Pennsylvania than Romney? Santorum may be from Pennsylvania, but the voters overwhelmingly fired him when he ran for re-election to the Senate. Besides...if your assertion is correct, Romney could still try to win Pennsylvania by putting Santorum on the ticket. In my opinion, neither Santorum at the top of the ticket nor on the bottom (pun intended) would necessarily win Pennsylvania.

    Am not sure who the weaker of the two candidates would be against President Obama, perhaps both would be equally weak, in different ways and for different reasons.

  •  PA hasn't gone GOP for president since 88 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn, TofG

    Usually it hasn't even been all that close. Mind you, it has often been closer than Santorum came against Casey in '06. That should tell you all you need to know about your scenario here.

    We need to take any challenge seriously, of course. But having Frothy on the ticket is not going to put the Keystone State in jeopardy for us. (On a related note, I doubt Rubio will get the VP nod. It would remind people too much of Sarah Palin - too young, too polarizing, and it'd be patently obvious that they picked him because he's not a white male.)

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 07:29:25 PM PST

  •  Santorum hasn't lived in PA. In years. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn, BachFan, TofG

    And he cost his children's old Pa. School district $100,000 for cyber school while he was living in Virginia ntil he was caught and ad to pay it back.  That said, I think he will take the GOP primary in PA., but not the general election.  PA. Has more registered Dems, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and their suburbs bring in the Dem votes. Heck even in the monstrous redistricted 7th congressional district that stretches over five counties, Obama got the majority vote in 2008.  That may explain why the Republican-controlled state legislature backed off the idea of changing winner take all electoral votes to winner of  each congressional district take that district's electoral vote.

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please -- Mark Twain

    by OnePingOnly on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 07:44:50 PM PST

  •  Mitt v Rick it's frothy by a nose. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think either poses much of threat in the presidential race the question is who is better for Dems down ticket. Mitt would depress fundie turnout but increase Morman turnout making the senate races in NV and AZ tougher gets but making TN a possible pick up.
    Santorum would excite the fundies but would move more independent and republican women to  the Dems and would depress the Morman vote making AZ and NV better pick up opportunities. All things considered I would rather frothy get the nomination having his fundie surrogates going all over the air waves will give the dems at least a 20 point advantage with women.

    the truth hurts, Fox News is painless.

    by Biph on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 08:49:41 PM PST

  •  Any map that lists NV as likely Dem should list CO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    as at least as likely.   Seriously, I lived in CO from '98 to '10, through both the DNC and the '10 election, and it's going to stay blue in this election.  For that matter I'm pretty confident in N.M. too.  NV is a bit closer to the tipping point, and IA, VA, NC and FL are even closer (maybe right on it).  

    If you just go by the recent polling, OH looks like its in much better shape right now than PA -- this is a reversal from both 04 and 08 at this time.  OH seems almost like its locked down.  But PA's blue record over the last 20+ years gives me a measure of confidence there.  

    In the end, both parties will dump insane cash into both PA and OH, as they always do, regardless of whether Mitt or Frothy gets the nod.

  •  Santorum is done. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    Thankfully, he is not ready to admit it, so he will keep running and chipping away at Romney, but I don't think there is any danger of his candidacy in the General. Without Dem votes he would have lost Michigan by more than a 10% margin.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 12:23:40 AM PST

  •  Santorum wouldn't break 43% here. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:00:20 AM PST

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